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One for the Murphys Hardcover – May 10, 2012
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"This is a beautiful book, filled with hope. You'll cry and laugh along with Carley as she learns to lower her defenses enough to love--and, more surprisingly, be loved. It's a story you'll long remember."
~~Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor-winning author of Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily's Crossing
"An astonishing debut! Lynda Mullaly Hunt's direct style of writing has readers rooting for Carley Connors and all of the Murphys from start to satisfying finish."
~~Leslie Connor, ALA Schneider Family Award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch.
* "Carley is a modern-day Gilly Hopkins, bright and strong, angry and deeply hurt. . . . By the end of this poignant debut, readers will be applauding Carley's strength. . . . A worthy addition to the foster-family shelf." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Hunt's heart-wrenching debut believably captures Carley's painful one-step-forward, two-steps-back process, particularly as she acts out in order to protect dealing with her emotions. . . . Carley promises Mrs. Murphy that she'll 'have a happy life someday,' and readers will be cheering her on." — Booklist
"Carley's struggles with anger, regret, and self-worth both balance and deepen this coming-of-age tale. . . . Speaks to the universal experience of growing up but will especially resonate with readers who have questioned the hands they have been dealt and wonder how to move forward nonetheless. . . . Vacillates between uplifting and heartbreaking as Carley learns to love, be loved, and let go." — The Horn Book
"Undeniably affecting. Hunt's writing is strong and her characters well-developed and believable . . . readers will . . . be drawn into this story of a girl's struggle against the ingrained belief that she is undeserving of kindness and generosity." — Publishers Weekly
"This debut novel holds its own. . . . Affectingly told. Believing that she can, someday, have a loving family of her own . . . makes a different kind of happy ending. Middle grade and teen readers will find this an engaging story." — Voice of Youth Advocates
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This is a touching story of a Las Vegas -born girl named Carley Conners. She is twelve years old. She is placed in the state's foster care system. It is hard to fit if you are a child and placed to a new home.
She finds herself in a foster home full of Murphys. The Murphys are nice. Carley isn't used to accept love and kindness. As the story unfolds, you will understand how a foster child like Carly can think and how she can feel that she does not deserve happiness and a place like Murphy's. What happens when Carly's mom wants her back? She will have to give up her new home and her new best friend.... The author has written an interesting internal monologue of a teenager and her thoughts going through the foster care system and learning what the life could be in a different family than her own with her mother.
A truly inspirational story!
Twelve year old Carley is wise beyond her years and has to be. Her mother can be fun and loving, but also unstable and selfish. After a violent encounter with her stepfather, Carley's mother ends up in the hospital and Carley ends up in foster care. The Murphys, with their cozy home, family dinners and devoted parents offer Carley a world she never knew existed and kind of scares her. But the longer she stays, the more this family works their way into Carley's heart and the more they show Carley just how special she really is. But Carley knows this is only a stop on the journey of her regained life.
Every once in a while a book comes along and captures me, heart; mind and soul, so completely and One for the Murphys is that book. This MG read is so beautifully moving, compellingly honest and breathtakingly palpable, with an unforgettable story and characters that will stay with readers for a long time.
This is a quick read, but Hunt makes every sentence, every word count. Told from Carley's perspective, Hunt has perfectly captured her young sarcastic, vulnerable and witty voice. There's a great deal of serious topics being explored in this book (physical and emotional abuse, child neglect, self-esteem issues, bullying) and Hunt infuses a wonderful mix of sensitivity, thought-provoking honesty and humor into this exploration.
There's a fabulous lot of engaging and well-developed characters! Carley is such a superbly crafted character that is complexly layered, yet easy to connect with.Read more ›
This book is beautiful.
I'll start with the cover--which is perfect. Well done Nancy Paulsen Books--this couldn't be better. But it's what's between the covers that grabs a hold of me and won't let go. Oh, Carley--you make me both ashamed and proud to be an adult. You remind me that children put up walls to discover if the grown-ups are willing to scale them. You hammer home the truth--that we learn from our children if we take the time to listen to them. You remind me that adults must make the tough choices, the ones that are the best for the child, but that we can be kind and gentle in our tough love. You awaken my desire to be somebody's hero and I want to hold you in my arms. Lynda hasn't written a character--she has introduced me to someone I will love and think about forever.
And then there is Mrs. Murphy--who comforts me as much as she comforts Carley. Because even as an adult, I need to know that there are good people in this world who lead with their hearts. I need those role models in my life--she's who I want to be when I "grow up."
Each and every character in this book played a part in creating this wonderful read. I want to talk about every one of them, but I'm treading on spoiler ground if I don't reign myself in. So I just want to say that it takes a village to "raise" a child and this community of characters, flawed and growing, rises to it's own occasion. They never reach perfection, but that's okay, because neither do I. This book is ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, but it's also one for the Sabatini's and it's one for you...
Carley the main character is very strong and courageous. She can't really remember everything that happened to her for her to end up with a whole new family but she does know that she has her mother and step father to blame for it. Carley has a tough time getting used to having someone to take care of her and having people be nice to her. Which is horrible for a little girl to not know what if feels like to have people care for her.
The Murphys are a great family and I wish every foster care family was like that. Most of the time when books or movies about foster care came out I never wanted to pick them up because usually when you see or hear things about foster care the parents are always crappy and I just don't understand how some people can qualify to be a foster parent when they're so horrible. The kids that are in foster care have already had a tough life that's why they're there they don't need crappy parents to make it worse. (Sorry about that I go off easily)
I have to say that my favorite characters had to be the three boys. We didn't get much of Adam but I really liked Daniel & Michael Eric. Now some might think why Daniel he was such a jerk! But I understood why Daniel was they way he was towards Carley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is full of emotions and heart. I used it as a read aloud with a middle school class, and from day one it had them hooked. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Unknownpppp_
I loved this book! Such an amazing and heart felt story!Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey Steinberg
This book will leave you with tears in your eyes. Bittersweet. Heart wrenching. I love Carley's play on words. How this shows us that she sees things differently, honestly. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cheney Hunter
My 9 year old loved this book, as well as "Fish in a Tree," both by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.Published 3 months ago by DebsB
Thirteen-year-old Carley's world collapses on the night her stepfather's violence lands her and her mother in the hospital. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joanna M
This book has brought so many emotions with it. It was truly a journey to watch Carley become a strong confident individual who had come a long way. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Melia Palomino