Saturday, May 12, 2012
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I knew ONE FOR THE MURPHYS would be my kind of book. I am all about people being changed and growing because of others. I knew right away that this book might be a tiny bit like PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS by Patricia Reilly Giff, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS by Katherine Paterson and BABY by Patricia Maclachlan--books that have lived with me for years.
This is the story of Carley Connors, a middle school girl who is placed in foster care after being hurt by her step-father. Carley's mother is in the hospital recovering from her own injuries from her new husband. Carley is tough and sarcastic. She has a hard shell but is easy to get to know and love. She is placed in foster care with the Murphys--a family who has never had a foster child and a family very different from the one she grew up in. The Murphys take her in and help her to heal.
I don't want to give too much away but this book is about the power of love and the lasting impact of those who love us. How love can change a person. It is a perfect middle grade novel in terms of the amount of depth and emotion that are a part of it. The book deals with serious issues around families, abuse and love but does so in a way that is very appropriate for middle grade children. I felt like it was honest and hopeful at the same time.
I absolutely loved this book--through all of the laughing and the tears. Carley Connors and Mrs. Murphy are two characters who will stay with me for a very, very long time. Probably forever.
(And if you love the Broadway musical WICKED, there is a even more to love about this book as there is a thread of mentions of this story throughout the story of Carley.)
Posted by Franki at 5:57 PM