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.)


  1. Thank you for this review, you have mentioned books that touched my heart as well. I would never have discovered this book without your review! I will be reading this one for sure!

  2. Another book cover with shoes! Our librarian discussed doing an entire display of shoe book covers. Pictures of Hollis Woods is a favorite of mine, so I'll be putting this one on my list. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is such a lovely review. Thanks so very much--and I am so happy that you enjoyed meeting Carley and the Murphys.


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