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One for the Murphys
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One for the Murphys

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  6,462 ratings  ·  1,071 reviews
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she's learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she's placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she's blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Group for Young Readers (USA) (first published January 1st 2012)
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***SPOILER ALERT*** If you have not read the book and don't want to know what happens, you should not read this review.

Okay, I am very conflicted about this book - just as conflicted as Carley Connors is about being a foster child. I highly recommend this book, especially to foster parents or people who are considering becoming foster parents or people who have regular contact with foster children. However, from this review, you might not think so. What I dislike about the book appears to outwe
Inspired Kathy
Well done! This one really tugged at my heart. Be sure you have a box of kleenex nearby!

Lynda did a fabulous job with this story. I laughed and cried while reading it. We get to see Carley's defenses come down as she is surrounded by people who truly care about and love her. The story didn't end how I thought it would but life is not a fairy tale so it was probably a realistic portrayal of what often happens to kids in the foster care system.

A touching story that shows that one person really ca
Carrie Gelson
I finished this book in one early morning, teary sitting. This book seemed to pull at every heartstring I have. I am a Mom first but a teacher in an inner city school second and in the many years I have taught, I have seen a lot. This book made me want to rush into my own children's rooms and hug them tight. It made me want to smile at every amazing foster parent I know for providing love, security and trust to the children in their care. And it reminded me that we all have hearts that have endl ...more
When we meet Carley she is being released from the hospital and finding herself in the care of a foster family. As a reader, we don’t initially know how Carley got to be where she is, but through flashbacks in the story we are made aware of the horrors that Carley has had to endure.

Carley has never known what a loving household is like. She hates herself for not hating this foster family. We watch her struggle as she comes to terms with herself and with the actions of her mother.

One for the Murp
A touching, honest book about Carley, who is sent to live with a foster family, the Murphys, after a violent episode with her stepfather. Carley doesn't believe she is worthy of love or a true family, but the Murphys show her otherwise.

I challenge anyone to read the last chapter without crying. I think I need a tissue rating for the books I've read this year.
Hilary Graham
It’s been a long, long time since a book made me cry this much. But in a good way. Carley Connors has a less-than-perfect mom and a dirt-bag of a stepfather. When physical abuse at her step-dad’s hand ends up with both Carley and her mom in the hospital, the state intervenes and Carley’s handed over to the Foster Care system, which lands her with the Murphy family. Thank freaking God. Mrs. Murphy is one of those rare heroines whose goodness, honesty, and hard work actually leaves you with renewe ...more
An often funny and also very touching novel about a girl forced into foster care when she and her mother are hurt by her mother's new husband, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS is a beautiful book that reminds us that as much bad as there is in the world, there is equal good. Carley, a street-smart girl who didn't go to school and used to get her clothes from donation bins, uses sarcasm and avoidance to deal with her foster placement in the home of the Murphy family, where she is treated kindly and with respe ...more
This book has made me stronger. I didn't really understand why I wasn't crying about the part when Carley described how Dennis hurt her and her mother helped him. It wasn't until later that I realized that I wasn't crying because Carley wasn't. I wanted to be as strong as Carley. When she did cry at the end, the tears that I was saving up started flowing because Carley was crying, and I realized that it was okay to cry. Carley was so brave throughout the whole book that I knew that Mrs. Murphy w ...more
Jillian Heise
Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

A heart-breaking and heart-warming debut book from Lynda Mullaly Hunt, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS is a beautiful story of family perfect for middle grade readers (and adults!). It's about hope and unsureness and loss and love and friendship and caring and happiness and sadness and possibility and belonging and what it really means to be family. Carley and Toni and the Murphys are all a fantastic cast of characters who I just wanted to hang out wit
Paul  Hankins
I had read 40 pages into ONE FOR THE MURPHYS before I had to leave for family activities yesterday.

So, I picked the book back up, and with a cup of coffee, I sat out on the back deck to read some more.

And then, I ended up finishing the book.

Those in my reading community often wonder what books we will love in the next reading year, and we have certainly had some wonderful titles in 2012 already, but I think ONE FOR THE MURPHYS is a game changer for sure.

Read the reviews. Get a feel for the book
One for the Murphys is the absolute best books that I have ever read, by far. In the beginning it was really emotional, but I didn't cry because Carly was strong. I wanted to be strong with her, but the end was different. I cryed a lot, while they were exchanging gifts. After I finshed though, I cryed like Carly was there in front of me, crying with me. Carly was so courageous and brave. I wish I was more like that. She was definitelty more softened by Dan the Man, Michael Eric, Adam, but mostly ...more
Multiply manipulative. The actual writing is competent enough, but the characters--and the plot--I can't find anything nice to say. The book is its strongest in the uncomfortable-to-read beginning where Carley has trouble adjusting to her new home. But that's all over much too soon, and there are eventually TWO denouements that don't work. One deliberately withholds information from the reader in order to create and then resolve drama, and the other is cheesy. The author seems to be leading the ...more
Brandi Rae
I liked this, but...

It was a wonderful story about a girl named Carley who ends up in foster care living with the Murphys, a family with three boys. The book had well drawn characters and situations. Sad and heartbreaking, I would definitely recommend it and can see early middle schoolers loving this book.

My issues dealt more with the details. The main character was 12 but in 8th grade? It was spring and the Red Sox were still playing, but there were basketball tryouts? The oldest son was "just
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
We meet Carley as she is released from the hospital and making her way to a foster home - the Murphy's. Carley and her stepmonster Dennis had an argument that went too far a few nights prior, and Carly's mother is still in the hospital and lucky to be alive. When details are slowly unveiled, we learn they are both lucky to be alive. Carley's recollection of that horrible night is devastating to read. The details slowly come out, and my heart broke for her several times over. How can a grown man ...more
Meg Allison
Sometimes you don't know what you want because you don't know it exists.

Even though I'm a children's librarian doesn't mean that I love all children's literature unequivocally. Perhaps because I continue to have a strong yen to read adult literature and have read enough children's literature to know that it is not all compelling and engaging, I find myself rather picky in my reading. After all, there is only so much time and so, so many books. If a book fails to capture my attention in the firs
Loree Burns
I started ONE FOR THE MURPHYS as a read-aloud with my 12-year-old daughter. We'd barely gotten started when I had to leave home for a few days; by the time I got home again she had finished it. ("I'm sorry, Mom. I just couldn't stop reading.")

And now, after a heartbreaking and spirit-lifting single-sitting read over the Thanksgiving holiday (I couldn't stop reading either!), I've added the book to the very top of my gift-giving list for the holiday season. It's one of those books I wish I could
Emily Myers
Such a fabulous book- quick read, but touching. The characters are so endearing and I found myself connected to them immediately. As an adoptive mother I instantly identified with the idea of loving a child that you didn't give birth to so intensely you'd sacrifice everything - just like the giving tree:) a must read.
It was a really good book on trying to figure out where you belong in life and to move on from what happened in the past. I would recommend it to anyone but warning you will cry.
Natalie Lorenzi
An incredible book--touching, funny, tender and real. Can't wait to put this one into the hands of my students.
This is a touching account of a girl named Carley Conners who finds herself in a foster home full of Murphys. The Murphys are good people, willing to let Carley into their hearts and home, but Carley isn't used to that concept. As the story unfolds, you begin to understand how a girl could feel she somehow doesn't deserve a stable place with people who love her. There are revelations that are truly surprising, and took my breath away. Lynda Mullaly Hunt's writing is spot on- you feel like you ar ...more
Marly Natherson
There's no way that I could write a review of this book that even compares to the reviews that my students have written.

I connected with Carley on many levels - some universal, but mostly personal. Throughout my life, many woman have played the role of Mrs. Murphy in my life in various ways, and I'm thankful for each of them. I believe everyone should have (and deserves) mentors in their life that teach them about love and self-worth. Likewise, I think that everyone should embrace the opportuni
This is one of the best children's fiction books I've read in a long while. Carley Connors is placed in foster care with the Murphys after her mother and stepfather get in a fight and her stepfather almost kills her mother and gravely injures Carley. The Murphys teach Carley much about life and caring. A touching book that I can't wait to recommend to a fifth grader!
This book is my favorite book. I am sooooooooooooo happy i got to read it, it made me cry. my favorite line in the book is "she's looking at him like she's seeing the best thing ever even though he's done something wrong"quote from chapter three, orange you glad you're here? Everyone desires a good book like this one!<3
Peter Salomon
The book is 224 pages long. I cried for the last 164 of them. Literally.

Insanely emotional, with a powerful, vibrant voice, this is a beautiful, heartbreaking book. These characters are just wonderful, so very real. The world needs people like this in it.

Sarvenaz Tash
A gutsy, beautiful and heart-wrenching story filled with intricate relationships and truly memorable characters. This one is a thought-provoking upper MG for sure.
Kerry Cerra
Having taken in a former student to live with us a few years ago and also searching for my mom’s birthmother for the past four years, this book, with its theme about a foster child, touched my heart deeply. But it wasn’t what sold me completely. No, the writing did that. Beautiful, gorgeous, thoughtful writing.

Carley Connors lives a “good” life in Vegas with her free-spirited mother, at least until her mom marries and starts getting beaten by her new man Dennis. When the ultimate betrayal leaves
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
4.5 stars

Carly Connors is a beaten down, jaded, kind of bitter, but truly sweet girl. She’s had a rough life, gone through more than any child should, and starts off the story by heading to a foster home. These are all things that many middle grade readers cannot relate to, but then we see the kind Carly who has a knack for the sarcastic and who loves making the two little boys she moves in with happy.

Throughout Carly’s time with the Murphy’s, we see every side there is to her: She’s young and v
Mary Ann
Thirteen-year old Carley Connors works hard to keep her feelings completely hidden in order to protect herself. After all, her mother taught her how to be street smart and tough on the streets of Vegas. But her step-father has beaten her terribly, and now, Carley finds herself taken from her mother. There’s so much anger swirling around inside Carley that she can’t let herself get close to her foster family, the Murphy’s. And yet, she finds herself watching this loving family, struggling to unde ...more
June Morgan
I do not believe that I have read a more inspiring, down-to-earth book that makes you laugh, smile, and cry all at the same time this year. ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, the debut book by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, is a clean and honest tribute to foster care except in this book, the foster family is a caring family.

Carly, a girl who is forced into foster care when her step father gets mad and attacks her and her mother. Both end up in the hospital. Carly feels that her mother was part of the abuse that she suf
This book grabbed me from the start with Carley's voice. She's a character that is broken in many ways but also uniquely resilient. I loved watching as she learned to understand and accept love that is freely given in a family that is not perfect but that works. Her voice plus the short-yet-powerful chapters kept me flying through these pages, anxious to see what Carley's ultimate destination would be.

I love the way true healing is shown. It's not some magical force that just randomly happens. T
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Foster or Birth Mom? 12 61 Oct 05, 2014 10:29AM  
Mansfield Public ...: "One for the Murphys Review" 1 3 Aug 08, 2014 07:14PM  
Upper Elementary ...: One for the Murphys 1 2 Jul 14, 2014 08:12AM  
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“But most of all, I'll remember how she loved me. I turn away, knowing that I might never get to see Julie Murphy again. But I will know her for the rest of my life.” 6 likes
“All these gifts you have, Carley. All these gifts you have." -pg. 157” 6 likes
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