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One for the Murphys

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  27,708 ratings  ·  2,952 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)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,708 ratings  ·  2,952 reviews

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Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
***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
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This turned out to be a great story, but I had issues with the end.

The story follows a girl named Carley who’s recently dealt with some domestic violence with her mother. After being sent to a foster home, she deals with many difficulties, but she believes this family might be what’s best for her. Could she really be a Murphy? As time moves on, things change, and Carley feels confused about her future.

My middle-graders did enjoy this story, as well as myself, but because it was such a major ch
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
This is a beautiful book. Overwhelming, emotionally gripping, surprisingly touching. I did not expect to find my emotions running up and down different octaves like piano notes.

YA reading, for tweens. But just as heartwarming and uplifting for adults.

It's a short book, a quick read, but one that had me leave everything to finish it. I just could not walk away.

After closing the book I wished reality was not so removed from fiction in this case. If all foster parents were like the Murphies, the
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
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.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Hilary Graham
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kadi P
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully heartfelt story. A lovely exploration of trauma, fostering, and the effects it has on everyone involved. There were some hilariously aggressive moments like the stuffing of the bread rolls in the restaurant booth and some extremely sad moments that brought a tear to my eye.

The ending was not what I expected (nor what I wanted) but it still lent itself very well to the protagonist's character growth.
Jillian Heise
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 with an
Brandi Rae Fong
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Reading_ Tamishly
Aug 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
"That we've both changed. That we're tired of having the world push us into places we don't want to be. That we're both scared of losing love that maybe we never had to begin with. That we can have whatever we want in our lives; it's only a matter of deciding."

*Content warnings for bullying, child neglect, abuse

I love the writing and how convincing the characters are.

The child characters are frustrating to deal with because they are so confused and they have been used to the idea that they don't
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was an easy heartfelt read. I wasn't prepared to get a snotty nose and a few tears at the end. Carley has had a horrible life with her mother and new husband and gets sent to foster care where she finds a loving family and a best friend. She is witty and sad and mad and kind and confused. I really liked all the characters in the story. I had happy hopes for her throughout the book. Would def recommend. ...more
Audra M. 8B
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is AMAZING, it is one of my favorites. I has some really sad parts, and some really happy parts. Over all it is a great book.
Jen  Bigheart
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signed, arc
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
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Deep. I wonder how this book would be like if it was written in Dennis's view. It's a really good book. ...more
Emily Myers
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
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. ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 f
Loree Burns
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Natalie Lorenzi
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book--touching, funny, tender and real. Can't wait to put this one into the hands of my students. ...more
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Frau Nightingale
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, sad and very hopeful book about unconditional love. I fell a little in love with the Murphy's as well. ...more
Claire Epperson
This book. I could read it so many times and not get tired of it. The characters are so realistic and easy to relate to. I definitely would recommend it to anyone
Scott Fillner
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a book needs a detailed write up to get others to read it. Then there are books, like this book, where you just need to say read this and that is all!
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LBSCI 767: Book Review 1 5 Sep 27, 2019 05:19PM  
book review 1 3 Apr 30, 2019 09:51AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Realistic Fiction Main character Girl Gets adopted by someone named Ms. murphy (I think) [s] 10 43 Feb 18, 2019 08:34AM  

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