One for the Murphys
By Lynda Mullaly Hunt
(Nancy Paulsen Books, Hardcover, 9780399256158, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 10, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A moving debut novel about a foster child learning to open her heart to a family's love
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt received the Tassy Walden Award for her first draft of One for the Murphys, which is her debut novel. She lives in Marlborough, Connecticut.
* "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."
"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."
"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