One for the Murphys [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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One for the Murphys

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Overview

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.





"Hunt's writing is fearless and One For The Murphys is a story that is at once compassionate, thought-provoking and beautifully told. From the first page, I was drawn into Carley's story. She is a character not to be missed or forgotten." —Jacqueline Woodson, three-time Newbery Honor author of After Tupac and D Foster



Winner of the Tassy Walden Award for New Voice in Children's Literature
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—After her stepfather beats them up, Carley is placed in foster care while her hard-partying mother recovers in the hospital. Angry, frightened, and determined to be unhappy, the 12-year-old finds the Murphy family quite a change. At first she's difficult, but the kindness of Julie, the mother; easygoing Jack, the father; and the slow acceptance of their three sons predictably turn things around. There is never any doubt that the generous Murphys and a friendship with a girl at school will be redeeming factors for sarcastic, funny, tough Carley. When little Michael Eric has a medical crisis, she cements her place in the family by jumping in to help. Because of the balance between showing her inner good nature and her mean and tough performance, readers might have a hard time recognizing which is Carley's true self and which is the front she is presenting. Her mother, quite surprisingly, turns out to have some redeeming qualities, a fact that provides drama when Carley is conflicted about returning to Vegas or continuing to live in Connecticut with the new family she has made. In the end, the choice is made for her, deflating the tension. Though the story is earnest and well-intentioned, the execution is uneven, which will not bother one bit kids who like watching a bad girl make good.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO
Publishers Weekly
When 12-year-old Carley Conners is put into foster care, she is angry and distrustful of the picture-perfect Murphy family. Carley’s mother is in the hospital after a savage beating by Carley’s stepfather, and while Carley has forgotten some details of that night, she partly blames herself for what happened. Mrs. Murphy works hard to gain Carley’s trust, and Carley comes to love her foster mother deeply. Life with the Murphys contrasts with Carley’s old life of poverty with a mother who often dismantled her confidence. At times melodramatic and perhaps overly emotionally manipulative, Hunt’s debut novel is nothing if not a tearjerker—scenes at home with the Murphy family, as well as those in which Carley builds a tentative friendship at school, are undeniably affecting. Hunt’s writing is strong and her characters well-developed and believable; if Carley’s narration and frequent quips sometimes read as too polished, readers will still be drawn into this story of a girl’s struggle against the ingrained belief that she is undeserving of kindness and generosity. Ages 10–up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (May)
From the Publisher

"Hunt's writing is fearless and One For The Murphys is a story that is at once compassionate, thought-provoking and beautifully told. From the first page, I was drawn into Carley's story. She is a character not to be missed or forgotten." —Jacqueline Woodson, three-time Newbery Honor author of After Tupac and D Foster

“By the end of this poignant debut, readers will be applauding Carley’s strength.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will be cheering her on.” —Booklist

"This is a beautiful book, filled with hope. You'll cry and laugh along with Carley as she learns to lower her defenses enough to love--and, more surprisingly, be loved. It's a story you'll long remember." —Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor-winning author of Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily's Crossing

"Undeniably affecting. Hunt's writing is strong and her characters well-developed and believable . . ." —Publishers Weekly

"One for the Murphys is a riveting story…” —Examiner.com

"This novel 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." —The Horn Book

"An astonishing debut! Lynda Mullaly Hunt's direct style of writing has readers rooting for Carley Connors and all of the Murphys from start to satisfying finish." —Leslie Connor, ALA Schneider Family Award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch

“…an incredibly touching novel.” —TheStorySiren.com

“Absolutely astonishing.” —Bookalicious.org

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101572122
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 18,632
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 828 KB

Meet the Author

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    This is a touching account of a girl named Carley Conners who fi

    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 are in Carley's head, navigating these uncharted waters right along with her. If you think you know how a book like this might end, you probably don't. I didn't see it coming, and I am glad I didn't. It's an engaging story right up to the authentic end. Give this one a read and you're apt to gain some real insight into what it means to belong and what is truly important in your own life.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    This book is pretty Wicked...

    We read this in class, it is a touching book about a twelve year old named Carley Conners, her step father abused her and she was put into foster care. The Murphys seem too perky and perfect at first but she learns that sometimes "it's time to be changed for the better"(-Wicked) I love this book dearly, the abuse and violence may be scary for children under the age of 10, but I'm sure that if you read it first it is probably ok for as young as you see fit...

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    This lovely, character-driven story about twelve year-old foster

    This lovely, character-driven story about twelve year-old foster child Carley Connors should resonate not only with kids who are or have been in the foster care system, but with any kid who has ever felt like an outsider, or has felt weird and unlovable. It's hard to fit in when you're twelve no matter what your story is.

    The writing is clean and unadorned with sentimentality, much like Carley herself as she moves through a scary new chapter of her life that she had no part in naming. There's plenty of wit and memorable characters (I wished I'd had a friend in school like Toni Byers, or a Social Studies teacher like Mr. Ruben), and so much heart and soul here that I barreled through the book in one sitting because I HAD to find out how Carley's story turned out. Five days later she's still here in my head. Score!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Dont buy the free sample

    Dont buy the free sample. It only gives you 8 pages, and none of them are even the writing in the book. Dont waste space on your nook and just buy it or not. Read some reviews maybe? Well i can tell you the book is good!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Best book ive ever read

    This is an amazing heart warming read for all ages

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    A must for foster/adoptive families

    Thank you from a foster/adoptive home for almost 30 years.
    Lana

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Beautiful Account of What Family Really Means

    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 vulnerable, so we see her cry; she’s tough and has had to grow up far too fast, so she’s smart and independent; she could easily be closed off because how she’s been treated in the past, but slowly, she opens up. Her relationship with Mrs. Murphy is the backbone of the book and incredibly touching. Carly grows to love this mother figure that she never really had before.

    Carly’s relationship with her schoolmate, Toni, has all kinds of wonderful parallels to her own life and teaches her more than one lesson, but it never comes off as preachy. There was not one moment in the book that I could imagine a middle grade reader becoming frustrated with. The pace and the tone of the book remain constant throughout and the entire story comes off as realistic. Toni’s obsession with Wicked is also a nice touch.

    Any Bostonian will appreciate the little nods to the Red Sox. I know I enjoyed it, along with Mr. Murphy’s true Sox fan attitude toward the Yankees. His reaction to Toni’s taunting help to lighten the mood. Because with such a deep and emotional subject matter, One For the Murphys does have its tearjerker moments. It would be wise to have a box of tissues handy, especially towards the end.

    One For the Murphys is a heartfelt, heartbreaking, subtle, and beautifully realistic show of one girl’s journey from broken home to finding out what family means. The characters have so much depth and readers will find themselves thoroughly attached to Carly Connors and the entire Murphy family. Lynda Mullaly Hunt has masterfully taken the subject of fostering and opened it up to a new audience. Carly’s story has its ups and downs (remember those tissues!), but the ending is perfectly bittersweet.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Carley’s life has never been picture perfect, but there is

    Carley’s life has never been picture perfect, but there is one thing that keeps her going, the love she has for her mother and the love she believes is returned. That is, until the day her mother betrays Carley, choosing an abusive man over her very own daughter and places Carley’s life is in jeopardy.

    After a brutal attack by her stepfather that left Carley with several bruises and her mother heavily sedated in a hospital bed, Carley is released and is left in the care of a foster family. Carley’s emotions are spinning, she feels betrayed, but nevertheless, she doesn't want to live with another family.

    Never knowing how it feels to be part of a real family, one that loves and genuinely cares for one another, once Carley experiences such affection, she feels as though she doesn’t belong and that she doesn’t deserve the kindness that the Murphys have shown her. After several weeks have passed, the time has come for Carley to return in her mother’s custody. Will Carley return to her mother and receive that warm and loving embrace she’s been dreaming of, or will her emotions toward the Murphys prevent her from leaving?

    One For The Murphys is an emotional tale that will leave readers shedding tears at this heartfelt story of Carley Connors and the journey she takes to discover herself as well as the true meaning of the love of a family.

    My favorite aspect of One For The Murphys is how relatable and engaging the characters were. To me, the characters were real. I could clearly imagine young Michael Eric tie a cape around his shoulders, run around the living room and pretend to be a superhero, watch Adam play Michael Eric’s sidekick or ignore him to play with his cars, and of course, watch Daniel dribble the ball and smile brightly at Carley in the stands just at that moment where he finally scores his first shot at his basketball game. I could also smell the delicious pie Mrs. Murphy makes just for Carley when she needs it most, and hear Mr. Murphy cheer for his favorite baseball team no matter the score after a long day of working at the fire station. There were so many special moments that Carley experiences in the novel that made me laugh along with the characters or reach out for a box of tissues, moments that are truly unforgettable.

    Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a phenomenal writer whose work I hope to read more of. One For The Murphys is one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt should be commended for this truly wonderful and unforgettable debut.

    I recommend One For The Murphys to those who enjoy reading Young Adult and Contemporary titles.

    5/5 MUST READ! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Congrats Mrs.Hunt!

    I am proud to say I met you in person today. I am wearing my wrist band right now! The book is amazing and sitting in the front row seat of your presentation was awesome! I am going to write my own book someday, you inspire me Mrs.Hunt!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    ?

    When I got the sample it only showed me the table of contents now I don't know what the book is like?!
    (I am giving this book a fake review because i have not read it yet)

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Must Read

    This is my ALL TIME favorite book. My friend reccomended it to me, but I thought it would be too sad, and I really don't like sad books. I didn't read it. She basiacly forced me to read this book after a while because she loved it so much, so eventually I read it. Oh my gosh, we talk about this book NONSTOP! Do I have to say that we're both obsessed wit books? Lol we both just loved it! Its about a girl who got abused by her stepfather. Carley ends up in her foster home, the Murphys, who treat her 'too well', as she doesn't understand why they care about her so much. (Carley thinks this way because her mother, a Vegas girl, was not the most loving mother at times.) She ends up loving the Murphys, after living in their life for a while. Then, Carleys mother breaks some news that leaves Carley with lots of tears, thoughts, confusion, and a few important decisions.


    Again, this beautiful book is a must read! If you like this book, I would also reccomend 'Almost Home' by Joan Baur. Its about a young girl, Sugar, who loses her home. Sugar, her mom Reba, and their dog Shush end up homeless. When Reba has a serious and scary breakdown, Sugar has to work hard to stay her positive self with her foster family.



    This book almost compliments One for the Murphy's. It has to do with young girls losing their homes, losing their parrents (but not perminently), and trying to navigate the world when its toughest. HOWEVER, and I think this is amazing, Sugar and Carley's story's are very similar, right? Well, their personalities, especially in the beginning of the book, couldn't be more different. You get to think as your reading One for the Murphys, "How would Sugar handle this problem?" And while reading Almost Home, you might say to yourself, "Wow, Carley would not agree with Sugar there" Its perfect. For some reason, at least to me, these characters are the sister characters of the realistic fiction genre! They could relate to eachother with their thoughts and problems, but they verbally express them so different. They couldn't be more different in their alike stories, but little things make them click.


    In summary: Read One for the Murphys. Next, pick up Almost Home. Do you see what i mean? Mrs. Hunt, if you ever, ever, ever can, please read this review of your amazing book. You know Carley so well, I'd love to see if you agree with me.


    Thank you all,
    An 11 year old Bookworm

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    The day comes when Carley connors becomes a foster child and mov

    The day comes when Carley connors becomes a foster child and moves in with the Murphys. The Murphys show her a stable family that she had thought that it never existed. The Murphys show her what it feels to be belong. But until her mother show up and wants her back but carley can't decide where and how to live. She said shes not really a Murphy but the gifts they given her have opened a future.
    When Carley connors  find’s out the truth that  her mother didn't tell her what had happen and what was the reason she didn't so she would not have got mad with her and upset because she thought that her mother had helped dennis smack her.
    The characters were awesome because how they thought things and their reactions were good  like at the end carley didn't know with who do go with her mother in vegas or stay with the murphys who showed her a lot of surprises and showed her that a real family existed. Even if some harsh things happened to her she know just to keep going and do what you think is best.
    This is a great book that makes you want to know what is going to happen next in the story .and I recommend it to teenagers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    My favorite book ever~

    I love this book. The end is so sad how Carly might not be able to see the Murphys again. I recomended this book to kids9-14.(But its a great book for everyone.) If you have not read this book make sure you do. Then when your done reading it tell us what you thought. You can just write a review or you can write a review to cakepop123. I love to here what you think about books!
    cakepop123

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    This debut novel is full of heart and humor. When the story begi

    This debut novel is full of heart and humor. When the story begins, Carley is a victim of intimate violence. She endures bruises, a hospital stay, and the greatest betrayal of all, without shedding a tear. While in foster care with the Murphy family, Carley experiences the unconditional love of a family. The experience changes her forever. So why is she crying now? You'll have to read the book to find out. One for the Murphys leaves the reader with one important unanswered question, How can I be somebody's hero?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Anonymous

    I loved this book! It is my new favorite book. My favorite character is Michael Eric. :)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    A poignant read that drew me in from the start. My Rating: 4

    A poignant read that drew me in from the start.


    My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

    Disclaimers: I received this book for review as part of the Debut Author Challenge Blog Tour in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Tara and Lisa.

    My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: In one sentence: A poignant read that drew me in from the start. This book was nothing like I thought it would be and yet it was ten times better. I've always loved this genre and even thought it was about a younger girl, I found myself falling in love with the story.

    Hunt's debut novel definitely is one of the best realistic contemporary fiction novels I've read this year. Hunt created an all-star cast from even the most minor character to the main character Carley. I found myself thoroughly entertained by all of the characters and loved nearly all of them.

    Carley was a character that I really liked. She's been in an abusive situation and yet she is still so caring and such a good person. Naturally, she's got her "issues" but she was a character that left me smiling and one that I loved reading about.

    Mrs. Murphy was amazing. There is no other way to say it. I admired her from the moment Hunt introduced her in the novel. However, like I mentioned earlier, all of the characters in this book were fantastic.

    The writing was fantastic. Hunt wrote in a compelling manner that left me feeling like I really was in Carley's head. I felt connected with her and consequently the whole story. The story flowed nicely and didn't lag. Definitely an amazing read. Read this one you won't regret it.

    In Summary: A beautiful novel that I loved reading. Captivating characters, an intriguing plot, and a poignant writing style made for a brilliant read.

    Warnings/Side-notes: This book deals with violence and abuse, but in a manner that I won't hesitate to recommend this to anybody despite their age.

    The Wrap-up: Books about abuse have always held a soft spot for me. I feel like this is an issue that people don't talk about enough. Abuse is real and its effects are life-altering and traumatic for the victims. I loved that Hunt focused on this theme and admired the way she tackled writing this tale. It was beautiful and I loved reading it.

    Love,

    Danica Page

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    So sad

    She shouldve stayed with her foster family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Jahy Wow a must read

    Loved it .I transported into a diffrent world when i read this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    The Best Book

    I could feel her pain. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Poop

    POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP

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