One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly HuntRelease Date: May 10, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Group for Young Readers
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 224
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, The Completely Contemp. Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

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 Murphys was an incredibly touching novel. There were several times that I felt tears brewing in my eyes. (Although there were plenty times when I was laughing too!) I wouldn’t describe One for the Murphys as a sad story. It’s not a sad story, it’s a hopeful story. It’s about family and love. It explores different types of love and although they are different, one isn’t less powerful than the other.

To me, Carley seemed much older than her twelve year old/thirteen year old self. Although it worked, because Carley has seen and experienced things that no twelve year old should have to.

I really enjoyed all the characters. The three Murphy boys, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy…. Carley’s friend Tori, even Carley’s teacher Mr. Rueben. They were all incredibly written. I battled the most with Carley’s mother. I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for her or not. I think perhaps she needed someone in her life like Mrs. Murphy and it’s a shame she didn’t have that.

We don’t get that fairy tale happy ending, but we get a realistic one. And we are left with the hope that Carley is a better person for her experiences and that she will continue to thrive because of her time with the Murphys.

You should add One for the Murphys to your reading pile! It’s a quick read and it will definitely touch your heart!