Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt


In the wake of heart-breaking betrayal, Carley Connors is thrust into foster care and left on the steps of the Murphys, a happy, bustling family.

Carley has thick walls and isn’t rattled easily, but this is a world she just doesn’t understand. A world that frightens her. So, she resists this side of life she’d believed did not exist with dinners around a table and a “zip your jacket, here’s your lunch” kind of mom.

However, with the help of her Broadway-obsessed and unpredictable friend, Toni, the Murphys do the impossible in showing Carley what it feels like to belong somewhere. But, when her mother wants her back, will she lose the only family that she has ever known? 


Publication date: May 10th 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Group for Young Readers (USA)

The Elliott Review:

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. This story doesn't have a 100% happy ending for Carley, but the reader gets the sense that she has learned some valuable skills that will help her to continue her healing and negotiating the world around her.

This is the type of book that gets into your heart instantly, and I believe student readers will find it very engaging as well. The emotions are so real and powerful that reading is definitely a cathartic experience for everyone. Even if we haven't been through the foster system, we all have wondered at one time or another if we are truly loved.

Young Adult Notes:

Mention of physical abuse, mild language.

Source: Thanks to Lynda for sending a copy of this title in exchange for a fair review. 


  1. Oh, Jessi! Thanks so much for this lovely review. Your blog is gorgeous--it's an honor to be here. :-)

  2. Sounds like a sweet, uplifting story. Those are always nice!