One For the Murphys

Finished One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 keeps her distance.

It’s easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she’s there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determined to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighborhood bully and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she’s feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.”

Oh, you guys, I love this book.  I’m going to try and do it justice, but since I’m pretty sure I’m just going to sound like a crazy person, just go read it.

It reminded me a lot of The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson.  Both books deal with girls who want to be with their moms but who are instead put in foster homes.  And both are really, really tough girls who don’t take shit from anyone.

And both will break your heart.

I’ll admit it—I was a mess for the end of this book, especially the last chapter.  It’s really good but also really hard.  So be prepared.  But so, so worth it.

Highly recommended.

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