Thursday, June 21, 2012
ONE FOR THE MURPHYS
Twelve-year-old Carley Connor ends up in the foster care system after an incident with her stepfather lands her mom in the hospital. Carley's mom sounds like many of my students' parents- she loves her daughter, and is doing the best she can to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. Unfortunately, the demands of parenthood are sometimes a little overwhelming, and some of the choices she makes are probably not in her daughter's best interests.
Carley ends up living with Julie and Jack Murphy, and their three boys- Daniel, Adam, and Michael Eric. Life with the Murphy family is much more stable and predictable than life in Carley's family of origin. Carley finds that she enjoys the predictability of a schedule with regular meals and bedtime and homework. She likes having a mom who is home and available. She even enjoys being a big sister and helping with her foster brothers. Then Carley's mom starts to recover and is ready to come back into her life.
As a mom of two boys from the foster care system and a teacher of many foster kids, I loved this book. Hunt understands the lives of foster kids- what it's like for a twelve-year-old girl to move into a bedroom with fire truck wallpaper, the huge internal dilemmas of loving your biological mom but watching her make choices that are not in your best interests, and even the stress placed on foster families. Put this one in a basket with TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord and PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS by Patricia Reilly Giff.