One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors had to grow up tough. She moves from Las Vegas to Connecticut when her fun-loving mother marries Dennis, an Elvis impersonator. Things go really bad and Carley ends up in foster care. The story centers on Carley's 80 days with the Murphy family, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, Daniel, Adam, and Michael Eric. It's not all peaches and cream as you can probably imagine. Carley gives the Murphy's a run for their money with her sarcastic attitude and the wall she builds around her emotions. The oldest boy, Daniel doesn't want her in his house either. However, through the love and patience of Mrs. Murphy, Carley's wall soon begins to crack and even Daniel begins to accept her. In Carley's room there is a sign, "BE SOMEONE'S HERO," which is the mantra of this story. Mrs. Murphy is definitely Carley's hero and Carley shows the makings of a hero herself. So, you might want to have a box of tissues nearby when you read this book. I am usually not a crier, but I had to admit that tears escaped from my eyes at the end of this story. I loved Mrs. Murphy and how she showed unconditional love for Carley, who wasn't even her own flesh and blood. Carley was a wonderful character too, as the reader got to see all the conflicting emotions she was feeling and then how she grew as a person while under the loving guidance of Mrs. Murphy. I can see why this was nominated for the 2015 Caudill. Heed my advice; have some tissues around.