These two new books both explore the themes of searching for home and family and finding oneself along the journey.  

One for the Murphys
 by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

After one traumatic night, Carley finds herself suddenly placed in a foster home.  Although her mother was a pretty lousy parent, she was at least familiar.  Carley now feels unprepared and vulnerable as she tries to adjust to the Murphys.

One for the Murphys is a touching, memorable novel.  The story is poignantly told from the point of view of a middle schooler in foster care for the first time.  Carley's feelings, reactions, and experiences are realistic and honestly portray the way a kid would act when faced with such an unfamiliar situation, in spite of the kindness she is shown.  The characters are well-developed, not perfect and not completely flawed.  Carley grows significantly throughout the story; she is impacted by the situation but also manages to positively impact those around her.

Almost Home
by Joan Bauer

Sugar's situation is a bit different than Carley's.  After her grandfather passes away, her mother, without any help from Sugar's wayward father, is unable to keep up the payments on their home.  Things fall apart quickly and suddenly Sugar and her mother, who is falling apart herself, find themselves living in a homeless shelter.  

Sugar is an strong, plucky character with an undeniable voice.  She keeps her head up and carries on in the face of difficulty and even finds ways to be grateful for the small blessings she receives.  Her situation is heartbreaking, and her story encourages readers to take an honest look at homelessness, particularly at the struggles of homeless children.  

Read One for the Murphys and Almost Home, if you ... 
  • Enjoyed Waiting for Normal (L. Connor), How to Steal a Dog (B. O'Connor), Runaway (W. Van Draanen), or Paintings from the Cave (G. Paulsen)
  • Like stories about strong, determined heroines
  • Have ever been down on your luck and found yourself in a tough situation you didn't expect
  • Have wondered about the true meaning of home and family
  • Enjoy stories of self-discovery 
Visit the webpages of promising new author Lynda Mullaly Hunt and beloved veteran author Joan Bauer to learn more about these powerful books.    

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