One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
(nominee for Iowa Teen 2014-2015)
Book description from Amazon.com....
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.
My 25 cents...
Imagine being removed from your family situation and placed into another. All you have ever known is now different and new. This is what Carley is going through. She's tough on the outside by tender on the inside. She is seeing family life in a whole new way. This story gives the reader a view into foster care from the foster family and from the foster child. It's a story that will probably make you think long after you read the last page, about kids that go into the foster care system. I know it did that to me.
There is a slight reference to abuse (from Carley's mother and step-father) but it is done in a way that is not disturbing to reader, it is used to explain why Carley may have ended up in foster care.)