Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, May 20, 2013

She's The Hero!

It started last summer.  I've always read book after book during June, July and August but the summer of 2012 was different.  I was participating in the #bookaday challenge.  I will be this year too; Donalyn Miller wrote about it yesterday on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

I was reading so fast I could not keep up with posts about them on my blog.  Then too, there were a handful of books so powerful I could not begin to express in words their meaning for me or for others readers. They are still in a small stack waiting for me to have the courage to write about them.  One of those books was by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, One for the Murphys. 

Summer ended, school started and the year was off and running.  In the middle of January Lynda Mullaly Hunt posted this tweet on Twitter.  It was a game changer for my students, their teachers and me.

It was followed by a series of tweets back and forth between Lynda and I.  Again, I can't stress enough the connections made on this social network between authors and illustrators and the people who wish to bring their work to readers.  This ability to converse with writers and artists still amazes me.

When the deadline for the offer arrived, Lynda sent out this tweet to her followers.  Readers of her book already knew about her huge heart.  What she did for so many nearly leaves me speechless.

When her original tweet was followed by this tweet, I literally started dancing.  I could not believe it.  I called one of our fifth grade teachers immediately.  We were like two kids laughing and talking a mile a minute; so excited by this opportunity for our students.

A literacy grant was already in place allowing for the purchase of a paperback copy of One for the Murphys for every fifth grade student.  In the months following the "win" all three classes read the book; the conversations between the students and their teachers were some of the best.  I reread the book, liking it even more, and wrote a review linked here.

Lynda and I continued to stay in touch via email planning for the Skype visit.  As the library filled with students eager to meet the author of a book they had shared together, anticipation was high.  I don't think any of us were prepared for how truly special April 25, 2013 would be.  As soon as I could I sent out a tweet, thanking Lynda Mullaly Hunt for one of the best author visits I have ever experienced.

I wish I could have recorded the event.  The personal level of information Lynda included in her presentation, how the story (One for the Murphys) came to her and how she developed it, her use of photographs and the possible covers for the book, her ease in speaking with the students and answering their questions thoughtfully and going to get her dog for part of the Skype was "one for the books".  It wasn't until I received an envelope filled with student letters two weeks ago that the full impact of her Skype was abundantly reinforced.  Here are some of the comments.

  • I really liked the Skype. I had no idea you could not pick your own cover for the book.  The best part was when people read their questions and she really thought.
  • I liked the Skype visit for One for the Murphys because we got to ask some really good questions about the book like for example "Why did you pick a girl to be in foster care instead of a boy?"
  • My favorite part was when she told us about her next book and how it's about Toni's point of view.
  • I really liked when she told us about her childhood.
  • It was so cool to learn how she came up with the book. 
  • What I really liked about the book was that it was all kinds of mixed emotions, like, happy, sad and tears of joy. 
  • I love how she plays with words because it just makes you think harder about things.
  • My favorite part was when she showed pictures of her house.

I know sixty plus people who will never forget April 25, 2013.  I know sixty plus people who will never forget reading One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  These are the moments to treasure; an author connecting with her readers.  You are our hero, Lynda and we thank you with all our hearts.


  1. I loved One of the Murphys when I read it, but I sure do envy your students their Skpye visit with Lynda Mullaly Hunt (love her dog). I am glad they enjoyed it so much since it sounds like it was a wonderful time.

    1. The only thing better than this Skype with Lynda Mullaly Hunt will be to meet her in person which I hope to do soon. She really cares about her readers; the students sensed this very quickly. Thanks for visiting the blog today, Alex.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much! I am stunned and humbled by this post--thank you, again.

    Believe me, the pleasure was mine! I am grateful that you all read One for the Murphys and have such enthusiasm for it. The Skype with all of you was SO much fun! A really great day--so, let me thank all of YOU for that!

    You're MY hero!

    1. You are so welcome, Lynda. Wait until you read the letters. (Yes, I am sending copies to you.) One for the Murphys is a life-changing read. We are all eager for the next book, too! We are so very, very grateful for your writing and your generosity.
      Hugs back to you,