Thanks SO Much Global Read Aloud Readers. You are MY Heroes :-) #GRA14

ALL GRA 14 Hello, Global Read Aloud Readers! I really just wanted to thank you all for jumping in to do #GRA14 this year. Thanks to those of you who chose Murphys as your GRA–but thanks to the rest of you as well! To be honest, with the amazing choices that were offered for 2014, *I* would have had a hard time choosing! So, I’m pretty honored and humbled if you chose Murphys. Thanks, again. It was a blast!

The soon-to-be-legendary Pernille Ripp, who got this whole Global Read Aloud thing started (and who is just the nicest person ever) interviewed me yesterday. She chose from over 400 questions that all of you sent in from all over the WORLD (mind blown!) and I did my very best to answer them. Here is the video just in case you missed it. (HA! WHAT is with that picture? Am I being dive-bombed by a fly the size of a football?) As a THANK YOU, Copy (3) of FISH IN A TREE COVER high resI am posting a giveaway of an ARC of my new book–FISH IN A TREE. Please leave a comment below about something surprising that happened during #GRA14 or perhaps your favorite thing about GRA14 or ANYTHING you want about #GRA. Please tweet/retweet the link with the hashtag #FIATbook so I can find your post. By doing so, you (and your class) will be entered to win:

  • An ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of FISH IN A TREE
  • Some swag for your class (i.e. bracelets, bookmarks, wooden nickels)
  • A free 45-minute class Skype about Murphys and/or Fish in a Tree. (I’ll be happy about that–I love to speak with readers. 🙂

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, November 19th at 11:59 PM. Winner will be announced Thursday morning. (However, because I leave for #NCTE14 that day, I may not get your prize mailed until the following week) Again–thanks for everything! You are the BEST readers anywhere and everywhere. ~Lynda

Categories: Ally Nickerson | Tags: , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Thanks SO Much Global Read Aloud Readers. You are MY Heroes :-) #GRA14

  1. I will never forget this year because of One For the Murphys. It led to such great conversations and a sense of community. We kept track of any mention about trees and apples, We talk about you a lot. We loved the word play. We were talking about the Giving Tree on Friday and at the same time a bunch of students blurted out that Mrs. Murphy is the Giving Tree and we thought you an example of the Giving Tree as well.

  2. Krista Schmidt

    #GRA14 was an AMAZING experience for us! My students & I LOVED your book. I loved the opportunity to have my students feel connected with other students as well as the author of the book we were reading. That was so cool for them. People commented on their blogs, other classes tweeted us back, YOU tweeted us! They were amazed! My personal favorite moment was seeing my lowest reader…Ms. “Tough, Cool & Popular”…so invested that she cheered at one moment when she felt moved and crying as we read the last few chapters. To see her so vulnerable and invested was an amazing moment for me. I truly hope that engagement along with your words during the Q&A will be a springboard for her.

  3. Victoria Toebe

    #GRA14 really touched my kids in so many ways. Everyday, they couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen to Carly. They had found many connections between their lives and the Murphy household. They really took on a new perspective on life and will hopefully be grateful for the lives that they have. During the last few chapters, you could hear a pin drop, as everyone was listening so intently to find out how it ended. Many students are sad because the story is over and want to find out more stories about Carly.

  4. The most gratifying part of #GRA14 is the connections we’ve made with other classrooms. Can’t thank Mrs. Ripp enough! #FIATbook

  5. We quickly fell behind in our #GRA14 reading! At first, I felt like a huge GRA failure, but I quickly realized how many ways we still had to connect. We began with some collaborative GoogleDocs with other classes. We hosted the Twitter slow chat during the first week when we still actually caught up! And then once we fell behind we continued to follow the slow chat when we arrived at that part of the book. We are still working our way through the book and my kids are just IN LOVE with the characters you have created. What surprised me and amazed me was that everything that my students felt as they read the book has been amplified by knowing that other children, in other places, were feeling the same exact things. It helped us to feel connected to other readers and that made us feel more connected to our world in general. Your involvement, your tweets to us, your videos, they all added to that. We are incredibly grateful to you and to Pernille Ripp. Thank you both.

  6. Tanna Gallaher

    My students have loved this book and are all interested in reading Fish in a Tree! During our reading there were many days you could hear a pin drop, Carly is a captivating character that inspired my kids in many ways. One of the best connections we made was fairly early in the book when my students in Texas and a class in Delaware were comparing Mrs. Murphy to Carly’s mom. There was one lone student in my class that gave voice to the bond Carly still felt toward her mother even in the midst of her terrible situation. There were just a few other students that considered the possibility of Carly reconciling with her mother. This was a chance for heartfelt discussion that my students referred to often as we finished the book.
    We loved the swag that arrived with our books from the bookstore you recommended and we truly enjoyed your comments and videos!

  7. Hi Lynda, I think you already know how important you were to my class this year through our chats and my blog. Even if my class doesn’t win, I still will be buying your new book, reading it in a night and then sharing it with my class.

    Thank you for everything Lynda!

    Ron Dorland

  8. My students loved the book and had some excellent discussions because of it, but one of my favorite discussion points was the theme “Be Someone’s Hero”. We discussed the definition of “hero” and examples of heroism in the book. We also talked about heroes in our own classroom. Students nominated each other for a hero award, and nominees received a “Be Someone’s Hero” tag to place on their “Be Someone’s Hero” lanyards. (I was lucky enough to receive enough lanyards for each student in my class!) My students and I talked about how great books stay with you, even after you have read the last page. One for the Murphys will stay with us for a long time. Thank you.

  9. This was my first year having my class do the #GRA, and we were blessed to read One for the Murphys! The connections and discussions the book provides truly helped my kids to feel and think deeply. I remember one of my boys sharing his thoughts about Carley and he is someone who never raises his hand. His hand for this book would fly high into the air, and he had great insights to share! Thank you for sharing Carley with us! The class wants to start Fish in a Tree right away! Miss Sandgren reading with 5th graders in Wisconsin

  10. Last week we finished the book. When we were down to the last two chapters, several boys told me they didn’t want it to end and could I please find out if there was a sequel or a book from one of the other character’s perspectives. We were all in tears as Michael Eric and Adam wrapped themselves around Carley’s legs and when Michael Eric came running back to kiss her leg one last time. We have talked a lot about the choices an author makes about what will happen and how each of the characters respond. One For the Murphys helped them to see and truly understand how a character changes over time. The message that Carley can choose her own path, different from her mother’s, and create whatever life for herself that she wants is a powerful affirmation and a ray of hope to many of my students. Thank you for writing this amazing book and sharing Carley and the Murphys, especially Michael Eric.:)

  11. Ron Dorland

    Lynda, here is a comment left by one of my students. The question was related to the first chapters title “Lucky Girl” and progressed to would you have preferred her to be a Murphy or Connors. Enjoy!

    First of all, I loved this question because it gave me so much to write about. Alright people, essay time.
    At first, I would easily pick Murphy because the Murphys treated Carley like an amazing person who is worth the extra mile and worth the extra ounce of strength because everyone is valuable, everyone can and has made a difference in the world, how every person is. On that one particular day, Mrs.Conners “allegedly” helped abuse her but after reading the last couple chapters, I think that she should be Carley Connorphy (Conner + Murphy) because Mrs.Conners made a small mistake and even though the way Carley was treated was completely horrible, human errors happen all the time, without errors, everything would be perfect, the same thing as Carley’s first reaction to the Murphys but she found out that every family has problems and that not every family is perfect. I think Mrs.Murphy really connected to Carley and knew how she felt, no matter how much of a pain in the butt Carley was like, she still gave and gave, just like the giving tree. I think that Mrs.Murphy related to Carley so much because she knew how hard it was, how unbearable and overwhelming it is to be in foster care. I think Mrs.Murphy has taught Carley some amazing lessons that nobody else could’ve, lessons that will change Carley’s life forever. although in the past Mrs.Conners has made some terrible mistakes, I think that she is willing to change so her daughter will feel welcomed or feel worth it, and changing for someone like that is so incredibly hard to do unless you really care about that person and trust them very much. Mrs.Conners is a mother, how can you abandon her, but on the other side how can she leave the Murphy’s. I feel like this can really relate to the saying “If you love something, let it go” I feel like this fits in perfectly because maybe Mrs.Conners will change her mind and see that she can’t change and realize that she can’t be as much of an amazing, loving mother and care about her kids like Mrs.Murphy does and let Carley stay with the Murphy’s but sometimes have Carley visit her real mother. Even though there has been so much weight on both the mothers shoulders, I think the most stressful role is Carley’s and the only person that can relate and help her with it is Mrs.Murphy because she knows what Carley is feeling, Carley would’ve been feeling like she is trapped in a box of stressful thoughts where she can’t let them out, they would bounce around in her head and maybe even make her depressed if Mrs.Murphy wasn’t there to help. I think that ultimately Carley should be Carley Murphy from everything that we’ve read, but what if there were many many things that Mrs.Conners taught Carley that wasn’t written down, we have no clue. Overall, I think that Carley’s journey with the Murphy’s will be the best thing that will ever happen to her, what Mrs.Murphy had done can never be “1 upped” by anyone because it is such an amazing feat. I absolutely love reading this book and relating to the book, it has been so much fun.

  12. Beverley Bunker

    I think the “Be Someone’s Hero” theme was my favourite conversation piece from the book. My kids loved sharing about their own heroes and exploring how different characters in the book were heroes in different ways. My kids also really identified with Carley and continued to ask great questions and make thoughtful inferences throughout the story. I definitely have several asking for more of your books.

    This was my first year participating in GRA and my kids loved it! Thanks for being such an involved author – that’s part of what makes it so special and meaningful for kids around the world 🙂

  13. edtechdunny aka Kyle Dunbar

    Two favorite parts:
    (1)As the technology teacher collaborating with the Language Arts teachers, I would often come into a classroom partway through a lesson. Usually the site of me and the laptops diverts the students and they want to get using the technology. One for the Murphy’s trumped me ever time!! The kids just wanted the teacher to keep reading. I suppose I should have been chagrined by this but I wasn’t. There is nothing like a room full of eleven year olds chanting “One more chapter!!!”
    (2) I had spontaneously tweeted some images our students had done using imagery from the book. I was giddy when you replied back right away. But my reaction was nothing compared to the students. When I shared our interaction with the student who had drawn the images, they literally couldn’t stay in their seats. My favorite quote “I need some time to process this Mrs. Dunbar!”
    Thank you for writing such a powerful, engaging, thoughtful book and thank you for being an involved author!

  14. Craig Ye

    Loved being able to connect with multiple classes through the Global Read Aloud. Always so amazed by the authors who contribute to the shared experience. The students are always so excited when an author responds to their posts.

  15. Michelle Steffes

    Hands-down our favorite part of reading One for the Murphys was how it bonded us as a class! We became invested in Carley’s struggle, and connected in our desire to have things turn out for her. Looking around the classroom and seeing the number of misty eyes (me being the worst offender of course!) while listening to the last chapter being read aloud was direct evidence of how Carley found her way into our hearts. As a way to channel the emotion we felt, we wrote some free verse poetry about the book. I was blown away with what the kids came up with. Sharing these poems with each other conjured up some more tears. I would love to share these poems with you. Just let us know if you’d be interested in reading them. We also enjoyed listening to Animusic and determining which track best fit the book–this prompted some very deep and interesting discussions. At the end of the book, the students insisted on watching the book trailer one more time. The class erupted into applause at the end of it. It was quite a powerful feeling! Thank you for writing a beautiful story to help students gain perspective about the different challenges some children face. Carley taught us to appreciate what we have and to show a little extra love and care to one another. 🙂

  16. Our favorite part of reading One for the Murphys were the connections we made around the globe. The students looked forward to blogging and skyping each week. At the end of reading each day, there would be a collective groan and pleading to keep reading. The fact that you as the author answered questions and read the chapters was above and beyond what the students thought a “famous author” would do. They were so tied to the story because they had the inside knowledge about the characters and reasons behind some of the little things in the story. We were all sad when the story ended and many tears were shed, but we look forward to your next novel.

  17. Kim Riw

    I loved the connections my kids made during GRA! Watching my kids see others agree with their posts, comment on their blogs or answer one of their questions on Twitter made it all come alive for them. Not only did they love the book they loved sharing that love!

  18. Sarah Wallace

    This was my first year participating in GRA. I loved watching my middle school students (from a small rural town) open up and make connections with students in Ontario, Canada. Their world was widened, not just because of the topics within the book but because they were able to make new friends and understand the world a little better. The book provided a wonderful common ground to begin collaborating globally, and I am so proud of my students and so glad that this book was chosen.

  19. Heidi Long

    This was also my first year participating in GRA. My favorite thing for my students was the opportunity to connect with other classrooms. I hope this is just the start for us this year. Another highlight was how much my students were invested in the story. They never wanted to stop reading! I also really appreciated the chance to connect with other teachers, hear about what they are doing with their students, and share ideas. I’m so thankful to you for being a part of GRA this year.

  20. Wow. Just wow. Thank you all so much for commenting. I am preparing to fly out to NCTE but I PROMISE I will get to answering every one of you! Such poignant, sweet posts. I am so grateful…

    • Ahh! Lots of excited screaming and jumping around my house happened this morning! I couldn’t wait to tell the students, who are just as excited! Thank you so much!! I will be posting our video reaction shortly! Again, you are the best!! We appreciate everything!!

  21. Lynda,

    Our class fell in love with reading during the GRA. We connected with each other while we intensely discussed our love of your wonderful book. We connected with some awesome people through twitter and participated in our first mystery skype. Buy mostly, we loved watching your videos!! You are an inspiration, thank you for being so heartfelt and open about everything! We enjoyed being in your office with you. Many students are wanting purple wall now!! Of course we want to win, but we will be buying lots of copies in Feburary no matter what!! Thanks for everything.

    • Congratulations, Cori! You are the winner of the ARC, swag, and Skype 🙂 I will get it mailed to you next week 🙂 THANK YOU!!

      • Ahh! Lots of excited screaming and jumping around my house happened this morning! I couldn’t wait to tell the students, who are just as excited! Thank you so much!! I will be posting our video reaction shortly! Again, you are the best!! We appreciate everything!!

  22. mrsep7

    What didn’t we like. The rich discussion that came from OFTM was amazing. Students who struggle to show their thinking about what they were reading made fabulous connections and inferences relating to Farley and the Murphys. My students absolutely loved when Carley hung the boy in the tree. My proudest moment was at the end when I looked up and realized that I wasn’t the only one crying. What an amazing book.

  23. Madison M

    #GRA14 Dear Lynda my teacher read one for the murphy’s to us and just for the record I loved it! When I read this book I thought that it would be good and I was right it was good but in my opinion and others it was wonderful. I have so many questions to ask but I will only do a couple. In the book can you relate to anybody else but Carlie.How come you chose Michael eric to connect best with Carlie .Have you ever thought of making a 2nd one for the murphy’s . At the end of the book I was wondering what will happen to the relationship between the Murphy’s and Carlie . That was my last question If I don’t win I will be buying a copy of a FISH IN A TREE . THis book will be going on my list of Favorite book list . Thank you so so much for writing an amazing book and for being a great book writer .


  24. Cristina Pedorella


    One For The Murphy’s is a fantastic book. I just fell in love with it! The part I enjoyed the most was when Carley gave Michel Eric Mr.Longneck on his way to the hospital. Very heartwarming for me was the part when Michel Eric came home in the wheelchair. I just love Michel Eric’s character! (I read your blog, sorry about your brother.) Another good part was when he said the old lady on the bench was a fool because she was smoking. I laughed so hard. It was funny when Carley hung the kid that was bullying Michel Eric from a tree by his overalls.

    I enjoyed the global read aloud because it exposed me to books I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own. Reading One For The Murphy’s has really taught me not to judge a book by its cover! The book made an impact on me because it showed me to be thankful for what you have. The night of the flashback would be more like a nightmare to me.

    I have questions for you. What do you think would happen if Carley stayed with the Murphys? Do you think it would be a much more happier ending? Was Mr.Murphy based on your own husband?

    I would love for you to reply on my questions.

    Keep on writing,

    Cristina Pedorella!

    • Cristina Pedorella

      Good Morning!

      I’d like to add something to my post I did earlier. This should go in the first paragraph.

      This was my favorite part because it showed Carley was starting to become caring. At the beginning of the book, Michel Eric asked if he could have Mr.Longneck. At first Carley said,”No.” But before replying Carley thought,”He’s little and I should say yes,but this is one of the best things I have.” Or at least somewhere along the lines of that.When Carley started to tear up when calling 9-9-1, you knew she really loves Michel Eric.

      Also another thing I love about the book was how Carley finds new words in names and other words. As well as M.O.M., mind out of matter, I think that’s it right? (ex.beLIEve lie, Dennis backwards spells sinned ,JULIE last four letters spell you lie, and silent and listen have the same letters in them.) Are you able to decypher little messages and new words in words?

      Carley counts random things to keep her mind off of things. Usually she does this to help her not cry. I have a question for you that goes along with this paragraph. If you were ever challenged, did you just randomly count things in your head?

      You’re a great author. Please write more,

      Cristina Pedorella!

      P.S. The third and fourth paragraphs are new ones to add to my first comment.

    • Cristina Pedorella

      I totally forgot to post #GRA14, but I’m still in the running for the giveaway right? PLEASE READ THIS POST. My post are the ones from Cristina Pedorella.

      Thanks for understanding,
      Cristina Pedorella

  25. My favourite part of #GRA14 was the amazing connections that we made with other classrooms around the globe. Having the ability to chat to others, make predictions, and share our thoughts was an incredible experience for my students and I. I know it is something that they will always remember. So thanks #GRA14!!!

  26. Patricia Murphy

    We have to thank Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Pernille Ripp, and the Global Read Aloud (GRA) for reaching out and making our world smaller. One for the Murphys is such a well-written book with messages my students will contemplate for years to come. Lynda Mullay Hunt and One for the Murphys has become part of their world. When I read a great book, I like to chat about it with friends and family. The GRA takes this to a new level. One for the Murphys initiated thoughtful book discussions with students world-wide far beyond my every expectation. Thank you.

  27. Tanna Gallaher

    To steal Lily’s line in Henkes’ book: “Wow, that’s just about all I can say. Wow!”
    Phenomenal Q&A re One for the Murphys. So glad that you had the courage to finish this story. I just can’t wait to meet your characters in Fish in a Tree and share them with the students and teachers I love!

  28. Brooke McLeod

    A defining moment of the GRA14 was when a brave young lady in Texas forever changed the perspective of my students when she shared her own personal perspective on a mother’s love. My students, snuggled in the safety of the very small, protective environment of their independent school, are often shielded from the hardships of the real world, and this book has been eye opening and have brought them to see others’ perspectives in such a real, genuine way. But, it was not until this connection with another student from hundreds of miles away were they able to see how we must never judge another’s choices, let alone their love. Many times my students reference this specific, poignant moment. And even those students who were in a different reading section heard of the eye opening perspective and have made comments including, “If someone with first hand experience was able to forgive their mom’s choices, maybe we should give Carly’s mom another chance…we certainly cannot question someone’s love.” These lessons go so very far beyond words on print, but it all began thanks to a good book.

  29. Cristina Pedorella

    Good luck to all the entries.

  30. Shelley Bauer

    We love #GRA14 !! One for the Murphys was an amazing book that took my students and I on a journey, past the rural area where we live, outside of the classroom walls, to collaborate and discuss this story with others all over! My students do not leave there little town very often and GRA is such a great opportunity for them to see and hear from others! We loved discussing the idea that anyone can be a hero. Many of them either know or are themselves in foster care. Many do not live with biological parents. It built their confidence that despite your circumstances, you can make a difference in someone else’s life! Thank you for this inspiring book. We will be reading “Fish in a Tree” when it comes out in February!!

  31. Joanne Ledlow

    We loved the #GRA. Comments from students were :
    I think the GRA is an amazing idea to encourage people to read these wonderful books.
    I saw the cover of the book but I was interested. When my teacher started to read it, I started to like it. I learned a valuable lesson to never judge a book by its cover.
    I like how the ending isn’t how everyone wants it, how instead of making a sappy happy story. It was a reality story.
    To me, the book was an up down roller coaster emotional story.
    OFTM taught us to appreciate but not take for granted the things we have. To stay aware that we might loose it any minute.

  32. Kara Nierman

    Dear Lynda,
    Thank you for the heroic deed of writing this transformational story. This has been, by far, the best read-aloud experience I have ever had as an ELA teacher. The sheer number of wide eyes and dropping jaws that I observed on the focused, eager faces of my students has been a priceless vision over the past month. I began this read-aloud journey in front of a tough crowd of numerous self-professed reluctant readers. It took but a page of your text to hook them ALL! The collective curious silence as I read each day shouted my students’ interest in this book and affirmed to me that they were hearing the valuable messages delivered page after page. The moaning and groaning when I had to end the daily reading was music to my ears. I know that reading this book was the absolute highlight of some of my students’ otherwise personally challenging days. Carley reminded them they that they are never alone in their thoughts and feelings and taught them that positive personal growth is possible. Absorbing Carley’s story together has bonded my students and me for life. Your words in this book will undoubtedly resonate with both the fortunate global community of readers who had the pleasure and privilege of reading and discussing them during this special event and future independent readers who will be touched by the angel named Carley Connors. May we all post the sign “Be Someone’s Hero” above our beds so they are the first words we read when we arise and the last words we see before we rest.

    • Michelle Steffes

      Beautifully stated, Kara Nierman! 🙂

      • Kara Nierman

        Thank you, Michelle. I can see that you and I had very similar experiences reading this story with our students. So many special moments and connections to treasure forever!

  33. Congratulations, CORI ! You are the winner of the ARC, swag, and Skype 🙂 I will get it mailed to you next week 🙂 THANK YOU ALL who entered. These posts are incredibly lovely – and so appreciated.

  34. Jennifer Pinnigar

    My Grade 6 students wanted me to read through recesses and lunches. They would beg me to “read one more chapter” everyday. They asked me to start reading “Fish In A Tree” on February 6th, they have it all planned. They loved connecting with a class in another country through blogging and Skype. I love how they talk about Carley and The Murphys as real people. #GRA14

  35. hailey daugherty

    You are a great reader! i loved your one for the Murphy book! It really changed me inside and out.

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