Hope Was Here

Hope Was Here

4 (16,295 ratings by Goodreads)
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A Newbery Honor Book Joan Bauer's beloved Newbery Honor book--now with a great new look for middle grade readers! When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope's not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn't quite ready to give up yet--in fact, he's decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.'s campaign--particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times . . . even Hope herself. Filled with heart, charm, and good old-fashioned fun, this is Joan Bauer at her best.

* "When it comes to creating strong, independent, and funny teenaged female characters, Bauer is in a class by herself ... Bauer tells a fast-paced, multilayered story with humor but does not gloss over the struggle[s]."--School Library Journal, starred review "Bauer has succeeded in creating another quirky, poignant, and funny novel about a strong girl who admits her frailties ... Hope's story is highly recommended for both middle and high school students."--VOYA "Another entry in Bauer's growing collection of books about likable and appealing female teenagers with a strong vocational calling ... As always from Bauer, this novel is full of humor, starring a strong and idealistic protagonist, packed with funny lines, and peopled with interesting and quirky characters." --Kirkus Reviews
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Product details

  • Paperback | 186 pages
  • 127 x 196 x 15mm | 181g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0142404241
  • 9780142404249
  • 144,678

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About Joan Bauer

Joan Bauer has won critical acclaim for her many books, which include Rules of the Road, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Close to Famous, and Peeled. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Rating details

16,295 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 35% (5,731)
4 37% (6,054)
3 22% (3,525)
2 5% (758)
1 1% (227)

Our customer reviews

Sixteen-year-old Hope Yancey has lived a very nomadic life. Her mother Deena, a waitress who originally named her Tulip, didn't want the responsibility of raising a baby, left her with her Aunt Addie, Deena's older sister and a cook, and went off to live on her own. Hope remembers seeing her mom only three times. Addie and Hope have worked in Atlanta, GA, where Hope was a girl scout for three months; St. Louis, MO, where she changed her name from Tulip to Hope; the Rainbow Diner in Pensacola, SC, where Hope moved from bus girl to waitress; the Ballyhoo Grill in South Carolina; and the Blue Box in Brooklyn, NY, where Addie was a partner with owner Gleason Beal. In fact, Hope has lived in five different states and gone to six different schools. However, Gleason has run off with Addie's money, along with the night waitress, for parts unknown, forcing the restaurant in Brooklyn to be closed down. So now, Addie and Hope are headed to Mulhoney, WI, on the outskirts of Milwaukee, to work at the Welcome Stairways diner, owned by Gabriel Thomas (G. T.) Stoop, a 54-year-old man whose wife Gracie had died a few years before and who himself is being treated for leukemia. Addie and Hope have their hands full when G. T. decides to run for mayor against the unscrupulous incumbent Eli Millstone. A romantic interest develops between Hope and the eighteen-year-old Eddie Braverman who also cooks at the diner, as well as one between Addie and G. T. But will G. T. recover from his illness? Who will win the election? And what will happen to Addie and Hope? The possible objectionable elements in this book are not too many. Aside from a few common euphemisms (gee, kick butt), the terms Lord. God, and Jesus are frequently used as interjections, but there is no actual cursing. In one scene, Hope is accosted by the Carbinger brothers, but nothing really happens as she is rescued by Deputy Sheriff Babcock. My major concern with the overall theme of the book is the picture of family. Hope has never met her father and doesn't even know his name. In fact, her mother says that she doesn't know who he is either. Addie's no-good husband Malcolm left her for a thin-lipped dental hygienist. Braverman's daddy walked out on the family. One of the other waitresses, Lou Ellen, has a baby Anastasia, who "doesn't have a daddy either." I know that these kinds of situations do occur, but reading modern children's and youth literature, you might get the impression that they are the norm. Why do today's writers feel that they must present nearly every family as dysfunctional? Thankfully, everything turns out nicely in the end, but there's a lot of baggage to deal with along the way to get there. If one is willing to wade through all that, there is actually a good story in Hope Was Here, and I think that I can understand why it was a Newbery Honor Book in 2001 with its messages of needing "hope," the importance of character, and having vision for the future, but it is definitely a story for teens and not for younger children.show more
by Wayne S. Walker
HOPE WAS HERE is a brilliant book by an equally brilliant author, Joan Bauer. When I read this book for the first time (my copy is worn; I've read it so often!), I was an instant fan of the author. HOPE WAS HERE is worth your time, worth your money, and worth anything else that you have to do to get your hands on this book. Hope is a sixteen-year-old waitress who has lived all across America with her Aunt Addie. Hope's mother (who, upon seeing her tiny baby for the first time, named her Marigold, of all things. Addie's twelfth birthday present to her niece was a name change.) has long been out of the picture, visiting only occasionally with tidbits of advice. Waitressing at the diner in Brooklyn was great for Hope, but, like all good things, it comes to an end. The owner stole all of the money and ran off, leaving Addie and Hope with nothing. The two of them boarded up the windows, and, just before driving off, Hope left her mark: Hope Was Here, in blue ballpoint pen at the edge of one of the boards. Addie and Hope are off to a small town in Wisconsin. When they get there, they meet G.T., the owner of the local diner where Addie will be cooking and Hope will be waitressing. G.T is a man the town loves, and he's going to run for mayor and change things. The current mayor, a scheming, dishonest typical politician, isn't standing for that, though. He's got to bring up how G.T. has leukemia, and is dying. How, he says, can a man who is dying take care of an entire town? He might not be alive in a few months. G.T. isn't alone, though. Hope, Addie, and countless others are trying to get him elected, so that he can do some good for the town. Even though things are hard, they've still got to have hope. This novel is amazing. HOPE WAS HERE is a book that you will not read only once, but over and over. It sticks with you. Part of this is due to the well thought-out characters, especially Hope. She is a strong character, but also a strong person. She's been through a lot, and she's still around, serving up food to hungry customers. Her waitressing jobs have a lot to do with who Hope is. Maybe to some people (you know the type--not good enough unless you've got a diploma from Harvard), waitressing seems like a dead-end job, but this book shows different sides of it. HOPE WAS HERE is a page-turner that will keep you riveted from the first word (which happens to be "somehow"), to the last ("had"), and when it's over, you'll want more. Luckily for us, Joan Bauer has written several other books for young adults, including BACKWATER, RULES OF THE ROAD, and SQUASHED. They're just as good as HOPE WAS HERE, too, and that's saying something! *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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