Age Appropriate

Parental Reviews Of Non-Parental Books

Hope Was Here

Title:  Hope Was Here
Author: Joan Bauer
Publisher: Penguin Group
Number of Pages:  192 (paperback)
Advertised Age Level: Ages 12 – 17

Age and Grade of Main Character(s):  16 years/Junior

Language:  no profanity
Sex: a kiss
Drug/Alcohol Use: none
Violence: one character is beat up off-screen
Social Issues:  parental abandonment, cancer, corrupt politicians
Suggested Movie Grade:  G

Premise:
Hope’s life has been a constant series of starting-over. After her mother left Hope with Aunt Addie, the two have been moving all over the country as Addie moves from cooking job to cooking job. Even Hope joins the food service industry when she begins waitressing at the age of 14, and food seems to be in Hope’s blood. But this latest move – from Brooklyn, New York to tiny Mulhoney, Wisconsin – might just be more than Hope can handle.

There, at the Welcome Stairways Diner, Hope meets G.T., a man who has both leukemia and a drive to make a difference in his town by running for mayor. Before she knows it, Hope is swept up in G.T.’s campaign. As she makes friends with Braverman, the diner’s short order cook, and gets to know the people of the town, Hope begins to believe she’s finally found a place to truly call home.

Potential Points of Concern

Hope’s mother abandoned her to Aunt Addie when Hope was just a baby and makes only a couple of brief appearances in Hope’s life. Hope’s father is unknown – even her mother claims not to know who he is.

G.T. has leukemia and faces an uncertain future. At the end of the story, Hope must come to terms with G.T.’s passing.

Braverman is assaulted by thugs working for the corrupt mayor’s political campaign. He is beaten up pretty badly, but none of the violence is described.

Age Appropriateness:  10 +

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3 thoughts on “Hope Was Here

  1. Is there a movie based on this book because I am reading this book and I was thinking it would make a good movie.

  2. That’s the same thing I thought I love this book it keeps u on the edge of ur seat

  3. It'sMyKidandMyMoney NotTheSchool'sKidNotThePrincupal'sMiney on said:

    There’s another social issue in the book that’s handled with ignorance and aggressive insults: adoption. It calls her birth mom her “real mom” and her mom who is raising her the “aunt,” both of which are tge equivalent of ysing the R-word or the H-word for a disabled child. Also, tge main character says she wants a boyfriend who is a surfer dude, “preferably wet,” an inappropriate sexyal reference for age 12 *and considering that many teachers assign this book to 10- and 11-y4ar-olds who are in sixth grade ‘middle school, and middle school is young adult’…makes it a horror of a book for parents trying to raise their children in a developmentally appropriate, enlightened manner.

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