Hope Was Here | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / बाल साहित्य

Hope was Here

   Manaswi Sapkota - Nov 17 2022

“Hope was here” is written by Joan Bauer. Joan Bauer usually writes her books based on themes. She writes about teenagers dealing with different issues such as abandonment issues, alcoholism, addiction, illness, etc. Her books are hugely associated with quotes and need more of an analytic perspective.

The book “Hope was Here” is also very theme-based as every chapter in the book has a distinct theme. “Hope was here” is a Young Adult Fiction. It mostly talks about teenagers, their problems, and their solutions to the problems. The cover of the book itself gives us a glimpse into what the book might be about. On the cover, there is a half-eaten apple pie and beside it, there is a check. On top of the check, there is the name ‘Welcome Stairways Diner’. This gives us an idea of what the book might be about. We can also see that the book was ‘A Newbery Honor Book’.

The structure of the book is pretty simple. As soon as we open the book, we see a paragraph titled, ‘I know about survival’. This talks about Hope’s struggles as a newborn and how she was abandoned. Right beside the paragraph, there are praises for ‘Hope was here.’ On the next page, there are other books by Joan Bauer, and right beside that, on the other, there is the title of the book. The next page has information about Puffin Books, which published this book. Right next to that page, there is a p[age for dedication. Bauer has dedicated this book to Pastor Joann Clark, Laura Smalley, and Rita Zuidema. After that, the story begins with chapters being denoted at the top, namely Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. The book has 21 chapters and 186 pages. After page 186, there is a discussion guide, Joan Bauer’s apple pie recipe, and the first chapter of Bauer’s other book ‘Close to Famous’.

“Hope was here” is a novel about a girl named Hope. She’s constantly moving and recently she moved to Wisconsin to help a diner. After being there for a while Hope completely becomes a part of the town’s political matters. The diner staff becomes like her family. She tries her best to give hope to everyone and be hopeful herself. She discovers friends and things about herself after coming to this small town. Hope and G.T Stoop are the main characters of the book. Other major characters in this book are Addie, Eli Millstone, Braverman, Adam, Flo, and Lou Elen.

This book’s main theme is the battle between good and evil. We can see that clearly as G.T and Eli Millstone fight for the mayor position. In this scenario, Eli is the evil that G.T is battling. G.T plays fair and square whereas Eli doesn't, making him evil. He also overlooks the fact that Real Fresh Dairy is not paying taxes and makes loud noises during the nighttime with their trucks. We can also see that Real Fresh Dairy’s owner is evil too as he forces his workers to work there and has corrupted the dairy industry. There are also other minor themes in the book such as abandonment issues, selfishness, kindness, out-of-place, bottled-up feelings, dedication, cowardness, etc.

So then, what’s the plot of the book?
The book starts with us meeting our main character Hope, who seems to be moving. We soon discover that she has been moving ever since she could remember. Every time she leaves a place she leaves her mark there by writing in tiny letters Hope was Here. This time she’s leaving for Mulhoney, Wisconsin where Addie, her aunt, is working as the chef and she is working as a waitress. Both of them are going to be working in a local diner called Welcome Stairways. The owner of the diner is suffering from leukemia and has a huge chance of dying. As they are on the road, we learn about how Hope was abandoned by her mother, Deena, after her birth. Her mother had also originally named ‘Tulip’. Deena was a waitress too, so the only advice Hope took from her mother was waitressing tips. For most of her life, Hope’s mother was irrelevant. She had also never met her father, so she had 11 scrapbooks where she kept memories of every place she went to which she could show her father when he came.

After reaching Wisconsin they rest and before they could even start working, G.T informs them that he is going to run for mayor this election. Hope was quite unsure of this but after her co-worker, the cook, Braverman tells her about Millstone’s bad work she starts helping with the campaign. Though G.T was a great person, he didn’t have any past political experience, and not to mention, his chance of survival was low and he hadn’t been in remission yet. This made people question voting for him. Millstone also tried to ruin G.T’s reputation by paying a couple to pretend that there’s a rat in the food they ate at Welcome Stairways. Not just that, he also hires people to beat up Braverman and they manage a few of his ribs. The teenagers start protesting and eventually, G.T starts garnering more supporters. The rat in the food is also proven to be false by the police. People start turning against Millstone. The day of the election finally arrives and everyone is worried about the results. Eli Millstone wins by 110 votes but, when the G.T group digs deeper they find the votes were faked and hence G.T Stoop becomes the mayor of Mulhoney. By this time Braverman and Hope were in a relationship and so were Addie and G.T, he was also in remission and was recovering a lot. Addie and G.T soon got married and G.T adopted Hope. G.T changed the town a lot, he shut down the corrupted dairy, The Real Fresh Dairy, and forced them to pay back taxes. He also appointed a better sheriff, Brenda Babcock. After a year and a half, G.T sadly passes away. Hope was devastated about the news and so was everyone else. His death was very untimely. Hope starts remembering all the good her father did and starts healing herself from the death. She heads off to college in another city so she writes Hope was Here below the counter table. But this time, it’s different as she knows that this is her home now and she will return to this place.

This book is very much recommended for a short read. It explores a lot of themes in a short amount of pages. This book wasn’t personally relatable to be but I feel like it will connect to a lot of youth out there. Well, there was one part of the book that I could relate to. In the book, there’s a part where Hope takes out her anger and frustration on the punching bag after bottling it up for so long. This part was relatable to me as I tend to bottle up my feelings because I don’t know how to express them which sometimes makes me come off as an angry person. The book also talks about corruption or good vs evil. This is very relevant to our society as our current society is more after money than showing humanity. G.T is the person everyone wants governors to be but Millstone is the person most governors are. The book associates real-life problems with fiction and makes it a fun read. It makes you think about what happens behind closed doors.

Manaswi Sapkota
Grade: IX, Nilgiri
Deerwalk Sifal School

Liked by
Liked by
0 /600 characters
Hamro Patro - Connecting Nepali Communities
Hamro Patro is one of the first Nepali app to include Nepali Patro, launched in 2010. We started with a Nepali Calendar mobile app to help Nepalese living abroad stay in touch with Nepalese festivals and important dates in Nepali calendar year. Later on, to cater to the people who couldn’t type in Nepali using fonts like Preeti, Ganesh and even Nepali Unicode, we built nepali mobile keyboard called Hamro Nepali keyboard.