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Hope Was Here Paperback – Jun 2 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (June 2 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142404241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142404249
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Here's a book that's as warm and melty as a grilled Swiss on seven-grain bread, and just as wholesome and substantial. Ever since the boss promoted her from bus girl two and a half years ago when she was 14, Hope has been a waitress--and a darn good one, too. She takes pride in making people happy with good food, as does her aunt Addie, a diner cook extraordinaire. The two of them have been a pair ever since Hope's waitress mother abandoned her as a baby, and now they have come to rural Wisconsin to run the Welcome Stairways café for G.T. Stoop, who is dying of leukemia. But he's not dead yet, as the kindly and greathearted restaurant owner demonstrates when he decides to run for mayor against the wicked and corrupt Eli Millstone.

As old-fashioned goodness lines up against the bad guys, the campaign leads Hope in exciting new directions: a boyfriend who is a great grill man, a new sense of herself and her mission as a waitress, and--when Addie and G.T. finally realize that they are meant for each other--the father she has always wanted. And all of it backed up with stuffed pork tenderloin, butterscotch cream pie, and the rhythm of the short-order dance.

Joan Bauer, who won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Rules of the Road, has served up a delicious novel in Hope Was Here, full of delectable characters, tasty wit, and deep-dish truth. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Bauer (Rules of the Road; Squashed) serves up agreeable fare in this tale of a teenage waitress's search for a sense of belonging. Sixteen-year-old Hope has grown used to the nomadic life she has built with her aunt Addie, a talented diner cook. She doesn't mind the hard work it takes to make a diner hum; she seems to have inherited a knack for waiting tables from the free-spirit mom (Addie's younger sister) who abandoned her years ago. But Hope would gladly give up always having to say good-bye to friends and places she loves. When Addie accepts a new job that takes the pair from Brooklyn to the Welcome Stairways diner in Mulhoney, Wis., Hope never could have imagined the big changes ahead of her. She and Addie shine in the small-town milieu and gladly offer to help diner owner G.T. Stoop, who is battling leukemia, run for mayor. Along the way, Addie and Hope both find love, and Hope discovers the father figure she has so desperately wanted. Readers will recognize many of Bauer's hallmarks hereAa strong female protagonist on the road to self-discovery, quirky characters, dysfunctional families, a swiftly moving story, moments of bright humor. Her vivid prose, often rich in metaphor (e.g., Hope's description of the Brooklyn diner: "The big, oval counter... sat in the middle of the place like the center ring in a circus"), brings Hope's surroundings and her emotions to life. The author resolves a few of her plot points a bit too tidily, but her fans won't mind. They're likely to gobble this up like so much comfort food. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a reader who is no longer within the "age demographic" that is targeted by this book, I read YA novels because I have found that behind the deceptively simple writing, there is often as much--if not more--depth than can be found in the "adult" section (Pornography is "adult"...need I say more?). Ellen Raskin, Robin McKinley, and the inimitable Lloyd Alexander are only a few of the authors who have written YA books that made such an impact that they have undergone numerous reprints and still enjoy wide popularity years after they were written. Those who turn up their noses at such "teen" fare are missing a rare opportunity.
When I encountered "Hope Was Here," the first thing I noticed was that it was a Newbery Honor Book. This led me to believe that Joan Bauer had written a book on par with the very best of YA fiction; unfortunately, what I instead discovered is that a wonderfully told story is no longer the standard by which these books are judged. Instead, awards are given to books that are thought to teach some valuable moral lesson; moreover, that lesson must be within the earnest guidelines of current (for it is ever-changing) political correctness. Characters and plot can fall to the wayside. The message is all that matters.
And indeed, plot and character fall to the wayside very quickly. Part of what helps to define a character is motivations, and we are never given to understand what exactly motivates Hope, a newcomer to the town, to jump instantly and with profound devotion onto G.T.'s political bandwagon. She has not been living in the town: she has only just met him, and the issues he addresses in his speech have no personal resonance for her as a newcomer. Yet this does not faze her for one moment.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I suppose I can relate to this book, which is why I recommend it and why I enjoy it so much. Hope Was Here is about waitressing and politics. When put together in the same sentence you might think, "Well, that's an odd combination." But in this book, that's a theme-- unlikely but fantastic combinations.
I'm a 15 year old girl who waitresses for my family business and I know how it feels to be in the food service business. Joan Bauer describes it perfectly and in an exciting way that I've never thought about before. This story is so heartbreakingly real it will make you smile and laugh, frown and cry.
I read another review about how it was about an abnormal family. Except this reader thought it was a bad thing. But that's what makes this book truly beautiful. If you think about it... "average families" are dwindling. But that doesn't mean that real love is too. A family is not a clear definition. Things go wrong. And this is what Joan Bauer's book is about. Things going wrong but hoping for the best to come your way, regardless. This is an uplifting read that I strongly recommend for teenagers and adults alike. You can learn a lot from it... as well as some great waitressing tips.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hope is the main character in the story. She has curly, chestnut hair, and blue eyes. She is a thoughtful girl that is full of spunk. Although her real name is Tulip, she legally changed it to Hope. Her mom is Deena, a boy crazy woman that left her daughter. Deena changes her looks often. Sometimes she'll show up with red hair, then the next day she'll have black. Hope lives with her aunt, Addie. She is a very nice aunt and takes care of Hope as if she was her own daughter. Addie is a splendid cook, although the restaurants she's cooked for have gone out of business. Gleason Beal is the night manager at the old restaurant Addie and Hope used to work at. He stole all the money and ran away with Charlene, a waitress. G.T. was the head cook at Welcome Stairways. G.T. then hired Addie to replace him, so he could run for mayor. G.T. is a nice guy, but unfortunately has Leukemia. G.T. has a sense of humor and lots of friends. He later runs for mayor. Braverman is assistant cook at Welcome Stairways. Braverman graduated from high school last year, and is earning money to go to college. He and Hope kiss later. Florence is a waiter. She is nice, and very aware. Another waiter is Lou Ellen. She is a grouchy and mean. She is jealous at Hope because Hope got the job so easily, and she had to work for a year to get it. She later becomes good friends with Hope. Eli Millstone is the mayor. He runs many local dairies out of business and replaces them with Real Fresh Dairy. He hasn't made Real Fresh Dairy pay taxes for a year.
There are two protagonists in this story; Hope and G.T. They are both nice and caring. Hope does lots of nice little things. She helped Braverman when he got beat up, and she also helps out at the diner. Hope always tries her best. G.T.
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