>Sometimes you’re simply not ready for a book when it stares back at you from the shelf. Joan Bauer’s Hope was Here was one of those books. I tried it when it first came out, but I guess I wasn’t ready for it. I recently gave it another try and found that I could not put it down. What happened to change my mind? I’m not sure. All I know is that I could now connect with a book that I previously could not. Let this be a lesson to you.
Hope, a teen waitress who was given up by her biological mother shortly after birth, travels from diner to diner with her aunt Addie, a tough-as-nails cook and her legal guardian. After closing one diner in Brooklyn, Hope and Addie travel to a small Wisconsin town to take the reigns of a local diner. GT, the owner of the diner has cancer; it’s clear he’s thinking of a succession plan. Shortly after their arrival, however, GT announces he will run for mayor against Eli Millstone, the town’s long-time mayor. Eli, it is believed, has taken money from the local dairy for political favors. Hope quickly takes to GT and becomes involved in his campaign. The story takes you through the political process of a small town, urging young readers to get involved in the process. Dirty tricks creep in, idealism is has its ups and downs, and you have no choice but to take sides. The book makes you choose, something our electorate is only starting to figure out.