Hope Was Here

Hope Was Here

4.4 153
by Joan Bauer

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When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.  See more details below


When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.

Editorial Reviews

Our Review
What happens when a saucy, optimistic teenager and a terrific short-order diner cook head to Mulhoney, Wisconsin? Great apple pie, a killer mayoral election, and a heartfelt story about life in a rural town.

Readers will immediately fall in love with 16-year-old Hope. She has bounced from place to place, serving plates of meat loaf and frittata specials to diner patrons cooked up by her aunt Addie, with whom she lives. Since changing her name from Tulip to Hope, this protagonist always tries to live up to her name, offering readers an uplifting look at politics, love, friendship, and, literally, life, as a waitress at G. T. Stoop's Welcome Stairways diner.

G. T., who is battling leukemia, decides to run for mayor of the town, so his diner, which is perpetually crowded with customers, becomes a hotbed of political activity. It is there that Hope shines as she runs around refilling coffee mugs, soothing customers whose orders have been screwed up, and fielding questions from curious voters. And it is in this small town's diner that she finds what has been missing from her life.

Hope experiences love for the first time with junior short-order cook Braverman. Unlike the brainless relationships found in the Sweet Valley High series, this relationship is more in tune with first romances that real teenagers experience. At first they banter back and forth, but Braverman's winning pork-chop sandwich and his deep compassion for Hope when her mother comes to visit culminate in a passionate relationship built on friendship and trust.

This friendship and trust is also at the heart of G. T.'s mayoral battle. Hope and Braverman, among others, rally together, fighting initially to get G. T.'s name on the ballot and later on, as the corrupt incumbent mayor will do anything (planting a mouse in an entrée at G. T.'s diner) and everything (having Braverman beat up because he is involved in the campaign) to get reelected. And just when the politics get really dirty, Hope Was Here gives readers a reason to believe in the political system.

An underlying thread in Hope Was Here is Hope's secret desire to one day meet her estranged father. While her father never does appear in Hope Was Here, she does get the next best thing -- a father figure in G. T. She fosters a relationship with G. T., who praises her waitress skills and serves as an inspiration to not only Hope, but also all of the people in the town. At one point, the two are strolling outside in back of the diner and looking at the trees that G. T. has planted. G. T. says, "I like thinking [the trees will] be here long after I'm gone. All those fine memories pushing up to the sky."

To which Hope replies, "I hope you're here for the longest time possible, G. T."

It is at that moment, Hope gains a father and a home in this rural town she thought she would loathe. Once accustomed to writing "Hope was here" on an old window ledge or on a wall before she departed from one of the countless places she lived, Hope, as well as her aunt Addie, form roots in this town of good people and finally stay put. Hope Was Here offers a refreshing outlook on being a teenager and gives readers a little hope of their own.

--Soozan Baxter

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 here--a 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 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
Of this tale of a 16-year-old waitress who searches for a sense of belonging, PW said that the prose, "often rich in metaphor, brings Hope's surroundings and her emotions to life. Readers are likely to gobble this up like so much comfort food." Ages 10-14. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Sixteen-year-old Hope is "trying to live up to her name," even though she is deeply upset that she and the aunt who has raised her are moving to small-town Wisconsin from exciting New York City. Her aunt Addie is going to be the manager and cook of a diner; the owner has leukemia and needs help. Hope will be working at the diner too, and she is proud of her skills: "I took to waitressing like a hungry trucker tackles a T-bone," she says. Hope gets involved in town politics when the diner's owner, kind and honest G.T. Stoop, decides to run for mayor against the corrupt incumbent. With the help of the attractive young short-order cook, Braverman, Hope and other teenagers in the town work on G. T.'s campaign, and see it finally succeed despite the odds. Aunt Addie and G.T. marry, and Hope finds in him the father she has always sought, only to lose him to cancer at last. At the end, she's ready to move on to college, but feels like she has finally found a real home in Wisconsin. As in her acclaimed Rules of the Road, Bauer here tells the story of a smart, funny, strong-minded teenage girl overcoming obstacles to achieve fulfillment, and standing up for what's right. Hope is admirably determined to be upbeat (she changed her name from Tulip), despite her mother's abandonment, her lack of a father, and the many moves in her life, and readers will root for her to succeed. The other quirky characters in the novel are also well drawn, from food-obsessed Addie to brave Braverman to G. T. and his graveyard humor. I like how Bauer's teenage characters enjoy their jobs, and take them seriously, too. There's lots of hard-won wisdom here, a bit of romance, and many funny scenes as well as some sadones. This is a wonderful read. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Penguin Putnam, 186p, 00-38232, $16.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)
Moving from New York City to a small town in Wisconsin is the latest in a long string of disappointments for Hope. Abandoned by her mother and pining for the father she has never met, Hope yearns to stay in one place, but more importantly, to belong. Aunt Addie provides stability in Hope's life, but it is Hope's own sense of humor, her ability to relate to people, and her considerable skills as a waitress that forge her a place as an important citizen of Mulhoney, Wisconsin. In the process, Hope discovers integrity, romance, and a resolution to dreams she has long carried in her heart. Joan Bauer excels in using humor to address serious issues such as responsibility, political double-dealing and acceptance. Hope Was Here also offers a central character who, while plagued with adolescent insecurities, remains strong. This book is particularly recommended for the way it shows young people performing competently outside of school, at work, and in politics. Genre: Coming of Age/Relationships 2000, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 186 pp., $16.99. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Beverly J. Jackson; Columbia, South Carolina
Children's Literature
Sixteen year old Hope (formerly called Tulip) knows all about survival, but the latest move she must make with her aunt Addie is calculated to test even her resilience. In Wisconsin, the Welcome Stairways diner awaits Hope, as does its owner, G.T.Stoop, and a cast of characters both noble and nefarious. Hope's is a fresh young voice, and her story is about finding trust in the middle of corruption, optimism in the mayhem of smalltown politics, and faith, above all, in the power of the spirit. Which is good, because when she comes to face the reality of loss, Hope is going to need all the spirit she has and then some. Bauer creates a believable world in this crisplytold tale. 2000, Putnam, Ages 12 up, $16.99. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
Hope moves from Brooklyn to a small town in Wisconsin with her Aunt Addie, a diner cook. Hope's mother left her as a baby, and since that time, Hope and Addie have moved from town to town and diner to diner. At sixteen years old, Hope is a great waitress but is not excited about her new small-town life and job. Soon after they arrive, their employer, G. T., announces that he is running for mayor although he has leukemia. As Hope adjusts to the new place, she and the tall cook, Braverman, become friends, and soon they are a main force in the fight to elect trustworthy G. T. over his corrupt incumbent opponent. Hope fights some personal battles as well, as she deals with not knowing her father, missing city life, and feeling ignored by her mother when she visits. Bauer has succeeded in creating another quirky, poignant, and funny novel about a strong girl who admits her frailties. Hope lives up to her name in the face of loss, of which she has been handed her fair share. Some great waitressing advice is thrown in, and anyone who appreciates the power of a good meal will smile at the comfort-food references. Although the message against corruption gets somewhat heavy-handed, politically minded readers will enjoy the election story line. Her relationship with Braverman—"sometimes I think he likes me and other times I don't think he does and I'm finding the whole thing really irritating"—reveals complexities beyond a typical teen romance. Hope's story is highly recommended for both middle and high school students. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to12). 2000, Penguin Putnam, 192p. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Julie Wilde VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Joan Bauer's story (Putnam, 2000) of 16-year-old Hope Yancey's discovery of fatherly love, romance, community, and her own inner resources comes to life in actress Jenna Lamia's youthful reading. Hope, raised by her peripatetic diner cook Aunt Addie since her mother deserted her at birth, changed her own name from the regrettable Tulip to the perfectly apropos Hope when she was 12. Now Hope and her aunt have moved once again, this time to a small Wisconsin town where the local diner owner is fighting leukemia and, upon their arrival, takes on dirty politics as well. Like Bauer's other heroines, Hope is both strong and a bit uncertain, her story tinted with good humor and touched by pathos. Hope slowly comes to accept the small Wisconsin town as home, other diner staff as family, and the owner as the father she might have had. Braverman, the cook's assistant, makes a perfect first boyfriend, being neither weaker than Hope nor less sensitive. Lamia voices these characters perfectly as they discuss the menu specials, civic corruption, and the inevitable resurgence of cancer in G. T. Stoop's blood. Bauer's story is a delight, and this audio presentation enhances it.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another entry in Bauer's growing collection of books about likable and appealing female teenagers with a strong vocational calling. Ivy Breedlove in Backwater (1999) is a historian, Jenna Boller in Rules of the Road (1998) is a talented salesperson, and Hope Yancey's gift is for waitressing. As the novel begins, Hope, 16, and her aunt Addie are about to move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, where Addie will manage and cook for a diner called the Welcome Stairways. Hope, whose mother abandoned her as an infant and who has never known her father, is pretty welladjusted, all things considered. She throws herself into her new life in the small town, working on the grassroots mayoral campaign of the diner's owner, quickly acquiring a boyfriend and friends, and proving herself to be a stellar waitress (she's been working in restaurants most of her life, after all, and one of the few things her mother has given her is a list of waitressing tips). Despite having moved so often and having had such inadequate biological parents, Hope isn't afraid to connect to people. The relationship between Hope and G.T., the man who owns the diner and who eventually marries her aunt is especially touching and sweetly portrayed. He's everything Hope ever wished for in a father. It could be said that the occupation of waitressing is overidealized; it's portrayed as the noblest of professions. But the lessons she's learned from the job are essential to Hope's character and a part of why the plot develops as it does. More important, and as always from Bauer, this novel is full of humor, starring a strong and idealistic protagonist, packed with funny lines, and peopledwithinteresting and quirky characters. (Fiction. 1116)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.44(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

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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Hope Was Here 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
clemmy More than 1 year ago
I adore Hope and wish I knew her. She is a fabulous waitress and lives with her aunt, Addie, who raised her. Together, they move to a small town with a big problem. There is a corrupt mayor, and the man that Hope and Addie now work for, G.T. Stoop, is willing to run against him despite his leukemia. Can you smell a tear-jerking story like I can? You fall in love with Addie, G.T., the big cook Braverman, the other waitresses, and a few of the townspeople too, and especially Hope. Her mother is a ditz, she doesn't know who her father is, but in the end, she has a father she loves who isn't who she expected him to be. I especially love the line on the menu... "Welcome friend from whichever way you've come. May God richly bless your journey."
cutiepie1 More than 1 year ago
I had to read Hope Was Here for a school book project this year and I read it in 1 day! The book is one of the best books I ever read, and I'm 11 now. Hope Was Here is the most inspiring book I ever read. To readers out there that have never read Hope Was Here, read it today and you will never regret it. THIS BOOK IS A BOOK THAT WILL MAKE YOU NEVER WANT TO PUT IT DOWN AND IT IS A BOOK YOU WILL REMEMBER IN YOUR HEART FOREVER. READ IT TODAY AND I'M POSITIVE YOU WILL READ IT MANY MORE TIMES. I TRULY RECOMEND IT!!!!!!!!!! :)
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried at the end. Love this book. Eleven out of ten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i thought that Hope was Here was a very inspirational book. It talks a lot about hoping (go figure) and doing your part in society. It's a quick read and it wouldn't take up to much time but it still leaves you thinking. I liked how she incorporated a little romance into the story because i enjoy romance and I thought that that was awesome. The one thing that i didn't like about the book was that it was really predictable. I still would suggest it to people to read, though. Also, i really loved how Joan Bauer portrayed Hope as a waitress. It's making me think that i want to be a waitress and i had never even thought about that before. Read the book and contemplate it when your done :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hope had nothing, no dad, an absent mom, and no residence that lasted for over two years. Constantly moving from place to place with her aunt Hope who was first named Tulip by her mother finally arrives at the Welcome Stairways where she finds not only hope in a battered old town, the young cook who had to give up everything for his family, the man dying dying of Lukemia, but Hope in herself, finally living up to the name she so readily picked for herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thus is an amazing story about a beautiful girl faceing the world this is a good story to read at any age me as a rinkaly old spunge enjoyed this book very munch no i did ineed now now for all the men out there reading this you might just amagin the girl just a beautiful charn she is now i hope yall read vthis in a suthern acsent bye bye now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loveddddd this book, but its SO HARD to find good books like this now! All i find are books about suicide and drugs and disaster and i want to read something happy for a change! Does anyone know any good books that wont make you feel depressed while reading them? Thanks so much
Anonymous 15 days ago
Hope was Here is about a girl and aunt. The girl name is Hope. The characters in the the story are Addie and Hope. Addie is Hope aunt. They live in the big city of new York and have to move to Wisconsin. The reason they move to Wisconsin is because of a new job. Addie is a chef and Hope is a waitress. Hope was giving to her aunt by her mom when she was born because she thought it would be a good idea to stay with her because she always traveling. Now addie and hope are always traveling and hope has to adjust to the new town there in. Overall, the book is good. I liked the plot of the story. “Addie squeezed me are we started off to the rode.” This quote expressed the love between Addie and Hope. I Also liked the delicious talking in the book. “ Addie was cooking some ham with stligging bacon and eggs”. I would recommend this book to other because the teaching of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has lots of heart and home to it.Hope is a wonderful girl and does great to help that town.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an exceptional book. The characters are so real and the plot is believable. I found Hope an incredibly inspiring girl and her friends are just so fun;) <p> ***SPOILER*** Tho i cried when G. T. died i marveled at how Hope and Addie pulled thru. Personally i think the ending was a little rushed and practically begs for a sequel! I thoroughly enjoyed this book in spite of it tho. This was all together a great book definately worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cupcake: get it. You wont regret it!!!! It is an amazing book and Joan Bauer is a fantsatic author! To I have a Question: try wendy mass books. Ive read almost all and they are amazing! i highly recommed Pi in the Sky, Jeremy Fink, and The candymakers. All by wendy mass. Hope this helped!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fav book besides Close To Famous!!! The end made me cry so hard when G.T. died! I died inside a bit! I wanna know what happens between her and Braverman! I want a sequel!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am headed to get this book ,but unsure if its good, is it. Reply to cupcake
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just recently got this book. I read Almost Home and I decided to try her other novel Hope Was Here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much! It has an amazing story line and amazing characters! This is definetly a must-read book!,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the pie on the cover. Should i read this book? Comment jujub next to ur answer thanks!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book sooooo much, Joan Bauer weaves a lovely story!
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Hope Yancey has lived a very nomadic life. Her mother Deena, a waitress who originally named her Tulip, didn&rsquo;t want the responsibility of raising a baby, left her with her Aunt Addie, Deena&rsquo;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&rsquo;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&rsquo;t even know his name. In fact, her mother says that she doesn&rsquo;t know who he is either. Addie&rsquo;s no-good husband Malcolm left her for a thin-lipped dental hygienist. Braverman&rsquo;s daddy walked out on the family. One of the other waitresses, Lou Ellen, has a baby Anastasia, who &ldquo;doesn&rsquo;t have a daddy either.&rdquo; I know that these kinds of situations do occur, but reading modern children&rsquo;s and youth literature, you might get the impression that they are the norm. Why do today&rsquo;s writers feel that they must present nearly every family as dysfunctional? Thankfully, everything turns out nicely in the end, but there&rsquo;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 &ldquo;hope,&rdquo; the importance of character, and having vision for the future, but it is definitely a story for teens and not for younger children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay Book Hope Was Here was about a very simple sweet girl named Hope who was trying to find a place for herself in life. This coming-of-age book was written very well and had offered some very good pointers on cooking, family life, and how to deal with some very difficult situations. What I did not like about this book was that it lacked a lot of deep emotion. Although I liked how it seemed as if the young girl portrayed in this actually did write the book, the writing was a bit to child-like sounding for me. When you are writing about a concept as deep as someone having cancer and having a risk of dying from it then the quality of the writing and how deep it goes should make you feel as though you were the one having the stand by that persons side as they fought to live. all in all it was an good quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nickM95 More than 1 year ago
It was was an ok book. Hope was a very mature and strong girl, that is one reason why she changed her name to hope...because of it's meaning. Her mom left her to her grandma when she was a baby. She also dreamed of knowing her father.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago