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Call Me Hope

Call Me Hope

4.6 77
by Gretchen Olson

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As 11-year-old Hope struggles to live under the pressures of her verbally abusive mother, she's tempted to run away but instead chooses resilience. She creates a secret safe haven and an innovative point system (giving herself points for every bad thing her mother says to her); finds comfort and inspiration from Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl; and gains a


As 11-year-old Hope struggles to live under the pressures of her verbally abusive mother, she's tempted to run away but instead chooses resilience. She creates a secret safe haven and an innovative point system (giving herself points for every bad thing her mother says to her); finds comfort and inspiration from Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl; and gains a support team. Ultimately, Hope is able to confront her mother about her hurtful words and help her begin to change.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Anyone who equates child abuse only with physical blows may think in broader terms after reading this moving story of a sixth grader tormented by her mother's hurtful words. Hope, whose father left when she was a baby (because she "cried all the time," according to her mother), has been called stupid so many times she gets a "stinkin' stomachache" every time she hears the word. She can't seem to do anything to please her mother, but luckily there are others-Hope's teacher, her school counselor and classmate Brody, for instance-who believe she does have value. Hope reaches a turning point after making friends with two women who run a used clothing store. Deeply affected by their kindness and inspired by Anne Frank's diary, Hope gradually begins to believe in herself, even when her mother dishes out her cruelest punishment by not allowing Hope to participate in the Outdoor School program. Without giving too pat a solution to Hope's internal and external conflicts, Olson (Joyride) provides signs that her protagonist's future will be considerably brighter than her past. Children who can identify with Hope's predicament will find solace in this book as well as tips for survival, listed by Hope in the final chapter. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Christina Fairman
Eleven-year-old Hope is a typical adolescent. She is bright, energetic, and wants simply to be an active part of her sixth-grade world. Hope is also the victim of neglect and verbal abuse at the hands of her mother, an aging former actress who vacillates between icy detachment and a need to belittle Hope's every move. The story follows Hope as she tries to maneuver amidst these minefields so that she can attend an annual class camping trip, a prized event that she has been anticipating for months. Spurred on by a class reading of The Diary of Anne Frank, Hope seeks to discover her own strength to survive despite her mother's dehumanizing actions. The primary benefit of this book is its potential to offer encouragement to young people in similar situations. Despite occasionally stilted dialogue and a simplified ending, it sends the message that help is available in the form of school counselors, teachers, and community members. The author is on the board of directors for the Hands and Words Are Not for Hurting Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes the "moral and legal right to live free of abuse and violence." At the end of the book is a checklist for young people that includes practical advice ("Make friends with people who listen without interrupting") and organizations that readers can contact for help. This book would be a useful resource for schools and libraries where bibliotherapy and abuse issues are in demand.
VOYA - Emily Petit
Most of this narrative relies on unique characters to hold the readers' attention. Despite the somewhat sluggish story line, the resilience of Hope Elliot will inspire and console readers of all ages, particularly girls on the verge of adolescence. It is a reflective account of a courageous child striving to maintain a sense of self-assurance in a verbally abusive relationship with her mother, shedding light on the truth of how destructive such an affiliation can be. \
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6 - Hope is a bright 11-year-old, eager to please and looking forward to a week at camp with her 6th-grade class. With ingenuity, she manages to fulfill the requirements, despite lack of support at home, but she has not fully reckoned with her unhappy and punitive mother. Anything can set Mom off, and when it does, a scorching tirade and cruel punishment follow. "Hopeless" is the kindest word that her mother hurls at her. This portrait of a verbally abusive parent is acute and painful. Readers will cheer for Hope as she finds ways to comfort herself and to shore up her damaged self-esteem. Especially important is her new friendship with two older women who run a thrift shop where Hope works to earn the boots and clothes she needs for the trip. When Mom punishes her by refusing to let her go to camp, it takes the intervention of caring adults to give her back her dreams and to stop the abuse. While Hope is away, her mother enrolls in parenting classes. That a troubled adult would turn around in one short week is a fairy-tale ending, but this didactic story is nonetheless a compelling and rewarding read. The back matter contains a list of "Hope Notes"-ideas for ways that readers can build their own resiliency.-Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Hope's mother verbally abuses her, calling her hopeless, an accident, stupid, the reason her father left, as well as innumerable profanities. When she's brought into the principal's office for calling another student a "dumb shit," her mother arrives, speaking demeaning profanities about Hope to the principal. So the reader gets the picture right away. Because her sixth-grade class is studying the Holocaust, she begins reading Anne Frank, and watches the film Life is Beautiful. Hope begins to develops coping methods, as did Anne in her attic and Guido in the internment camps. All the while, readers see her as a good girl, smart and hardworking, while her mother continues to denigrate and dismiss her. Fortunately, she has support from other adults and an older brother who knows her grief. The abuse remains erratic-like living with a rattlesnake-and finally, Hope's mother refuses to give her permission to attend the most important event of the year, the Outdoor School. Her brother contacts educators and friends, who intervene and convince her mother to change her mind. When Hope comes home, her mother has begun counseling and is beginning to change. Written for the purpose of helping other abused children, this has a hopeful, though rather facile ending; sadly, such is not the case for every abused child. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Gretchen Olson is the author of the YA novel Joyride (Boyds Mill Press) and on the board of directors for The Hands & Words Are Not for Hurting Project. She received the University of Oregon's Community Award for her work with the Hands Project. Gretchen lives with her husband on their blueberry farm in Oregon.

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Call Me Hope 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Squid22Syd23 More than 1 year ago
I usually don't EVER read in my free-time. I never would sit down and just read a book on a weekend or during the summer. But when I got this book Call Me Hope it changed everything. I was reading it all the time! I would sit on the couch, in my room, outside- where ever, and just read it! This book was very good. It caught my attention and I heard about the book from someone in my school. When I went and got it at barnes and nobles I read the back and it didn't seem very interesting but it did seem interesting- So i bought it. Within two days that I got it, I already read half of it. It comes with a great lesson and a great story. I highly recommend this book to anybody. Even my aunt who is in her 40's. I looked to see if Grtechen Olson wrote any other books, but it didn't say that she did. This is a great novel by Gretchen Olson. and YOU should really read it!
JesusButterfly More than 1 year ago
A heart-warming story that will bring a few tears as you read this beautiful story by Gretchen Olson on verbal abusive in a young girl's life. As she learns about herself and creates a plan you will find yourself feeling Hope's pain and joys.
Abby Ackart More than 1 year ago
This book compared two different lives, and it really makes you compare yours to it too. It really makes you think, about your own life. How good you really have it. Hope goes through changes she never expected, and she finds friends she never expected. She learns many lessons on the way, both good and not so good. This is a book teens would like. It has funny, sad, and shocking and exciting parts that keep the book going. You get drawed in from the begining, not the middle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got it from the library a day later I was finished I recomend this book to ANYONE!!!!!
Tina Ortiz More than 1 year ago
thisbook either had me in tears or yelling at the dang book. hope takes you n a awful journey. most endings aredry but this is one of those books that the end makes the book. a must read that any reader will love and fall in love with Hope.
Book_Lover2 More than 1 year ago
To tell you something, a good friends recommended this book to me. I read it and absloutly loved it. I hated and it made me sad that Hope's mother would treat her like the way she did. I just think that it was very nasty and vile to treat Hope that way. What made me happy was the love and the togetherness between hope and her brother Tyler. Tyler really saved hope when she really needed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good it i think kids 10 to 16 will love this book. When i first saw this book i was like no i am not going to read this but i am so happy i read call me hope
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me cry (alot)
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Hope Marie Elliot is eleven years old and in sixth grade. She has a lot to hope for: that her verbally abusive mother will stop calling her stupid and making her feel as though everything she does is wrong, and that she will get to go to Outdoor School at the end of the school year. But Hope is aptly named, and while her mother's insults continue unabated, she begins to form a refuge for herself. She throws her energy into school work and takes on a challenging project related to Anne Frank's diary, which her class is reading. She forms a friendship with two women who own a consignment clothing shop, and works to earn clothing for herself. She makes new friends at school, and begins to see her school counselor as someone she can open up to.

She is surprisingly independent for a girl her age, but much of her independence is forged from neglect. When Hope could be drawing inward and closing up, instead she reaches out and sees that the wide world is not necessarily like the one she experiences at home. And that gives her courage to reach out for more. Underlying much of the book is the recognition that while physical abuse is no longer accepted, verbal abuse is often still ignored or dealt with awkwardly.

Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson is told simply through the words of the young protagonist, and it is richly layered with many themes. Some of the questions it asks readers to ponder: What is verbal abuse? How does a parent's verbal abuse affect members of the whole family, especially when it's directed at only one sibling? How do voices from the Holocaust have meaning for and inspire us today? What impact does a loving community have on a child's emotional well being? Is there hope for change?

Author Gretchen Olson has written a book that shines a light on an issue that isn't talked about much, while giving us a character, Hope, who will burrow into your heart and stay for a while.
Ilyana Frias More than 1 year ago
This book is great for teens.it helps you think about your life and compare the two lifestyles. i would read this book over again. but i personaly enjoyed it!!!
Karley Thomas More than 1 year ago
this book is great for kids to understand that they need to take their parents for granite. cause there are lots of kids out there who get abused and dont know what it is like to be loved. so this book teaches kids to really understand that there are kids who are suffering.
sign-laguage-rox More than 1 year ago
This book touches your heart in a weay that u will never froget and she finds a way to deal with her mom lov this book!!!! A MUST READ!!:):)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helps me get through hard times. Hope is an encouraging character and has wisdom beyond belief. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story about Hope whom is verbally abused by her moody single mother. Hope suffers mentally and physically from her hating words and just wants someone to love her. With help from newfound friends Hope finds a voice to stand up to her mother and tell her how she feels. Gretchen Olsens only novel on the nook shop is true to its title and tells its lucky readers about all kinds of HOPE small and big. Also look for Sarah Weeks So B It on the nook shop. : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hava barely cried when I read a book. When I read this at home I was pouring tears! You must read this to go on with your life. After I read this book I never felt the same way again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was a truly touching story and the ending is sweet. Hopes mother makes a perfect antagonist, but also a dynamic character because in the end she changes dramatically. My favorite part is when Hope gets her hiking boots. In that moment she is so completely happy that it made me happy. I also liked the authors characterization of Hope, it made me feel like she was a friend. I think my least favorite part about the book is how little involvement her brother has in it. Aside from a few moments there is not much story line attached to him and I would have liked to know if he was verbally abused too. If I could change anything in the book it would be Hope’s obsession with numbers. I don’t think it had much to do with the book and it was a little distracting from the actual plot. Over all this is one of my favorite books. I think that anyone could like this book. We have all gone through a less severe form of what Hope went through. We all have gone through sixth grade, and we have all been in similar positions. This book is also a very easy read so anyone could read it. On the other hand some of the themes might be a bit intense for younger children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The bittersweet novel Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson discusses the life of eleven-year-old Hope Marie Elliot who is a victim of neglect and verbal abuse. This bullying is ruining her life and she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She cannot confide in her mother, for her mother is the bully. She creates a point system and safe haven in order to cope with this abuse, pressure, and yearning to please her mother. Her mother constantly overshadows everything good in her life and she feels as if she doesn’t belong anywhere. This story portrays Hope’s struggles to cope with and possibly stop the abuse. It’s heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time and truly is a must read. This portrait of a verbally abusive parent is acute and painful, which is why it hooks readers and then reels them in. It is about a not widely-understood, but important issue that will touch and inspire readers. Despite occasionally stilted dialogue and a simplified ending, it sends the message that kids can confide in and find help in a trusted adult or friend. In addition, it is narrated by Hope in first person point of view which allows readers to empathize with and root for her. The message of this story, about the destructive power of verbal abuse, is thinly veiled, but Hope is a winsome character whose bravery and determination will resonate with 4th grade through adult readers. It is a riveting novel full of inspiration, longing, and a broken family coming together. It really forces readers to compare Hope’s lifestyle to their own, making them realize that it can always be worse. This is a timeless, compelling story that will engage audiences of almost all ages and the type of story that any reader will fall in love with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is beautiful. Must read.
HPBookWormGirl More than 1 year ago
absolutely beautiful and amazing :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book its soooooooo good read it you will fall in love with it!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a amazing book if you like heart warming storys
Janae819 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shes awesome