A 2019 Texas Topaz Reading List Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. To help embolden hope, here is a powerhouse collection of essays and personal stories that speak directly to teens and all YA readers. Featuring Angie Thomas, Marie Lu, Nicola Yoon, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Jason Reynolds, Renée Ahdieh, and many more!
"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."--Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and--in some cases--even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it's difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.
Some of today's most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal collection of essays and original stories that offer moments of light in the darkness, and show that hope is a decision we all can make.
Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Hope Nation acknowledges the pain and offers words of encouragement.
Authors include: Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, Christina Diaz Gonzales, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregario, Kate Hart, Bendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, and Nicola Yoon.
Praise for Hope Nation:
"A salve when days are bleak."--Kirkus Reviews
"An important and inspiring read for thoughtful teens."--School Library Journal
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Sold by:||Penguin Group|
|File size:||927 KB|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Like some of you, I’m a reader. Like others, I wasn’t always. My family came from Germany to the United States when I was in elementary school, and for all kinds of reasons, I struggled. Coming from somewhere different was hard. Learning English—learning in English—was hard. That slowly changed, thanks mostly to books. Books became my escape, my window to this new American world. I still remember my first book friendships; before I had real friends at my new school, I basked in the company of fictional friends. Since that point, reading books has been one of the things I cherish most.
Here’s another thing you should know about me. Until she passed away, I was fed a steady diet of hopeful anecdotes by my immigrant mother. Hers were often focused on her childhood during World War II in Germany. After losing all their possessions in an Allied bombing, my grandmother and her five children fled their city to Bavaria to start over again while they waited for my grandfather to be released from a camp for prisoners of war. Although my family was on the wrong side of history, it seemed that the lessons served to my mom were ones that resonated, and for that reason, in my childhood home, finding hope was a directive. It was expected that the world’s lemons would be made into fresh lemonade. Perhaps that is the reason I’m an optimist. A dreamer. A hoper. And whether it’s in my genetic makeup to see the glass as half full or it’s a product of conditioning, I love stories of resilience and tenacity, and I look for hopeful stories everywhere—in books, in movies, and most importantly, in real life. The older I get, the more I understand that finding and holding on to hope can be hard. At times it can feel impossible.
So what is Hope Nation? Simply, it’s a collection of unique and personal experiences shared by some of my favorite writers for teens. Stories of resilience, resistance, hardship, loss, love, tenacity, and acceptance—stories that prove that sometimes, hope can be found only on the other side of adversity. I’m so grateful to each of these talented writers for sharing their own paths to hope.
Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood once said that during a crisis, it’s vital to look for the helpers. The authors featured in Hope Nation are our helpers; the gift of their stories is the reason I am able to share this book with you. The making of it is a hopeful endeavor in every way—in lieu of being paid to share their stories, my amazing team of contributors have donated 100 percent of their fees to charities that give meaning to them, organizations and charities working to make our world a better place for you and me. And my publisher is matching each donation.
To me, Hope Nation is the gift I want to give back to all the young people in my life, especially my daughters, Madeleine and Olivia. It’s for the teens closest to me who have been left feeling disempowered and hopeless. We see you. It’s for all of you that we say, “Hope is a decision.” I hope it’s a choice you make for yourself.
Dr. Rose Brock
Table of Contents
"We" David Levithan 5
"Before And After" Libba Bray 31
"Now More Than Ever" Angie Thomas 61
"Rundown" Ally Condie 69
"Surviving" Marie Lu 81
"Nobody Remembers the Names Of People Who Build Walls" Jeff Zentner 89
"Love" Nicola Yoon 99
"Wings and Teeth" Kate Hart 105
"Shot of Hope" Gayle Forman 123
"Baseball Pasta" Christina Diaz Gonzalez 135
"Don't Listen to the A**Holes" Atia Abawi 145
"Different Dances" Alex London 163
"The Oreadful Summer of 1991" Howard Bryant 175
"The Two Types Of Secrets" Ally Carter 183
"Born In Argentina, Made In America: The Immigrant Identity" Romina Garber 193
"Chah-Muh" Renée Ahdieh 203
"The Only One I Can Apologize For" Aisha Saeed 211
"In The Past" Jenny Torres Sanchez 219
"Always" Nic Stone 227
"Hoping For Home" Julie Murphy 239
"Caution: This Hope Is NSFW (But It Shouldn't Be)" I. W. Gregorio 247
"The Kids Who Stick" Jason Reynolds Brendan Kiely 259
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but once I decided I would skip around to read essays by authors I truly enjoy reading, that’s when I felt like I could get behind this book. After I warmed up to those authors, I was able to go back to the essays that weren’t doing it for me initially. I did end up skipping the essay by James Dashner altogether because I can’t bring myself to read his writing after everything coming forward. One thing I really liked about this anthology was all of the different takes on hope and what hope looked for them all. Marie Lu’s piece on growing up in 1980s China was captivating, and I feel that I learned so much more about her in that one story than I could have known ever. I also loved Nicola Yoon’s essay about her relationship with her husband. It was beautiful to read about why she loved him so much and how she wouldn’t give up anything for him. It reminded me that love is worth fighting for. I definitely recommend this to people looking for a hopeful outlook in these bleak times. It’ll give you a few shots of hope inoculation (thanks, Gayle Forman).