Hope Was Here

Hope Was Here

by Joan Bauer

Paperback(Reissue)

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Overview

A Newbery Honor Book

Joan Bauer's beloved Newbery Honor book—now with a great new look for middle grade readers!

When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope's not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn't quite ready to give up yet—in fact, he's decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.'s campaign—particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times . . . even Hope herself.

Filled with heart, charm, and good old-fashioned fun, this is Joan Bauer at her best.
 

* “When it comes to creating strong, independent, and funny teenaged female characters, Bauer is in a class by herself ... Bauer tells a fast-paced, multilayered story with humor but does not gloss over the struggle[s].”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Bauer has succeeded in creating another quirky, poignant, and funny novel about a strong girl who admits her frailties ... Hope’s story is highly recommended for both middle and high school students.”—VOYA 

“Another entry in Bauer’s growing collection of books about likable and appealing female teenagers with a strong vocational calling ... As always from Bauer, this novel is full of humor, starring a strong and idealistic protagonist, packed with funny lines, and peopled with interesting and quirky characters.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142404249
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/02/2005
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 56,091
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About 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.

Reading Group Guide

HOPE WAS HERE

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.

 


ABOUT JOAN BAUER

Joan Bauer was born in River Forest, Illinois, the eldest of three sisters. Her mother was a schoolteacher with a great comic sense; her father, a salesman that no one could say no to. Her maternal grandmother had been a famous storyteller and had a striking effect on Bauer's early years. "She would tell me stories with five different voices and as many dialects. I would sit on her enormous lap transfixed at how she could teach me about life and make me laugh through her stories. She taught me the significance of humor and how it intersects our daily lives."

Bauer managed an eclectic list of jobs from assistant typing teacher at age twelve to high school waitress. In her early twenties, she was a successful advertising and marketing salesperson. Professional writing for magazines and newspapers followed, then screenwriting, which was cut short by a serious car accident. She regrouped and wroteSquashed, which won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed:Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road, Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal).

Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.

Praise

"Ivy Breedlove is another strong and quirky heroine who addresses serious issues head on."—The New York Times Book Review

"A fast and funny tale of one big-boned (and big-hearted) gal's summer of discovery on the road."—The Los Angeles Times Book Review

 


Recommended Reading and Sites

If you enjoyed the works of Joan Bauer, we have some other titles to suggest. In some cases, the recommended books contain good humor, sometimes the related books feature young men facing obstacles in their lives. Finally, some of these books feature heroic females as main characters.

Books to Make You Laugh:

KEEPING THE MOON by Sarah Dessen
Viking Children's Books
HC: 0-670-88549-5, $15.99 ($22.99 CAN)
PB: 0-14-131007-3, $5.99 ($8.99 CAN)

GYPSY RIZKA by Lloyd Alexander
Dutton Children's Books
HC: 0-525-46121-3, $16.99 ($26.99 CAN)
PB: 0-14-130980-6, $4.99 ($6.00 CAN)

Where the Boys Are:

OVER THE WALL by John H. Ritter
Philomel Books
HC: 0-399-23489-6, $17.99 ($25.99 CAN)

BOLTZMON! by William Sleator
Dutton Children's Books
HC: 0-525-46131-0, $15.99 ($24.99 CAN)

Strong Women:

THE OTHER ONES by Jean Thesman
Viking Children's Books
HC: 0-670-88594-0, $15.99 ($22.99 CAN)

CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN by Carol Lynch Williams
G. P. Putnam's Sons
HC: 0-399-23449-7, $16.99 ($23.99 CAN)

DESTINY by Vicki Grove
G. P. Putnam's Sons
HC: 0-399-23449-7, $16.99 ($23.99 CAN)

THE GIRLS by Amy Goldman Koss
Dial Books for Young Readers
HC: 0-8037-2494-2, $16.99 ($25.99 CAN)

Internet Sites of Interest:

Joan Bauer website

www.joanbauer.com

The official website of the author.

Virginia Tech Digital Library

http://borg.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/winter96/bauer.htm

Here is an article written by Joan Bauer on writing books with humor entitled "Humor, Seriously."

New York State Library

www.nysl.nysed.gov

This will link you to the New York State Library, where you can discover lots of interesting information about the Adirondack Mountains, site of much of the novel, Backwater.

Wisonsin Directory of Attractions

www.wistravel.com

Lots of details about Wisconsin, the setting of Hope Was Here.

Finally, type in the word "shoes" into a search engine and see where the road leads you! Rules of the Road is about finding your own way, after all.

 


AN INTERVIEW WITH JOAN BAUER

Why is humor so vital to your writing?

Because humor is so vital in my life. When I utilize humor in my writing, I'm connecting to a deep place in myself that says, "no matter how bad things get, there is hope." I believe that with all of my heart. That's what I love about humor—at least the kind that makes us look at life's difficulties differently—laughing in the midst of pain says to me that we are already on the road moving away from it. We're going to make it. I'd like to think that readers connect to that sentiment, too. We need to laugh for so many reasons. It brings perspective; it brings healing; it builds relationships; it brings release. People have asked me if I would ever write a "totally serious book." I have to say that I do write totally serious books that use laughter against the storm of life.

Your novels do deal with serious subjects. How hard is it to walk the fine line between laughter and tragedy?

It's brutal sometimes. I agonize over words, motives. I do not want anyone to think I am making fun of alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, death, divorce, being overweight. But here's the thing: my first drafts are rarely funny and I am grimly sober while writing them. But I am getting down to the serious underpinnings of the story. Then I do look and see where the funny voice can break through. I see where comic relief can cushion a hard scene. I ask myself constantly, where can the humor break forth here and make a point?

How are you like Hope?

I'm hopeful like she is, and I've had to fight to stay that way. It isn't my natural state. I work at hopefulness. I don't expect life to be easy. Like her, I am an over-comer. I had a deep need as a teen to have a healthy father—mine was an alcoholic. I was a waitress as a teen and a good one. I love food; it is a passion for me. I have also had to work on my anger over the years. Hope and I are very alike.

But here is where we are different. I never moved from place to place. I lived with my mom, grandmother, and two sisters in the same house. Hope has a good sense of herself, what she is good at and what she's not. I didn't have that much when I was a teenager.

She is more patient than I and better able to absorb the quirkiness of people around her. One of the things I like bear about her is the fact she has great faith that her father is going to find her and she keeps these scrapbooks for him so that when he finally shows up she'll be ready to tell him about her life. I would have never done that.

What is a typical day at the "office" like for you?

I try to clear my mind for the work ahead. I try to remember what Ernest Hemingway said about writing: Stop for the day when you've written something you feel good about. That makes it easier to get back to it the next morning. I don't wait for inspiration; I just go to work. More and more I read things out loud to check for authenticity of voice. I did that a great deal forHope was Here. One of the big words in my life is "revision." It's kind of like labor and delivery. The baby is coming out and you don't have a lot to say about it.

 


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  1. Titles always hold special significance to the story. For example, how does the title Hope Was Here focus your attention as a reader? Other than the literal reference, what else does the title suggest about the book? Does it tell you the truth? What about the titles of Backwater and Rules of the Road? How does each indicate the literal and symbolic natures of the stories?
     
  2. Hope's name is pivotal to the development of her character and to the development of the story. How do the various definitions of the word "hope" add to the story? See, for example, the reference made on page 22.
     
  3. There are other important symbols in this story. What roles do each of the following play in terms of developing character, advancing the plot, or serving as foreshadowing? Are there other symbols essential to the story? If so, what are they?

    · Day lily (page 85)

    · Welcome stairways (page 14)

  4. In each of Bauer's works, it is important to the main character that she provide some sense of comfort to the people she encounters. For Jenna in Rules of the Road, comfort comes in the form of the perfect show for each customer. How does Hope provide that measure of comfort? What does this tell you about her character? How about Ivy Breedlove in Backwater?
     
  5. Fathers are a central concern to the characters in Hope Was Here, Backwater, and Rules of the Road. Discuss the similarities and differences among the fathers of Hope, Ivy, and Jenna.
     
  6. Ultimately, all characters leave their mark on us as readers. How does Hope leave her mark literally and figuratively? How do Ivy and Jenna leave their marks?
     
  7. Why is humor such an essential ingredient in each of Joan Bauer's books? How would the stories change if they were somehow more "serious" in tone? How would your response to the story be affected?
     
  8. Occasionally, we are swayed to purchase a book because the title is intriguing, Bauer used the title Welcome Stairways as she wrote Hope Was Here. The title changed after the story was completed. What reaction do you have to the working title? Might the working title affect your reaction to the book? What alternative titles might you suggest forRules of the Road and Backwater?

Customer Reviews

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Hope Was Here 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 174 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
sdbookhound on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Hope's life has been full of ups and downs. She learns the true meaning of hope and of life surrounded by people who love her. The whole diner setting is unique as are the comparisons made between food and life lessons taught.
Ashlem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great! Read this in middle school. Absolutely great read!
kresslya on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun book and an easy read. Hopes life adventures are handled very well. I liked the way her thoughts and experiences were presented. The scrapbooks of her life were a nice touch.
ERMSMediaCenter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
RoseMarion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope Was Here is a very touching book. If you like heartfelt fiction then this is the novel for you.Young Hope Yancey is moving from New York City to Mulhoney, Wisconsin because an unscrupulous boss has cheated her and her Aunt Addie out of their jobs as a waitress and a cook. Now they are scheduled to work at a new restaurant named the Welcome Stairways in "dairy land" Wisconsin. Of course this is a frightening prospect for a 16-year-old. However, Hope is used to change and facing obstacles. She was born premature and abandoned by her mother to her aunt as an infant. Further, she has faced many moves in her life because of her aunt's job changes. Still this move is especially tough for Hope because she was happy in New York with good friends and a fun job. How will she deal with small town living?When Hope arrives in Wisconsin, everything is so different. The town is small, there are dairy trucks everywhere, and she feels lost. Soon however, Hope becomes mired in a political campaign between the shady town mayor, Eli Millstone, and her new boss, caring G.T. Stoop. G.T. is the owner of the Welcome Stairways and is very ill with cancer. He decides that he must help his town overcome the underhanded dealings of the current mayor by running for office. The whole idea of a sick man running for office tests the town's beliefs in what is or isn't possible. Along the way, Hope learns that all things are possible if you have "hope" and "faith." She also reaffirms what she already knew about life, that it is messy and joyful all at the same time.Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer won a Newbery Honor in 2001. While the novel definitely offers hope, it does not sugarcoat the highs and lows that come with living. It is a good read for those that enjoy facing life with a positive attitude.
laruby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope Was Here offers insight into the life of a teenage girl who has endured abandonment by her mother as an infant and numerous moves to multiple cities with her devoted aunt. Hope wishes for a permanent home in a permanent community with permanent friends. Hope offers readers a hopeful outlook on life as she attempts to settle into another new home and forge new relationships.
ctmsabma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope was here is about a girl who lives with her aunt, searching to be a waitress in Wisconsin. Her mother left her to her aunt at birth, and rarely ever visits. Her and her aunt are moving all the time. She¿s never met her father, either. When she finally gets a job, her boss, and eventually father runs for mayor with leukemia. Not a lot of people want him in running for mayor, they think he¿ll die in office. I found this to be a very good book. It has a lot of twists, good and bad. Hope is a girl searching for a better life in Wisconsin, but most of all to meet her father. She¿s never even seen him- he ditched her real mother. Her boss is as nice as a boss can get living life to the fullest as it closes up on him. Running, and hopefully winning the position as mayor, he thinks this last big accomplishment will tie everything together. I recommend this book to just about anyone. I give it 4 stars, for most parts are great but some¿ not really. But all together, Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer is an excellent book.
jacindahinten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope Was Here was a surprising read for me! I wasn¿t expecting a book about a 16 year-old girl and waitressing and politics to make me think and most of all¿HOPE.Hope Was Here is one of the best titles to fit with a book I¿ve ever read; the main character¿s name is Hope and its main theme is hope. Hope Was Here is a very inspiring story. When I was done reading it, I thought it was the most inspiring story I¿ve ever read¿that¿s pretty big!Every character was unique and thought out. All of them had their own problems and were hoping (there¿s that word again) by some miracle at times, everything would work out. Hope Was Here¿s main focus was hope, but Joan also touched on the topic of an atypical family. Anything Joan wrote about Hope not knowing who her father is¿had me almost to tears every time. I was crying during many portions of the book. To me, that¿s a sign the author did something right. I really cannot put into words how much this book made me FEEL! So much emotion and thought went into the writing of this from Joan Bauer¿s end. I¿m making sure to check into Joan¿s other novels, I¿m hoping they¿re just as well written! The book is stuffed full of quotes, it was hard to only chose a couple to share with you! Hope Was Here contained many interesting tips for waitresses. If you love reading AND are or want to be a waitress, this may be an interesting read for you!Hope Was Here also contained politics and the process of it, which normally would bother me, but it didn¿t at all in this book.
reneemrobbins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a great inspiration! I loved the author's way of showing young people that they can overcome hardships, regardless of their situation. This was done in a way that was entertaining. Great book for young people!
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked it ¿ Hope is an incredibly sympathetic character, as are her aunt and the diner owner.
mbuch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The main character changed her name from Tulip to Hope on her 12th birthday. Hope is a responsible, mature young girl who lives with her aunt Addie because her mother is inconsistent and irresponsible and never seemed to care to be around Hope that often. Hope lives with Addie in New York and loves her life there. Unfortunately Hope and Addie have to leave their diner in New York and move to Wisconsin for chef and waitressing jobs. Hope is symbolic in this novel for not only its meaning, but for the reason that the character Hope represents all the courage and faith she has had to demonstrate in her life. G.T., Flo, Lou Ellen, and Stoop are some of their new acquaintances in Wisconsin. G.T. has leukemia, so his character also illustrates the necessity of hope. I enjoyed the characters in this book and think most middle school and 9th-10th girls would as well. The plot wasn't suspenful or tearful, but it was touching and inspiring to read about Hope and the journeys she has experienced.Newbery Honor (2001) South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee (2002-2003) Christopher Award (Books for Young People, 2001) Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader's Choice (2003) ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2001)
Sandra305 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books so far! The story is wonderful, the characters are memorable, and there is plenty of drama. I love all the culinary references and metaphors, and this is a book I could easily enjoy reading again. Highly Recommended!
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope was tiny when she was born and her mom couldn¿t cope; Hope¿s mom gave Hope to Hope¿s aunt to raise. Hope¿s aunt, Addie, is a fantastic cook but she and Hope are always moving. The one thing Hope¿s mom gave Hope of use to her was the secrets of waitressing. Hope and Addie suffer at the hands of a con artist and are on the move again, this time to the café of a man with cancer. The man with cancer turns out to be another Atticus Finch, but with political thoughts, and Hope becomes caught up in his campaign for mayor against a villainous long time mayor.I liked this story more and more with every page I read. The aunt¿the mom¿the café owner¿the cook at the café¿Hope herself¿all were scrumptious characters.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hope Yancey started waitressing at age 14. Now, at 16 ½, she and her Aunt Addie, a cook par excellence who is raising her, are off to yet another diner. They move around a lot, but Hope is a survivor. She even invented a sandwich when she was fifteen: "Keep Hoping." And she does.Their latest move takes them to Mulhoney, Wisconsin. Addie is going to run the Welcome Stairways café for G.T. Stoop, whose leukemia is slowing him down. Another move is frightening, but they¿ve both got plenty of pluck. In the rural Midwest, both women find meaning from community political involvement, romance, and a man who finally becomes Hope¿s missing father.Hope uses humor and creativity to combat adversity. She takes the bad and tries to turn it around to give her strength. As with her job, she applies herself with sincerity and courage to make the best of every situation. Highly recommended for teenagers, and the adults who love them.A Newbery Honor Book
4sarad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was a quick, easy read.... it kept the interest up... there was humor, drama, warm fuzzy moments, hard times... it really had everything. I liked all the characters and it was fun learning about what it's like to be a waitress. You also learn a lot about campaigning, but at no point does it get boring. Awesome book.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This 2001 Newbery Honor award winning book is so breathtakingly poignant that I struggle to write a review that would do it justice.It is filled with genuinely real people, real pain and honestly portrayed real-life situations.Sixteen year old Hope Yancey has many reasons to give up hope. Life is difficult. As a tiny baby she was abandoned by her mother. Raised by her wonderfully sensitive and kind Aunt Audie, she learns to persevere.Aunt Audie is a restaurant cook and manager; Hope is a waitress. When a colorful co-worker steals their money and their hope, they move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney Wisconsin to manage the Welcome Stairway Diner.There they find rotten politics, a corrupt corporation and a tainted policeman. Balanced with this is the owner of the Welcome diner, a honest, open, sincere man who runs for Mayor to displace the long-term incompetent, dishonest incumbent.In Mulhoney Wisconsin the good people find love, renewed hope and they learn that where the heart breaks it also heals.Highly recommended and destined to be my #1 read of 2010.
lecowan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a teenage girl who was abandoned by her mother to be raised by her mother's sister. The biological mother abandons the girl as a baby fighting for her life with the awful name of Tulip. Eventually, as Tulip and her aunt move from one restuarant to another, the girl is able to change her name to Hope. Her tradition is that when they leave one resturant headed to a new restuarant, she leaves the message "Hope Was Here" in hopes that her father will find her. The last move they make is to a restuarant called Stairways to Heaven. After moving there, Hope and her aunt finally find that they can trust in people to do the right thing and Hope finally finds her father and learns the true meaning of her name.I really enjoyed this story as it told about a teenage girl finding out about the ups and downs of real life and the emotional emphasis we put on various things. The girl in the book is a character that was very easy for me to relate to. Through her various struggles learning how to grow up, it reminded me of when I was growing up trying to find my place in this world. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone trying to figure out the meaning of family, friends and the expectations and hopes in life.As a classroom extension, I would only recommend this book to teenagers and older. I would recommend this book to a teenage student if he/she was having problems with family or he/she moved around alot and was having problems making friends. This book would also be a good recommendation for an adoptive family and the concerns that come from being adopted.