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Hope's Crossing

Hope's Crossing

4.6 8
by Joan Elizabeth Goodman

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They came from across Long Island Sound, Tories in search of plunder and ransom, bringing terror to Hope Wakeman's Connecticut home. The family is defenseless now that Father is away serving in General Washington's army. They can only watch as Noah Thomas and his crew strip the house of treasured belongings. And before she realizes what is happening, Hope finds


They came from across Long Island Sound, Tories in search of plunder and ransom, bringing terror to Hope Wakeman's Connecticut home. The family is defenseless now that Father is away serving in General Washington's army. They can only watch as Noah Thomas and his crew strip the house of treasured belongings. And before she realizes what is happening, Hope finds herself a captive and a slave to Thomas's ill-tempered wife. Hope has one unlikely ally: Thomas's plucky mother is a different sort of Tory, one who sees beyond partisan divisions. Together the frail old woman and the girl set off in search of safety, on a journey that takes them from the tiny villages of Long Island to the bustling Tory stronghold of Manhattan. A map helps readers follow along on this journey, during which many astonishing things are revealed to Hope about herself and her companion.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Hope Wakeman is a victim of the angry tensions between the American Tories and the Patriots of the Revolutionary War. She's captured, torn from her family, and enslaved: a pre-teen victim of war. Her life of privilege ended, Hope is forced into many difficult situations that require all the courage and optimism she can muster. That she endures and ultimately triumphs is a tribute to her own strength of character, but also to the friends she meets among her enemies. The story spins its readers from one harrowing incident to another, but always keeps Hope's personal saga in the forefront. The adventure is captivating. The history lesson is vivid. And best of all, the message, subtly but stubbornly repeated, is that the truth about people is to be found more in their deeds than in their appearance, their life situations, or their politics.
VOYA - Susan Levine
Loyalists to King George attack the Wakeman house in Fairfield, Connecticut, expecting to capture Captain Wakemen, only to find he's gone to help George Washington-so they take his thirteen-year-old daughter instead, hoping to exchange her for the General. The plan fails, and Hope soon finds herself trapped on Long Island with one of her captors. The captor's mother, Mother Thomas, befriends Hope and, aware of the cruelty of her son, helps Hope escape to New York City. Unable to find transportation to Connecticut, Mother Thomas and Hope are helped by some kind people, but unfortunately they both come down with smallpox and Mother Thomas dies. Remembering her father's admonition to "be brave," which Mother Thomas also echoed, Hope (now taken in by the sister-in-law of a British general) must plan her own escape. Aided by a friend of Mother Thomas, Hope bravely conquers her fear of heights, escapes New York, and is reunited with her family. In the midst of one calamity after another, a picture of life during the Revolutionary War works hard to appear here. Through Hope's eyes we see inhumanity, kindness, sacrifice, violence, and suffering. In addition, while many were affected adversely, others, as portrayed by the sister-in-law of the British general, continued to live lives of excess. Unfortunately, the writing lacks polish. The author attempts to use words associated with the times but fails to be consistent; she starts with "ye" and "tis," and every so often drops a few into conversations, but occasionally more modern language appears (i.e., "done in"). Young girls may get caught up in Hope's adventures, which are loosely based on an actual event. This novel gives a different view of the war from Scott O'Dell's Sarah Bishop (Scholastic, 1980) and Ann Rinaldi's books. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8When 12-year-old Hope's father leaves his family behind in answer to General Washington's summons, he admonishes her to be brave. They have no way of knowing that within days her courage will be severely tested. Late one night, their homestead is attacked by Loyalist raiders in search of her father. Not finding him, they take Hope instead and burn the place to the ground, setting a terror-stricken girl upon a difficult journey during which she is forced into a variety of roles simply to survive. Eventually, she and Mother Thomas, her captor's mother (who had been treated little better than Hope), escape together, eventually ending up in New York City, a Loyalist stronghold, where she pretends to be the woman's Loyalist granddaughter. After the elderly woman dies of smallpox and Hope becomes deathly ill but survives, she finds herself recuperating in the home of a Tory general. With the aid of a friend of Mother Thomas, the girl secretly flees the general's house and makes her way home. Hope exhibits tremendous resourcefulness and steadfastness. Because she meets so many kind, warmhearted people while living among the Tories, she learns that the enemy wears a very human face. This story is rich with the details of life during the Revolutionary War. The discussion of the treatment of smallpox, particularly the primitive inoculation practices of the time, do not often appear in young people's novels. While Hope's character lacks the emotional depth of some of Ann Rinaldi's protagonists, her adventures should be popular.Peggy Morgan, The Library Network, Southgate, MI
Kirkus Reviews
In a historical novel that, in the wake of Goodman's Winter Hare (1996), seems tepid, Tory kidnappers bundle a Connecticut patriot's daughter over the Sound to Long Island, where she endures mistreatment before undertaking the arduous journey home. Seized in lieu of her father, away on business for General Washington, Hope escapes before she can be sold to a slave trader, and with her captor's aged mother, Maude, makes her way to a war-torn but bustling New York City. Unfortunately, bands of raiders have brought northbound travel to a standstill. Hope frets over the protracted delay, fearing her pursuers, but then smallpox strikes. Hope loses her dear companion, and almost dies herself; after a long convalescence in the care of a British officer's wife, she again escapes, and a crusty old suitor of Maude's sails her across enemy lines to a happy reunion with her family. Hope's path is smoothed by plenty of adult friends, plus a convenient stash of family silver to cover expenses, and neither Goodman's sketchy descriptions of Revolutionary Warþera New York, nor her characters, who are either types or quirky to the point of impenetrability, contribute to the sense of time and place; still, although she is not the most self-reliant of heroines, Hope faces and overcomes her own fearsþspecifically her terror of heightsþas well as physical hazards in the course of her journey back. (Fiction. 10-13)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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File size:
317 KB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Joan Elizabeth Goodman has written several novels of highly acclaimed historical fiction. She lives with her husband and their two children in New York City.

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Hope's Crossing 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Used this book for a book report u must read this
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿A captivating chronicle about a young girl who strives to return back to her family, but learns that only the strength of hope will save her from agony.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a must-read book! Through the historical setting and time differs from today, one cannot help sense a compassion with the main character in the book. I have read this book for a report, received a great grade, and enjoyed this book as a whole!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was very exciting and gave you some information about the Revolutionary war! I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thrills from the start! I love fiction, this book is fiction, but its also recommend by teachers and parents because it has historical events in it. Fabulous!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didnt get this book for here, I got it from my school library, but I enjoyed it very much. I thought it was well writen and was perfect for what I needed it for. I didnt search for the book at all, I guess it was luck. I was running into the library and I had 1 minute until teh bell would ring and I ran to the fiction section and grabed it..luckly it was one of te best books I have ever read. You should really get this book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a good book..i rarely ever read books in the summer but this book just kept me turning the pages and not putting it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher recamended this for are book project becase we have to do it on historical fiction and im thinking about this one???