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Hope was here

by Joan Bauer


Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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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, Inc.
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Book Review

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School Library Journal :

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Gr 8 Up-When it comes to creating strong, independent, and funny teenaged female characters, Bauer is in a class by herself and the 16-year-old waitress in this book is no exception. Hope Yancey and her Aunt Addie, a much-sought-after diner cook, have toured the country, one diner at a time. With each move, the teen leaves her mark, "HOPE WAS HERE," in ballpoint pen somewhere on the premises. Now in Mulhoney, WI, she has no idea that the residents of this small town will make their mark on her. G. T. Stoop, the Quaker owner of the Welcome Stairways, has leukemia, and while the disease can keep him from running the diner he loves, it can't keep him from running for mayor against a corrupt incumbent. Taking part in his campaign allows Hope to get to know Braverman, a fellow worker at the Welcome Stairways and G. T.'s greatest supporter. The mix of dealing with illness, small-town politics, and budding romance for both Hope and Addie is one that will entertain and inspire readers. Bauer tells a fast-paced, multilayered story with humor but does not gloss over the struggle of someone who is unable to trust, someone who has been left before, and who avoids getting close to anyone for fear of being left again. Teens who have come to expect witty, realistic characters and atypical (but very funny) story lines from Bauer's previous books will not be disappointed and new readers will be sure to come back for seconds.-Tracey Firestone, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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