Hope Wins : A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers

Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers

Edited by Rose Brock

Philomel, Nonfiction, May 10,2022

Pages: 208

Suitable for ages 8-12

Themes: Hope, Change, Difficulty, Inspiration

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Where does hope live?

In your family?

In your community?

In your school?

In your heart?

From a family restaurant to a hot-dog shaped car, from an empty road on a moonlight night to a classroom holiday celebration, this anthology of personal stories from award-winning and bestselling authors, shows that hope can live everywhere, even—or especially—during the darkest of times.

No matter what happens: Hope wins.

Contributors include: Tom Angleberger, James Bird, Max Brallier, Julie Buxbaum, Pablo Cartaya, J.C. Cervantes, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Stuart Gibbs, Adam Gidwitz, Karina Yan Glaser, Veera Hiranandani, Hena Khan, Gordon Korman, Janae Marks, Sarah Mlynowski, Rex Ogle, James Ponti, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Ronald L.Smith, Christina Soontornvat, and R.L. Stine.

What I like about this book:

I love that Rose Brock took her book Hope Nation and created a younger version for for middle grade readers. Brock carefully selected a cast of  22 bestselling children’s authors and asked them to share a personal story about what hope meant to them in their youth and its impact on them today

Readers will discover how very different hope is for each author. For me, each offering reads like a letter from a friend. There is something in this book for everyone. Hope is a very personal idea or thought for each of us. How I describe it is different from how you describe it. 

Christina Soontornvat shares stories about working in her family’s Asian restaurant and the valuable life lessons she learned working around people that aren’t taught in school. I enjoyed her observation about how we are all “influencers” no matter what we do. Gordon Korman’s shares a story about his 7th grade English teacher asking  students to write a novel. Korman’s novel ends up being published when he’s in eighth grade. That experience inspires him to become an author — something he never thought about.  Hena Khan shares what it means to feel different in school and how it forms her personality.  Suart Gibbs shares his truth about adversity and grief following the death of a loved one. Adam Gidwitz shares his lifelong struggle with “coolness” and he has some interesting insight into how he turns it around. Pablo Cartaya writes a letter to his eighth-grade daughter upon her graduation. R.L. Stine shares his ghostly encounter.

Each tale is heartfelt, moving and filled with encouragement. Hope describe a variety of different experiences. For many it represents inspiration and the possibility of a positive outcome during difficult times. I  found it interesting how each author thought about hope. And some didn’t believe in hope and found ways to hope for negativity. I highly recommended for middle grad readers to encourage them to think, dream and discover what hope means in their lives.

And take a moment to admire the gorgeous cover illustration by Vashti Harrison. It is so warm and appealing and will draw readers. And there is a a lovely Introduction to the book by Dr. Rose Brock at the beginning that readers won’t want to miss!  

Dr. Rose Brock is a professor and educator at Sam Houston State University who has dedicated her career to turning young people into book lovers. Building relationships with readers through books is her superpower. In addition to her career as a librarian and educator, Dr. Brock is the cofounder of NTTBF, the North Texas Teen Book Festival, the largest library run book festival for young people in the country. Dr. Brock was awarded the Siddie Joe Johnson Award for Outstanding Service to Youth by the Texas Library Association. She is the editor of Hope Nation: Young Adult Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration and author of Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide. Visit her online at drrosebrock.com.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Make sure you check out the many links to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*This book was gifted to me by Greg Pattridge as he knew I was dealing with a lot of personal challenges a few months ago. It is an uplifting read for adults too. Thank you Greg!