Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Hope Wins, a review - 6.07.22

Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers
Hope Wins
A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers
edited by Dr. Rose Brock
published by Philomel Books

When I first heard about an upcoming book titled Hope Wins, I was intrigued and excited.  Because it feels like we really needed a book about hope right now.  I knew it as a collection of essays about the topic written by middle grade authors.  I was excited to read it and I couldn't wait to know more.  
I know living through the last two and a half years have left many of us clinging to the idea of hope.  But I know there are others who are clinging to it for other reasons.
Which made me think about the word hope.  Is there one singular definition for it?  Is there some way to define it or is it an idea to explain?  I think it may be a very personal idea and thought for each of us.  How I describe it is different than how you describe it.
And then I started reading the book.  I guess for some reason I thought all of the essays on hope were going to be pandemic focused.  Spoiler alert, they aren't.  And while the idea of hope is on my mind more than ever, it's not new.  I've had hope in my life for a long, long time, and it's changed over the decades.   And as each author pens their ideas on the subject, the reader discovers the ideas of hope are always different.  
- sometimes it's an idea that came from their past
- sometimes hope was tied to an event
- sometimes hope was because of a person
- sometimes it's born out of despair
- sometimes it's in the midst of joy
But every story is different and each one made me think a little bit more.  And as I ponder the subject, I think about the readers for this book.  The children growing up today need hope in a different way than I did at that age.  Their definition and idea for it is probably more profound than what I would have come up with at their age.  It's still a big idea.  I think these stories will help them understand it and maybe gain some healing they didn't even know they needed.

About the book (Goodreads summary):
In a collection of personal stories and essays, award-winning and bestselling artists from Matt de la Peña and Veera Hiranandani to Max Brallier and R.L. Stine write about how hope always wins, even in the darkest of times.

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.

Books like these always have an editor.  Someone who finds the authors of the essays and puts them together.  This particular editor is Dr. Rose Brock.  I did not realize it, but before this book, she edited a book for teens called Hope Nation.  There is an introduction at the start of the book and I hope you read it.  It's in there that Dr. Brock talks about how proceeds from the book will help support the North Texas Teen Book Festival.  I'm glad to see a book festival in Texas that is supporting today's teens.  And don't miss the Nerdy post where Dr. Brock talks more about the book.

And let's take a moment to admire the gorgeous cover illustration by the immensely talented Vashti Harrison.  The muted colors and solemn girl on the cover have a calming and warm effect before even opening the pages of the book!

Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for the review copy.

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