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  Hope Was Here





Hope was Here, by Joan Bauer, is a story about a young, 16 year old girl names Hope who has lived with her aunt, Addie, her whole life because her birth mother, who is a waitress, didn't’t want the responsibility of a baby at the time she was born. She has never met her father and she often thinks about what it would be like to have a father and fill him in on her life by showing him the scrapbooks she has made over the years. Hope, who is a waitress, and Addie, a cook, have lived in many different places across America. They decide to move to Mulhoney, Wisconsin right before the end of Hope’s sophomore year in high school to work at a diner called Welcome Stairways, which is owned by a man named G.T. Stoop, who has leukemia.

In Mulhoney, Eli Millstone, the current mayor, is seeking reelection and G.T. Stoop has decided to run against him despite what people tell him about his health. High school students who are members of a political group, along with Hope, Addie, Braverman (who also cooks at Welcome Stairways) and many other people work together to try to get G.T. Stoop elected by visitingpicture of book cover the public and going door to door asking for their support and votes in the upcoming election. Many people are apprehensive about voting for him though because his health is bad and they don’t know if he will be able to handle all the work the mayor has to do, while also trying to battle leukemia.

One day G.T. comes with good news that his leukemia is in remission. Everybody is so happy for him and he asks Addie, whom he had been going out with for awhile, to marry him. Besides that, Braverman and Hope are dating. Hope is so happy that she finally has the father she has always dreamed of and she couldn’t ask for a better one.
On election day when all the votes had been tallied up from the election, it was announced that G.T. Stoop had lost by only 114 votes. Later Hope was thanking a man from the community for voting, but he said he never actually voted. Everyone was confused and it was then determined that they election had been rigged so Eli Millstone would win. When word got out, Eli was forced to resign and G.T. became mayor of Mulhoney.

G.T. Stoop held his office as mayor for a couple years before his cancer came back and he got very sick. He could no longer hold on and passed away. By this time, Hope was graduating from high school and both her and Braverman were going off to different colleges. Her last day working at the diner was filled with mixed emotions and she wrote under the counter the same things she always writes when she leaves a place, “Hope was here.” This time was different for her though as she wasn’t leaving for good. She would be coming back because this was her home now.

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Page last updated on November 2, 2003