Title: Hope Was Here
Author: Joan Bauer
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Year: 2000 (reissued in 2010)
Economic concepts: jobs, services, human resources, child schooling and work, scarcity, economic role of government
Review: Hope Yancey had seen quite a bit of the United States during her young life, mostly due to her Aunt Addie's inability to settle down. Addie had raised Hope since birth after Hope's mother abandoned her in the hospital, and with Addie's frequent changes in diner kitchens came a series of geographical moves. This time they were on their way from New York City to a small town in America's Dairyland -- Wisconsin. Addie would apply her substantial talents as cook in the local diner, with Hope working the counter and waiting the tables up front.
Little did Hope realize that little Mulhoney, Wisconsin could serve up more excitement, intrigue, and kindness than any big city she had lived in before. Even though he was diagnosed with leukemia, the diner owner took it upon himself to challenge the corrupt mayor in his bid for re-election. Hope had a great deal to learn about the power of community in fighting political and economic agents who would do anything to maintain their stranglehold on the town.
This touching and entertaining novel, a Newberry Honor winner, doles out a satisfying blend of character and plot development. Thoroughly entwined are a series of economic themes, including the day-in and day-out responsibilities of two common restaurant jobs, as well as the potential problems associated with large employers having political clout and unethical practices.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Children and Economics