Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers

 
4.2 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
400 0
Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers
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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Like Letters from Favorite Authors
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Brock continues on from Hope Nation with a collection of stories for younger readers, written by a selection of authors she knows on the vague topic of hope. Profits from this book are supporting the North Texas Teen Book Festival.

The stories are all very personal, and align fairly well with the authors' previous works. For example, R.L. Stine cleverly twists the assignment to let him write a story about hoping to see a ghost... until he actually does. Rex Ogle and James Bird tell additional stories about their difficult early years, Matt de la Pena offers a sports story, Karina Yan Glaser and Hena Khan write about their own school experiences and how they formed their personalities, and Sarah Mlyowski writes about her younger sister. Julie Buxbaum, who seems to have written primarily young adult titles but is coming out with a middle grade title in September of 2022, admits to being scared of both slumber parties and going to the movies. There are some interesting backstories of some authors who write books that aren't necessarily realistic fiction; Christina Soontornvat writes about growing up with immigrant parents who ran a restaurant and had to deal with difficult individuals, James Ponti explores his struggle with personal identy, J.C. Cervantes waxes lyrical about her relationship to the written word with a poem, Tom Angleberger writes touchingly abohow his autism spectrum was seen as a "major malfunction" when he was younger, and Max Brallier has interesting and formative experiences with large scale hot dogs.

Some authors have very specific tales, like Pam Muñoz Ryan's entry about a friend who changed her life, Adam Gidwitz's lifelong struggle with coolness, and Janae Marks' path towards writing, which adheres most closely to the theme of the book. Ronald L. Smith's essay showcases why there are so many more fantasy books for middle grade readers than one might suspect; he's not the only future author who spent most of his class time sneak reading Tolkien! Veera Hiranandani's reminiscence about a photograph that is her favorite captures a particular moment in her middle school life, and it's great to see something else from her since her Save Me a Seat was so powerful.

Some entries wax more philosophical, like Pablo Cartaya's letter to his daughter, who was was in 8th grade during 2020 and had to struggle with all of the things that the pandemic caused. Stuart Gibbs offers tips on how to deal with grief, which he sadly discovered after the unexpected death of his wife. Sonan Chainani offers a story of victory after defeat.

The real draw here, and the story that I would love to see become a full length book, is "This Can't Be Happening to Gordon Korman", which explains just how this prolific author came to write his first novel in his 7th grade language arts class, get it published, and continue on in his 40+ year career of writing for young people, which now seems to include two books every year. He's told the world about this start many times, but this deep dive into the experience is the story I didn't even know I needed. Of course, there are lots of us who write entire novels in middle school, and most of us shouldn't be encouraged to continue!
Good Points
This collection reads like letters from friends, passing the time recounting their past, and will please readers who are familiar with some of the authors, and hopefully introduce some new artists. This is the first year I've had requests for short stories, so this will be a good addition to my growing collection of new tales from diverse authors.

Any objections to this are purely personal. It doesn't even make sense to say "hope wins". Hope doesn't win. Luck wins, and no, you can't make your own. Knowing people. Being in the right place at the right time. I don't really know what wins, since I have clearly not mastered the concept of winning at life. Hard work certainly does not win, although it's a more productive distraction than whining, Netflix binges, or "self-care". Hope eventually dies, because even without concrete complaints, life is just a succession of missteps and failures interspersed with tragedies. Hope is a scenic, pleasant road to certain, bitter disappointment.

But it's probably a bad idea to tell middle schoolers that. They'll find out for themselves soon enough, and won't be able to blame us for tarnishing their optimism.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Hope Wins
(Updated: July 06, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked: Inspiring collection of short stories with a theme of hope written by best-selling children's authors.

I loved the premise of this anthology, especially after the last few years that were filled with fear and darkness. Each of these stories gives a glimmer of hope. Plus, there are diverse experiences.

Some of my favorites:

THE FRIEND WHO CHANGED MY LIFE by Pam Munoz Ryan. How a domino effect can lead to unexpected results.

THE ADVENTURES OF ME AND SUPERSQUIRT by Sarah Mlynowski. Sisters to the very end.

HOPE IN THE HALLS OF CATHOLIC SCHOOL by Karina Yan Glaser. How an opportunity to open up in a new school can be played forward.

BONES by J.C. Cervantes. A tribute to an inspirational teacher told in verse.

There's other stories of authors remembering hard times at school, parent's divorcing, being the different one at a new school, and more. Each tale is heartfelt, moving, and filled with encouragement.

Encouraging collection of inspiring short stories that are perfect to let readers know that their voices are worth telling and sharing.
Good Points
1. Inspiring collection of short tales with messages of hope
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account