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Call Me Hope Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2007

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 1, 2007
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031601236X
  • ASIN: B005SN212O
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–Hope is a bright 11-year-old, eager to please and looking forward to a week at camp with her 6th-grade class. With ingenuity, she manages to fulfill the requirements, despite lack of support at home, but she has not fully reckoned with her unhappy and punitive mother. Anything can set Mom off, and when it does, a scorching tirade and cruel punishment follow. Hopeless is the kindest word that her mother hurls at her. This portrait of a verbally abusive parent is acute and painful. Readers will cheer for Hope as she finds ways to comfort herself and to shore up her damaged self-esteem. Especially important is her new friendship with two older women who run a thrift shop where Hope works to earn the boots and clothes she needs for the trip. When Mom punishes her by refusing to let her go to camp, it takes the intervention of caring adults to give her back her dreams and to stop the abuse. While Hope is away, her mother enrolls in parenting classes. That a troubled adult would turn around in one short week is a fairy-tale ending, but this didactic story is nonetheless a compelling and rewarding read. The back matter contains a list of Hope Notes–ideas for ways that readers can build their own resiliency.–Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old Hope leads a seemingly normal life. She is looking forward to sixth grade, and the promise of Outdoor School, an annual camping trip that happens in the spring. She is thrilled when she lands a job at a used clothing store, and manages to attract the attention of a cute boy from her class. But Hope's self-serving mother, Darlene, who frequently flies into rages, calling Hope "stupid" and "hopeless," always manages to overshadow everything good in Hope's life. When Darlene threatens not to sign the permission slips for Outdoor School, Hope decides she can no longer keep silent about what is happening at home. By drawing strength from the example of Anne Frank, whom she is reading about in class, Hope gathers the courage to tell her mother how much the names hurt. The message of this story about the destructive power of verbal abuse is thinly veiled, but Hope is a winsome character whose bravery and determination will resonate with middle-grade readers. Jennifer Hubert
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Call Me Hope is a story of courage, of love, and of truth.
N., The BookBandit
It makes you think about how to deal with these kinds of problems.
Amanda Olsen
I would recommend it for anyone from 4th grade into adulthood.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on July 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Call Me Hope is an intense story about a girl who is verbally abused by her mother. Hope keeps it to herself, at times making a game out of it - if she bites her tongue, if she takes the abuse quietly, she earns "points."

At first, Hope has no close friends. Her father took off shortly after she was born. Though she gets along well with her older brother, he isn't abused by their mother and therefore doesn't share the burden. Then Hope begins to work at a secondhand store to pay for a pair of purple boots and befriends the two older ladies who run the shop. When her lies and actions jeopardize her job, Hope must learn to vocalize her feelings and come to terms with her family's situation.

Call Me Hope handles a delicate subject well. The mother's harsh words will make readers cringe and want to console her daughter. I liked Hope's point system, her fondness for lucky numbers and patterns, and her interest in The Diary of Anne Frank. I especially liked what the purple boots symbolized: her uniqueness, her freedom, and her strength. I hope that this book will make readers reach out to someone who may need their help.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Whatcha Reading Now? on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Eleven-year old Hope Elliot takes a lot of abuse, but being called hopeless, or sworn at doesn't hurt nearly as much as being called stupid. What's worse, it's her own mom who hurls these insults at Hope on a daily basis. Sadly, Hope is so used to it, she's learned to live in her bedroom, tiptoe around the house when Mom's home, and never, ever ask her mom for anything. That is, until the permission slips for sixth grade Outdoor School are handed out. Hope's been dreaming about the five day camp-out with her classmates for years. But will her mother sign the papers?

Hope tries harder than ever to stay on her mother's good side, but fierce insults fly constantly. With inspiration from her required reading book, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl and Joshua's dad in the film Life is Beautiful, Hope comes up with her own plan--"Hope's Point System"--for surviving the verbal abuse.

Though it's not easy to ignore the comments, she's content adding points to her notebook each time she bites her tongue rather than reply to Mom. And, she's staying out of her mom's way by working part time at Next To New, a consignment store, to pay off her layaway debt for a pair of purple hiking books she fell in love with. After all, the boots would be perfect for Outdoor School.

Her plan is working beautifully. But she's afraid to get too excited because, as Mom often points out, Hope's no good at anything. And sure enough, when Hope makes a decision that backfires and sends her Mom into a rage, Hope's chance of Outdoor School vanishes like the prisoners who were carted off to the concentration camp gas chambers.
But, Hope knows from lessons learned in studying the Holocaust, she can choose to be strong, or choose to give up.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kim Baccellia, "YA Books Central reviewer" on July 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eleven-year-old Hope struggles to live under the pressure of her verbally abusive mother, she's tempted to run away. But instead she chooses resilience. She creates a secret safe haven and a point system( giving herself points for every bad thing her mother says to her). She draws inspiration and comfort in Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

I really liked the premise of a young girl dealing with a verbally abusive mother. The point system was interesting and different. I also liked how Hope refuses to be a victim but choses instead to resist her mother's sharp tongue.

What I found hard to believe was how Hope's mother reacts. I also questioned what the counselor does in this book. Sadly this weakens the story which is a shame as I really feel that this subject needs to be addressed. But not in a unrealistic way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Quigg on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson is a wonderful book for middle school and for all parents. "Words Hurt" is an important message in this book, and they hurt even more when they come from a parent. Hope is filled with pain and doubt from the constant barrage of words from her thoughtless mother. For all of us who play a role in the life of a child, this book is important. We must consider the impact of what we say to young people.
Also, Hope is an incredible and resilient youngster who tries to find a way to achieve successes in her life without the encouragement of her mother. Everyone will fall in love with this character and wish to have her courage and determination. This book is a powerful reminder of the responsibility adults have to children and of the power of words to encourage or to destroy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Cravens on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Call Me Hope is a very inspirational book. Hope is an 11-year-old child that feels unloved and unwanted by everyone. These feelings arise from the verbal abuse that her mother inflicts on her daily. From her mother calling her an accident to stupid, Hope struggles to find a way to deal with it all. Hope devises a play to award herself each time her mother calls her a name or makes a face. Each word or gesture was given a point value. Throughout the story, she would accumulate points and mentally give herself an award.

Hope is a protagonist character within this story. She is very bright and independent natured. She finds refuge in a number of places within the story and makes many new friends along the way. In the end, with help, she is able to begin to solve her issues with her verbally abusive mother.

This book takes a topic that is not widely saw as a problem and explains it through the words of a child. Verbal abuse is not as recognizable or as common as physical abuse. This book allows you to experience verbal abuse with the child, acknowledge systems, and offer solutions. It truly allows one to hope.

A teacher or counselor could very easily use this book in their classroom to explain verbal abuse and the effects of name-calling. I would highly recommend it for grades 4-5.
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