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Selling Hope Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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Hope longed to stay in Chicago, which she considered home. All she needed to do was save up enough to pay the $2 to $3 weekly rent charged for the typical furnished room that she and Nick would need while they searched for jobs. A fortuitous set of circumstances brought the perfect opportunity to earn this kind of money. Earth would pass through the tail of Halley's Comet in two weeks, and people wielded all sorts of irrational fears. Hope figured she could sell these people some new hope in the form of Anti-Comet Pills to relieve their anxiety. At 25 cents a pill, she could make some easy money. But was it right to take advantage of vulnerable people, some of whom had financial circumstances as tenuous as those of Hope and Nick?
This novel provides readers with a unique storyline and interesting historical setting. Cleverly intertwined throughout the text are important themes in economics, including entrepreneurship, working conditions, savings, and child labor. While the main character seems overly mature for her thirteen years, the book ranks highly on substantive content and an entertaining plot.
The tightly woven tale of Hope McDaniels carries the reader along on a journey as daunting as the vaudeville circuit traveled by Hope, her father and their extended family of circus misfits.
Hope wants a secure future for herself and her magician father, a security she sees only in money. She intends to gain that wealth nickel by nickel from frightened, gullible townspeople, hawking a magic pill that will save them from the ill effects of the approaching Halley's Comet.
But her mission changes as Hope grows closer to the customers she calls "Coins." Hope identifies with their fears and longs to bring them comfort as they face the comet countdown to May 18, 1910.
Tubb works magic more adroitly than any circus performer as she brings Hope to life in her engaging and entertaining novel.
This book is AWESOME! In that I-should-give-up-writing-because-I-will-never-be-that-good kind of way. I have total writing envy. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if this book rakes in a bunch of honors and awards. It deserves it.
The events in the story are not biographical--but they are authentic (man I hope I'm using the right words). Buster Keaton did tour the Vaudeville circuit, and Halley's Comet did cause mass hysteria, so you can't help feeling like, "okay, so, this didn't necessarily happen--but it could have." And may I just say that the 15-year-old Buster in the book is totally swoon-worthy? I'm more than a little in love with him.
And the writing. OMG the WRITING!
I loved every word.
I loved the zinger jokes breaking up the text, like the whole book was a Vaudeville act.
I loved the way she pulls you so deeply into the time that you feel like you're really in Chicago during the comet panic. You live the dirty alleys. The run-down boarding house. The crowded, stuffy theater. The itchy clothes.
I loved the language. Movies called "Flickering Flicks" and customers called "Coins." And Huck! Where has that swear word been all my life????? I am determined to make "Huck" happen. (Insert Mean Girls quote here). But seriously, Huck! How fun is that?
So yeah, in case you can't tell--I LOVED this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone--no matter what age you are. Middle Grade is not just for kids--and this book especially. You will love it!*
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Not only is Hope's voice charming, quirky and mischievous, not only is her emotional arc captivating, and not only do I have a ginormous crush on Buster Keaton now - but Kristen O'Donnell Tubb could teach a class on how to write a historical novel that is both informative and entertaining.
Her writing style is brisk and tight, and the story never slows. The reader is immediately emotionally invested in Hope and her destiny. Her father is painted perfectly, the bumbling magician with more on his mind than his daughter. The rest of the carnival participants are not caricatures, which would have been easy, but living, breathing, jump-off-the-page human beings.
This is a rare breed of novel - it tugs at your emotions, it makes you think, and it exposes you to a segment of American history not usually explored in text books.
A great resource for teachers, librarians and students, as well as just a darn good story. I expect SELLING HOPE has a future as a classic!
Can I give it more than five stars? ;)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was hard to decide which Kristin O'Donnell Tubb to read first. SELLING HOPE got me hooked. The color, the humor, the characters, the circus, con people, and Haley's Comet. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Corabel Shofner
A fun-filled romp through the excitement and panic of Halley's Comet through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Hope. Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by D. Emory
In 1910, Halley's Comet caused a panic. Thirteen-year-old Hope, a spunky and smart girl, travels the country with her magician dad, but what she wants most of all is to find a way... Read morePublished on May 29, 2012 by Sue
Wonderful book for middle grade kids. Original story with excitement, history, and a subtle message punctuated with great writing. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by Ben S. Woodard
Kristin Tubb's Hope is a refreshingly real character, complex and appealing. The vaudeville world she lives in is so beautifully drawn that the reader gets pulled right into it. Read morePublished on December 13, 2010 by Tracy Barrett
Selling Hope makes us all believe our lives can change as fast as a comet streaks by. Kristin O'Donnell Tubb's characters take readers on a wonderful ride with the vaudeville... Read morePublished on November 11, 2010 by H. Dills
It's May 1910, and people around the world are working themselves into a near frenzy over the coming of Halley's Comet. Read morePublished on November 9, 2010 by M. Tanenbaum
May 1, 1910: The world might end in seventeen days when Earth will pass through the possibly lethal tail of Halley's Comet but thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniel isn't too concerned. Read morePublished on November 9, 2010 by Miss Print