Hope Was Here

By:Mercedes Ackley Book by: Joan Bauer

About the Author

Joan Bauer was born on July 12, 1951 in River Forest, Illinois. She is now age 62 and has won a Newbery Honor. She lives in Brooklyn and is a writer for young adult literature.

The Setting

The setting of Hope Was Here is in Mulhoney, Wisconsin during the summertime.

It also starts from May 26 with no year.

The Characters

Hope is the main character because she is the narrator of the story. She loves waitressing and loves to bring hope to people. Her mom gave her away to her Aunt Addie to raise her and live with. Hope is also trying to find her father. Her aunt is a cook and every business she has worked for has shut down. They just relocated into a restaurant called "Welcome Stairways."

The Main Conflict

The main conflict is external and internal because G.T. Stoop (the owner of "Welcome Stairways") is running for mayor against Eli Millstone, who is a liar and a cheater. The internal conflict is that G.T. has cancer and is fighting for his life.

The Rising Action

Some parts of the rising action happens when Millstone starts telling lies about G.T.'s campaign. G.T. does nothing about it but tells the truth about the town and it's mayor. Millstone doesn't do anything about it till voting day.

The Climax

The climax happens when all the votes are in. It shows that Eli Millstone won and G.T. lost. Only later do you find out that Millstone cheated and put people who didn't vote on the election vote. Then Hope and her friends march outside city hall on a winter night to make Millstone resign from being mayor. It works and G.T. is the mayor.


Some examples of characterization are when Hope, in the beginning states the she is a hardworking, insightful, 16 year old girl. She also says, "I'm the toughest female you've ever seen." Another example is when she used to box, she one time hit the punching bag and started to cry about the injustice of being left by her mother. Overall, the characterization in the story helps build up Hope as the main character.


The strongest use of dialogue in the story Hope Was Here is when G.T. was dying. He has a deep conversation with Hope how much he was a father to her. Even though he died the next day Hope knew he died. Another point where dialog is used is when Hope shows her scrapbooks she has kept from all the places she has been to G.T. when he first becomes her father. In conclusion, this story has a lot of personal dialog between Hope and G.T. Stoop.


I believe that the theme of the story is always have hope. I think that because every place she has been she writes Hope Was Here to make someone feel hopeful. Another reason why is because in the story Hope has always been hopeful when times were dark. Another reason is because when G.T. was dying she hoped he would be better and still be her perfect dad. Overall, I think that the main theme is always be hopeful.

Figurative, Sensory, and Descriptive language

Some examples of descriptive language are when Hope compares G.T. to a plate of cold fried eggs. That shows that G.T. was not feeling well and looked pale. Another example is when she compares a hot sticky day in Mulhoney to New York. One other example is when G.T. and Addie get into a fight, Flo calls it like 2 dogs were marking their boundaries in a field. Although there is not many uses of figurative language, it still is a pretty great story.