By Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Published by Feiwel and Friends
To Be Released November 9, 2010
4 Stars- great book to read both at home and in the class room
It’s May 1910, and Halley’s Comet is due to pass thru the Earth’s atmosphere. And thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels and her father are due to pass through their hometown of Chicago with their ragtag vaudeville troupe. Hope wants out of vaudeville, and longs for a "normal” life—or as normal as life can be without her mother, who died five years before. Hope sees an opportunity: She invents "anti-comet” pills to sell to the working-class customers desperate for protection. Soon, she’s joined by a fellow troupe member, young Buster Keaton, and the two of them start to make good money. And just when Hope thinks she has all the answers, she has to decide: What is family? Where is home?
I love this cover and I really enjoyed reading Selling Hope. Kristin did a fantastic job at weaving together a wonderful story with historical fiction. Selling Hope is a book that I would recommend for classroom reading as well as at home. Not only does Kristin take the reader back to Chicago in the year 1910, she enchants you with a beloved strong willed, says how it is, young female character, Hope.
Hope and her father Nick, are part of the circuit, who travel from city to city with a large group of other performers, putting on shows for the locals. It's not a pretty job by any means, but it's one that provides Hope and her father a roof over their head. Wanting to provide more for her father and herself, Hope decides to sell anti-comet pills.
Selling Hope starts 17 days before Halley's comet passes the earth. With mass hysteria over the comet's approach to earth, many people fear it's the end of the world. Hope's idea of giving the people some sort of comfort resorts in her teaming up with an other performer, Buster. Together Hope and Buster offer the people a little bit of Hope with the comets approach, when everyone around of them fears the world will end.
There's a sweet relationship between Buster and Hope that I really liked and wanted to read more about after I had finished the book.
What I liked about Hope, is she became a true source for Hope to those whom she sells her pills (mints) to. Many people are looking for some sort of answer and will pay anything to be "saved" from the comet's fury when it strikes earth. Through the course of the days leading up to the comets approach and even the night the comet appears, Hope reflects back on a few things she's learned about herself. What starts out as a way to earn more money for her and her father, turns out to be a mission in giving people a real sense of Hope.
Hope is a character that I think young readers will really adore. I think Selling Hope will captivate young readers, as Kristin gives her book a real 1910's feeling with the language and the setting. With a wonderful cast of both fictional and non fiction characters, this a book I would definitely recommend for readers 10 years and older.