Hope Was Here is a quick, wholesome, and uplifting read for the middle school crowd. Hope was abandoned by her mother at birth, and has always been cared for by her Aunt Addie. She learns techniques to deal with the anger she feels at her mother, who pops back into her life occasionally to dispense advice and check up on Hope. Addie's nomadic lifestyle has taught Hope to be adaptable, responsible, and to not expect life to be easy. She finds a potential father figure in a character she meets in Wisconsin, but unfortunately, this man has leukemia. His perseverance and attitude about life teach Hope to make the most of every day though, and he fills a big place in her heart even though he does not have long to live. There is a great lesson about politics and their effect on the vitality of a small economy as the teens in the book campaign for a candidate who wants to replace a corrupt mayor. One teen is beaten up and another is robbed by the mayor's cronies, but both refuse to give up in the face of the bullying. Although she has not always had an easy life, Hope is a hard-working optimist who likes the connotations that a name like hers carries.