Study Guide

Hope Was Here What's Up With the Title?

By Joan Bauer

What's Up With the Title?

HOPE WAS HERE. If you look really closely, you'll see these words handwritten on the wall above the dessert case at the Ballyhoo Grill in South Carolina, on the boarded-up windows of the Blue Box Diner in Brooklyn, NY, and on bedroom doors in homes from Atlanta to Pensacola, Florida. Every time Hope has to leave a place, she writes the same three words in a meaningful spot for all to see.

Hope says it's her way of saying goodbye, but she's saying a lot more with this catchphrase than she thinks. She's telling us that she had had hope in each and every place that she was forced to leave behind—hope that the restaurant where Addie worked would stay afloat forever; hope that she wouldn't have to move again; hope that her father would show up after searching for her. It's the same story in each new town—hope that this time things will work out permanently.

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