Study Guide

Hope Was Here Change

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Hope and change—hmm, sounds like that could be a great campaign slogan.

Change isn't easy for most people, especially teens. Especially teens who are plucked out of their comfort zones before they've had the chance to even get comfortable. In Hope Was Here, this happens to Hope time and time again, as she follows Addie from one job to the next without any real say about where she's going. She doesn't like it, but she accepts it as just the way her life is.

The town changes, too, after Hope arrives. When G.T. challenges the entrenched political establishment, we see how hard it is to change the status quo. The author makes a strong case that young people can make change happen; that they're uniquely qualified to do so because of their energy and idealism.

Questions About Change

  1. What typical parts of teenage life has Hope missed out on as a result of moving so frequently? Why doesn't Hope's relationship with her mother ever change?
  2. What is it about Hope that changes the most from the beginning of the novel to the end?
  3. Just as Hope is saying goodbye to the Welcome Stairways before heading off to college, she states, "So much had changed here. So much was the same" (184). Is she referring to "the same" in a positive way or a negative way?

Chew on This

Hope has two constants in her life that help her deal with change. One is Addie; the other is a strong sense of self.

All the changes Hope experiences before moving to Wisconsin help her to keep moving forward after G.T.'s death.

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