“Hope was here.” Those three simple words are how sixteen-year-old Hope marks her presence in a place she is about to leave, and Hope has made her mark in quite a few places as she and Addie, the aunt with whom she lives, travel around the country. The last place they left was Brooklyn, where Addie, a professional cook, was part-owner in the Blue Box Diner. When her business partner skips town with all the diner’s money, Addie and Hope have no choice but to move on. Their destination: Mulhoney, Wisconsin, where a job awaits Addie at the Welcome Stairways Diner.
After the bustle of Brooklyn, Hope doesn’t have high expectations for Mulhoney, feeling sure she will not fit into small town life. But she couldn’t be more wrong. In addition to waiting tables at the diner, Hope gets involved in local politics, helping her boss, G. T. Stoop, run for mayor. In her work on G.T.’s campaign, Hope sees both the best and worst in people, and finds something she has always wanted in an unexpected place. Hope truly is here, in so many ways. This is a heartwarming story, liberally sprinkled with humor. Recommended for age 12 and up.