We live in a hopeless old house on an almost-deserted dead-end street in a middle-of-nowhere town named Hope. This is the oldest part of Hope; eventually it will all be torn down and rebuilt into perfect homes for perfect people. Until then, we live here: imperfect people on an imperfect street that everyone forgets about.
For Eva Brown, life feels lonely and small. Her mother, Shirley, drinks and yells all the time. She’s the target of the popular mean girl, and her only friend doesn’t want to talk to her anymore. All of it would be unbearable if it weren’t for her cat, Toofie, her beloved nohkum, and her writing, which no one will ever see.
When Nohkum is hospitalized, Shirley struggles to keep things together for Eva and her younger brother, Marcus. After Marcus is found wandering the neighbourhood alone, he is sent to live with a foster family, and Eva finds herself in a group home.
Furious at her mother, Eva struggles to adjust—and being reunited with her family seems less and less likely. During a visit to the hospital, Nohkum gives Eva Shirley’s diary. Will the truths it holds help Eva understand her mother?
Heartbreaking and humorous, Hopeless in Hope is a compelling story of family and forgiveness.
About the author
Wanda John-Kehewin (she, her, hers) is a Cree writer who uses her work to understand and respond to the near destruction of First Nations cultures, languages, and traditions. When she first arrived in Vancouver on a Greyhound bus, she was a nineteen-year-old carrying her first child, a bag of chips, a bottle of pop, thirty dollars, and a bit of hope. After many years of travelling (well, mostly stumbling) along her healing journey, she shares her personal life experiences with others to shed light on the effects of trauma and how to break free from the "monkeys in the brain."
Now a published poet, fiction author, and film scriptwriter, she writes to stand in her truth and to share that truth openly. She is the author of the Dreams series of graphic novels. Hopeless in Hope is her first novel for young adults.
Wanda is the mother of five children, two dogs, two cats, three tiger barbs (fish), and grandmother to one super-cute granddog. She calls Coquitlam home until the summertime, when she treks to the Alberta prairies to visit family and learn more about herself and Cree culture, as well as to continuously think and write about what it means to be Indigenous in today's times. How do we heal from a place of forgiveness?
Among featured titles for SLJ Webcasts Spring Teen & Young Adult Book Buzz
School Library Journal