Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. To help embolden hope, some of today's most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of essays, poems, and letters, each a firsthand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope.
We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and-in some cases-even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it's difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power. Some of today's most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal collection of essays and original stories that offer moments of light in the darkness, and show that hope is a decision we all can make. Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Hope Nation acknowledges the pain and offers words of encouragement. Authors include- Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, Christina Diaz Gonzales, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregario, Kate Hart, Bendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, and Nicola Yoon.
Dr. Rose Brock is a twenty-year veteran professor who has dedicated her career to turning teens into book lovers. Building relationships with readers through books is her superpower. In addition to her career as a librarian and educator, Dr. Brock is also very involved in helping to organize the North Texas Teen Book Festival, a one-day event, which hosts sixty authors and has an impressive annual attendance of over 3,500 teens and tweens. She also serves as a team leader of the International Literacy Association's Young Adults' Choices project, which empowers teens to read and select the best books of the year. Dr. Brock was named by the Texas Library Association as the recipient of the Siddie Joe Johnson Award, an award given by the Children's Round Table to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding library service to children. Follow her on Twitter @reallyrosebrock.
"This amazing outpouring of strength and honesty offers inspirational personal accounts for every reader who wonders what to do when everything seems impossible." --Booklist, starred review "An important and inspiring read for thoughtful teens."--School Library Journal
"A salve when days are bleak."--Kirkus Reviews
"A must-read resource for English teachers, social studies teachers, and counselors....Each essay presents hope as the platform for positive action and growth....a strong addition to both YA and adult nonfiction collections." --VOYA
Dear Reader, Like some of you, I'm a reader. Like others, I wasn't always. My family came from Germany to the United States when I was in elementary school, and for all kinds of reasons, I struggled. Coming from somewhere different was hard. Learning English--learning in English--was hard. That slowly changed, thanks mostly to books. Books became my escape, my window to this new American world. I still remember my first book friendships; before I had real friends at my new school, I basked in the company of fictional friends. Since that point, reading books has been one of the things I cherish most. Here's another thing you should know about me. Until she passed away, I was fed a steady diet of hopeful anecdotes by my immigrant mother. Hers were often focused on her childhood during World War II in Germany. After losing all their possessions in an Allied bombing, my grandmother and her five children fled their city to Bavaria to start over again while they waited for my grandfather to be released from a camp for prisoners of war. Although my family was on the wrong side of history, it seemed that the lessons served to my mom were ones that resonated, and for that reason, in my childhood home, finding hope was a directive. It was expected that the world's lemons would be made into fresh lemonade. Perhaps that is the reason I'm an optimist. A dreamer. A hoper. And whether it's in my genetic makeup to see the glass as half full or it's a product of conditioning, I love stories of resilience and tenacity, and I look for hopeful stories everywhere--in books, in movies, and most importantly, in real life. The older I get, the more I understand that finding and holding on to hope can be hard. At times it can feel impossible. So what is Hope Nation ? Simply, it's a collection of unique and personal experiences shared by some of my favorite writers for teens. Stories of resilience, resistance, hardship, loss, love, tenacity, and acceptance--stories that prove that sometimes, hope can be found only on the other side of adversity. I'm so grateful to each of these talented writers for sharing their own paths to hope. Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood once said that during a crisis, it's vital to look for the helpers. The authors featured in Hope Nation are our helpers; the gift of their stories is the reason I am able to share this book with you. The making of it is a hopeful endeavor in every way--in lieu of being paid to share their stories, my amazing team of contributors have donated 100 percent of their fees to charities that give meaning to them, organizations and charities working to make our world a better place for you and me. And my publisher is matching each donation. To me, Hope Nation is the gift I want to give back to all the young people in my life, especially my daughters, Madeleine and Olivia. It's for the teens closest to me who have been left feeling disempowered and hopeless. We see you. It's for all of you that we say, "Hope is a decision." I hope it's a choice you make for yourself. Dr. Rose Brock
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