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Selling Hope

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3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  156 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
It's May 1910, and Halley's Comet is due to pass thru the Earth's atmosphere. And thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels and her father are due to pass through their hometown of Chicago with their ragtag vaudeville troupe. Hope wants out of vaudeville, and longs for a "normal" life—or as normal as life can be without her mother, who died five years before. Hope sees an opportuni ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Feiwel & Friends
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienDigitus 233 by K.D. EmersonSwitch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  Prince
Great Middle Grade Reads
206th out of 446 books — 478 voters
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul CurtisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Boy Who Flew With Eagles by Ben WoodardDirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly by Conrad  WesselhoeftSelling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Books for Boys - Middle School
5th out of 45 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 508)
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Lewis Buzbee
Jul 27, 2010 Lewis Buzbee rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this sweet and brave book. The world of the 1910 is so faithfully, but gracefully brought to life, through the language of the characters, and artful historical details. And Hope's struggle to find her place in the world, while everyone around her is going crazy, it seems--well, that's what the best kids' books are about, right? But this ain't just a kids' book. It's a fine, fine novel.
Kelsey
Jan 12, 2011 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Amazing book!!!! Loved it so much!!
P.S. Mrs. Elliott and Emily, could you tell Mrs.Tubb that I loved it? Thanks
Shannon Messenger
This book is awesome you guys. AWESOME! In that I-should-give-up-writing-because-I-will-never-be-that-good kind of way. I have total writing envy. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if this book rakes in a bunch of honors and awards. It deserves it.

I'll admit, I actually hadn't heard of the book when the publicist emailed me offering the ARC. But when I read the blurb I thought uh--Middle Grade + Vaudeville + Buster Keaton = WIN. And I was right!

Buster Keaton is one of the stars I spent the mos
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Nov 02, 2010 Margo Tanenbaum rated it it was amazing
It's May 1910, and people around the world are working themselves into a near frenzy over the coming of Halley's Comet. Astronomers predict that the Earth will actually pass through the tail of the comet, and despite assurances from scientists that no harm would come to people on Earth, many are panicked, thinking the end of the world is at hand.

Author Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, (check back tomorrow for an interview with Kristin!) taking inspiration from the centenary of this Halley's Comet hysteri
...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I love this cover and I really enjoyed reading Selling Hope. Kristin did a fantastic job at weaving together a wonderful story with historical fiction. Selling Hope is a book that I would recommend for classroom reading as well as at home. Not only does Kristin take the reader back to Chicago in the year 1910, she enchants you with a beloved strong willed, says how it is, young female character, Hope.

Hope and her father Nick, are part of the circuit, who travel from city to city with a large gro
...more
Joan Marie
Jan 26, 2016 Joan Marie rated it it was amazing
elling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb is about 13-year-old Hope McDaniel's race to cash in on mounting fear of Halley's Comet as it approached earth's path in May of 1910 For all folks knew, they could die of poisonous gases or the earth could cease to exist. Determined to raise money so she and her dad could finally leave the grimy vaudeville circuit where she assists her father, the magician, Hope sells HOPE to folks in the form of anti-comet pills made from flour-coated breath mints. As she m ...more
M.C.
Jan 27, 2015 M.C. rated it it was amazing
This is a middle grade - young adult novel set during the time of the first sighting of Halley's Comet. It is incredibly heart-warming and sweet, not to mention its plotline revolves around a circus! Some of the people in it were real persons, and I won't say anything more, because I am so excited to have discovered this little gem of a book that I want you to read it for yourselves.
Reading about the hunk of a boy, sometimes brooding, sometimes sunny, who plays a surprising part in the story doe
...more
Handd51
Sep 11, 2011 Handd51 rated it really liked it
The is a really interesting book - but I'm not sure kids will eat it up. Set in 1910, main character Hope is the daughter of and assistant to magician Nick on the Vaudeville circuit as the hype about Halley's Comet takes over the headlines in an era before the current one of immediate info. But the press still loved to wind readers up to a frenzy of fear. Meanwhile, Nick was at risk of being cut from the show when the run in Chicago ended and Hope was hopeful they could stay in Chicago and be "n ...more
Beverly
Jul 14, 2011 Beverly rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 12-14
I loved the quirky characters in Selling Hope. Buster Keaton, as Hope's best friend and major crush, was a delightful surprise. I also loved how Kristin Tubb gave readers the feel of life in vaudeville and the feel of the gritty streets of Chicago in 1910. The historical setting was great - Haley's comet is coming and there is a public feud going on between scientists trying to educate and con artists trying to cash in on public fear. Hope decides to join the con artists to earn money for an apa ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I love this cover and I really enjoyed reading Selling Hope. Kristin did a fantastic job at weaving together a wonderful story with historical fiction. Selling Hope is a book that I would recommend for classroom reading as well as at home. Not only does Kristin take the reader back to Chicago in the year 1910, she enchants you with a beloved strong willed, says how it is, young female character, Hope.

Hope and her father Nick, are part of the circuit, who travel from city to city with a large gro
...more
M.
Aug 31, 2011 M. rated it it was ok
I'm not sure why I couldn't get into this book. I found the historical setting very interesting and well researched--it takes place just before (and after) Haley's Comet is going to pass through the earth's atmosphere and many of the people of Chicago, where the book is set, are terrified of what will happen as a result. Hope and her father, a magician, are in Chicago traveling with a down at the heels vaudeville troupe and Hope wants out, but she realizes it will take money to get settled in on ...more
Annie
The ending is worth waiting for!

Favorite passages:

p. 186
The comet was almost as big as the full moon, and between the two of them, eleven forty-five p.m. was as bright as late afternoon. The comet and its glorious spray of light covered the entire horizon. It looked like shimmering, sparkling gold. It looked like a dream.
I couldn't help but feel Earth traveling through the vast stretches of the universe. We were all very cognizant of our celestial trek jus then. We were in space. It's easy to
...more
Mel Raschke
Magician Nick Mc Daniels and his 13-year-old daughter have been on the vaudeville circuit ever since his wife died. Spending her time on trains and in grubby boardinghouses, Hope longs to settle down in Chicago, their hometown, and desperately wishes for a blue notice telling them that their magician act is no longer wanted, but how would they support themselves? She needs money to tide them over until her father finds another line of work. In May 1910, Earth is about to pass through the tail of ...more
QNPoohBear
Aug 02, 2013 QNPoohBear rated it really liked it
This is a cute little story about an event that few people know about. I think everyone in modern times can relate to mass hysteria and everyone needs a little hope in their lives. The way the author handles the idea of hope, linking it to her character, Hope, is very clever. The message is a little heavy handed but I like the way the final few scenes were played out. The setting of the story is absolutely marvelous. I loved getting to know the vaudeville performers and they really come to life. ...more
Leann
Oct 29, 2011 Leann rated it really liked it
The cover and title drew me to pick up this title. It's May 1910, and people around the world are working themselves into a near frenzy over the coming of Halley's Comet. Astronomers predict that the Earth will actually pass through the tail of the comet, and despite assurances from scientists that no harm would come to people on Earth, many are panicked, thinking the end of the world is at hand.

Tubb does a terrific job of capturing the atmosphere of the comet panic, making effective use of act
...more
Emma
Oct 07, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
May 1, 1910: The world might end in seventeen days when Earth will pass through the possibly lethal tail of Halley's Comet but thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniel isn't too concerned. Her world already ended, in a way, when her mother died years ago and Hope's father, Nick, joined the small time vaudeville circuit.

Hope is tired of living out of train cars, boarding houses, and not having any friends her own age. She's sick of being a magician's assistant for Nick and reading Tarot card fortunes to u
...more
Abby Johnson
Oct 14, 2010 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
It's 1910 and Halley's Comet is freaking everybody out. 13-year-old Hope is stuck helping her father perform his vaudeville act as part of a small-time traveling show and she wants OUT. She dreams of a house to call their own and a stable life where she can make friends and do something - anything - other than perform vaudeville. But to make that happen, she needs money. So she starts selling "anti-comet pills" to gullible people who are terrified that the Comet is bringing the end of the world. ...more
Allison Parker
Hope wouldn't mind it a bit if her magician and phiolosopher of a father got cut from the vaudeville circuit. She'd like to try having a real life, even if it means losing their measly income. But Hope's a practical girl, seasoned by a life of smoke and mirrors, and when mass hysteria breaks out in fear of the approaching Haley's Comet, she takes advantage of her Coins, as she calls them. She starts peddling anti-comet pills - just dressed up mints - to people and starts saving up for her and he ...more
Donna-Jo Webster
A cute, if not slightly predictable, quick read about a 13-year-old girl who decides to take matters into her own hands, saving herself, her father and quite possibly all of Chicago, ten days before the world is due to end because Halley's comet is approaching in 1910.
Teresa Garrett
Hope, a girl, is a member of a travelling vaudeville act in 1910. Halley's Comet is due to reappear and everyone is in a panic due to the lack of information at the time. Hope is not happy in the show as her father's assistant in a magic act. She recalls the time before her mother's death as the happiest times of her life and longs to leave the show and settle down. That's going to take some money so Hope and Buster Keaton, another member of the the vaudeville troop take advantage of the comet's ...more
Kara
Aug 21, 2014 Kara rated it really liked it
A girl who travels the vaudeville circuit with her magician father. Rising hysteria as Halley's whizzes towards Earth. A young Buster Keaton love interest. What more could you ask for a middle grade novel? Entertaining for adults and kids.
Drucilla
Jun 17, 2015 Drucilla rated it liked it
Shelves: t
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. A nice, sweet read (and I'm not being bias just because Buster Keaton is in it). The setting and characters were great. If it had had an epilogue of some kind, I probably would have given it four stars.
Donna
I enjoyed this book - but I am not sure it should be billed as a children's book or even YA. Despite the young age of the lead character, Hope, I see this as an adult novel. For it is usually adults who have lost hope......
Patsi Trollinger
Mar 01, 2011 Patsi Trollinger rated it really liked it
Who knew that historical fiction could be so much fun? Apparently Kristin Tubb did. She took an intriguing subject - public fear in 1910 that Halley's Comet would unleash 'the wrath of the heavens' - and gave a personal view of it through the eyes of Hope McDaniel who is stuck on the vaudeville circuit with her father. Hope wants a home and a normal life, which will require some funds, and she comes up with the idea of selling Comet Pills that guarantee the safety of all who take them. Hope is b ...more
D.G. Driver
Mar 23, 2014 D.G. Driver rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite middle grade novels. It is about a clever girl who uses the fear people feel as Haley's Comet comes near to make a little profit. Very brilliant!
Abi
Mar 14, 2014 Abi rated it it was amazing
There are very few books that I would read over and over again, and this one is among them. It was beautifully planned and you would fall in love with the characters.
Debbie Emory
Jun 12, 2012 Debbie Emory rated it it was amazing
A fun-filled romp through the excitement and panic of Halley’s Comet through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Hope. Her talent for magic and mischief takes you through the tail and turbulence of 1910 Chicago with an eccentric group of vaudeville performers. Hope manages to balance her magic act, her “anti-comet” pills business in a back alley, and a budding romance with irresistible Buster Keaton, all while trying to outsmart the villainous boss who bullies Hope, her friends and family.

A fantastic
...more
Joyce Lansky
Feb 07, 2011 Joyce Lansky rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed getting a peek of life in 1910 through the eyes of Hope McDaniels, the thirteen-year-old main character of "Selling Hope" by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb. In her book, "Coins," or people of Chicago, line up to buy flour coated mints passed off as anti-comet pills that will protect the user from dying from the gases given off from the tail of Haley's comet. This book uses real newspaper headlines to show the lead up to this historic non-event while at the same time, allowing the reader a glim ...more
Tj Shay
Dec 30, 2012 Tj Shay rated it really liked it
This is another well-crafted book by Kristin Tubb. I love her mix of storytelling and humor.

To be honest, the reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because I found it hard to get into at first, which might have been more about me than the story. Because I always must be honest, I couldn't rate it as high as her other two books (which is consumed as fast as I could).

Set in 1910 and full of historic facts, this book is very interesting and the storytelling is tight. I found myself laughing out lou
...more
Julia
In May, 1910 thirteen year old Hope and her father a magician in vaudeville get help from fifteen year old Buster Keaton in selling ‘Hope’s Anti- Comet Pills,’ as Halley’s Comet is about to come and many believe the world will end. Hope (and Buster) offer people hope in the form of breath mints and make a small fortune.

Hope, in trying to care for her family's finances, begins to care for the people she's selling peace of mind. It's a nice little novel, with appealing characters, but I don't know
...more
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