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Project Middle School

(Hope #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Lifelong actor-advocate Alyssa Milano tells the story of a young activist in the making. It's the first book in an empowering and funny new middle-grade series illustrated by Simpsons illustrator, Eric S. Keyes.
Meet Hope Roberts. She's 11 years old, and she wants to be an astrophysicist. She loves swimming, Galaxy Girl comic books, and her two rescue dogs.

Hope believes it'
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Scholastic Inc.
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
ARC Review (Source: BookCon)

Hope is a quick, feel good middle grade story about a budding scientist and activist (Hope) starting her first year of middle school. The general idea is very on trend (girls in STEM!, dealing with bullies!), but the actual writing was not to my personal taste. The narration and dialogue are both casual and approachable, but the kids all sounded like adults to me, and the message(s) of the book frequently overshadow the story.

Frankly, the book feels preachy. Hope enco
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC Review
Source: BookCon

It isn't terrible, but it also isn't that good. Milano tries to tie together a bunch of themes, such as changing friendships, girls in STEM, microaggressions, girls being talked over by boys in meetings, and, most oddly, astrology, without most of it coming together and forming a cohesive narrative. It feels a little like there was a check list of "relevant messages" that had to be hit, to the detriment of the narrative. Some things, like the astrology bit, are discussed
Tara Strosnider
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meet Hope Roberts. She's 11 years old, and she wants to be an astrophysicist. She loves swimming, Galaxy Girl comic books, and her two rescue dogs.

Hope believes it's always a good day to champion a cause, defend an underdog, and save the future. And most of all, she believes in dreaming big. That's why she's enrolled in all of the advanced classes at her new middle school. She's smart and confident in her abilities. But though Hope seems super strong on the outside, there's another side of her,
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was just really lacking in depth and felt a bit clunky with the girls can do/be anything message. Also, personally I’m really tired of the two best friends go to middle school and then one gets bitchy. Sometimes two girls go to middle school and nothing bad happens to their friendship.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Edelweiss+ provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was cute, but it just doesn't have much depth. It reads like an after school special, where characters make life-changing discoveries and learn lessons in a ridiculously short period of time. Hope lives a pretty cushy life (a well-adjusted family, two parents, pets, a pool, etc.) and doesn't really encounter anything all that terrible at school.

There are some great themes here (girls in STEAM, speaking up for yoursel
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
I was a bit skeptical bc it’s co-written by Alyssa Milano (and sorry, Alyssa, but for some reason I judge actors who think they can write kids’ books. It’s unfair. Sorry! But You’re my Project Runway All-Stars host, so I thought I’d give it a try).
It was cute.
A bit on the surface, but cute.
It hit on these topics without it feeling like it was being too obvious:
STEAM and girls
Friends changing, especially in middle school years
Working towards a cause
Understanding why people are mean o
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
Hope is excited and nervous to begin middle school. This sixth grader loves science and is delighted to be part of the advanced level classes. Science is her area. The first day doesn't go well but she rallies and finds her way - science club, finding her voice, apologizing when needed, figuring out friendship.
Readers will relate to her struggles and mistakes as she learns more about herself and about what is important to her. Final chapter is abrupt but leads to the second book in the series.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it

This is going to find its place and will do well thanks to the name of the author... it just wasn’t my thing... I didn’t enjoy the writing style (too chatty but didn’t really sound like any kids I have met) and it was kind of preachy. I love that it is STEM based and I think the idea, I just wasn’t thrilled by it overall.
Megan Schmelzer
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Open Book Reviews by Megan Schmelzer

In two years, my fourth-graders are heading to middle school. They will get to join five other elementary schools into one school. They will get to switch classes, and they will get to start to focus on areas that they love.

For so many students, this transition will be a little bit scary, but it is also so exciting for them. They will be taking a big step in growing up, and that is exactly what the main character in Hope: Project Middle
Brandie Bridges
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Brandie by: Debbie Rigaud
Shelves: middle-grade
This book was everything that I was hoping for. When I first heard about this book I was so excited because of course there was a girl of color on the cover of the book which is awesome. When my daughter and I were trying to 9find a book for her to read she immediately grabbed the book without no hesistation. When she showed me the book I remember that the book was just released and I was able to speak to one of the authors of the book, which I was so happy to meet her. Debbie strongly recommend ...more
American Mensa
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do you like actor and activist Alyssa Milano? Then you'll probably like her children's book Hope Project Middle School. The main character is Hope, a girl who loves science, rescue dogs, and Galaxy Girl comic books. The story takes place at JFK Middle School, a contemporary, suburban, public school which is like a giant roller coaster for Hope.

The plot follows Hope's journey through the ups and downs of middle school. She learns to make new friends while keeping old ones. She struggles to keep h
Eleven-year-old Hope Roberts knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up--an astrophysicist. When she makes the cut for accelerated classes at her school, and her best friend Sam will be attending different classes, she's a bit anxious but still eager to begin this phase of her academic journey. Hope makes some mistakes as she and her team work on a project for a science competition, but with some quick and innovative thinking, she manages to turn things around. I appreciated how the pl ...more
Stephanie Bange
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The first of a series, Hope is an 11-year-old gifted student starting sixth grade.

This school story has it all, that is, all of the hot topics that readers are finding in books for children today, including changing friendships, STEM, bullying and microagressions. There is a definite feeling that each is being thrown into the pot to see what cooks. This book is all surface with little depth to any of the problems or issues touched in the book. Co-authored by Columbus, OH author Debbie Rigaud, I
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
"There are more ways to use your voice than just speaking."

I saw this book on order at my library, and the cover looked cute so I thought I'd pick it up. I honestly thought it was a graphic novel, but I wasn't upset that this wasn't a graphic novel. The pictures were darling and helped me visualize the various characters in the book. Although, why did all the characters wear the same outfit throughout the story? That was a little odd, not going to lie. I think this book would be great for kids a
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hope is a smart kid who wants to become a scientist. This is Hope's and her best friends Sam first day of Middle School. Hope was accepted to advanced classes, but Sam wasn't accepted and they were in separate classes. Hope joins the Science club where she and a group of kids are to complete a project. They work as a team at the beginning but when issues start happening with programming, she takes over that part of the project. The project unfortunately doesn't play out like they planned. What i ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this story. I thought it was an average, cute story. Hope is a great character because she is not perfect. She understands the microaggressions of society but because she is young she still commits them. I like that she learns from her mistakes and owns up to them. I gave this 4 stars as opposed to 3 because I love all of the STEM themes of the story. Science was my favorite subject in school but I didn’t have many opportunities to do STEM activities in school. I loved reading the scienc ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
I received an eARC of this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Hope is starting middle school and that creates a whole new world of problems. While she is a budding STEM girl, her best friend has made new friends over the summer and replaced(?) her. Hope joins the science club and knows that she could show off her stuff, but the boys won’t let her. Hope is determined to get more girls involved and stop the boys from taking over.

This book read younger than it was intended. This would
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Middle school can be school, new friends, lots of changes! While this book had some great messages, the characters were flat, cartoony like in fact and the dialogue just didn’t reflect the age or mentality. Part graphic novel, part chapter book - I’m certain my students will give it a whirl when it lands in my classroom library! Had HOPED for far better!
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
So, it’s an okay read. I like that Hope is a scientist. I don’t like that the usual middle school trope of your current best friend is now making other friends... it’s in almost every middle school story... I also think they tried to cram too many themes in one short story. But I will probably read them all anyways
Katie / Thebookwormteacher
Hope Middle School Project is good for pre-teen children because it focuses on anxieties that can come with new schools, self-esteem, and changing friendships. I feel that children will find it relatable. From my adult perspective, I feel like some themes in this book felt too forced. For example, I’m all for helping out animal rescues (both of my dogs are rescues), but it was brought up in random moments throughout the book. This theme, and some others, could have been better incorporated into ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was fine. It was fluffy. It kind of felt like the author was going do a checklist of “today’s topics” and throwing them into the story. The dialogue often felt like an adult trying to sound like a middle schooler.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great themes for a middle grade reader. Hope, a smart 6th grader, has to learn to stand up for herself and still work with her team. All while navigating changing friendships. Feels fun and cute, and still is appropriate for 4th & 5th graders. ...more
Danae Mckain
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great middle school story with a positive role model as the main character. She learns to stand up for herself and find her voice, but also to rely on others and allow them to help. Such great messages and good characters/friends. I loved it.
Jun 28, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: kids, a-owns, diversity, arc
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by the publisher

May revisit this one, but just wasn't working. I may test the ARC with some of my avid readers of upbeat, realistic fiction to see if it's too young.
Kevin Comfort
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like the characters and the story. Quick read - great for students trying to find a place in the middle school setting or a new school setting.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is better suited for upper elementary. A young scientist and activist has trouble adjusting to middle school, she learns each lesson rather quickly.
Sharon Buxton
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
C+. fiction, cihldrens fiction, grade 6, adjusting to middle school, series, (Hope #1)
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute story for kids moving on to middle school.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cute little book about friendship, STEM, and finding you voice!
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Actress and activist Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. A famous child actor, she has continued to work throughout her adulthood in both television and film, most notably starring in the wildly popular television series Who's the Boss? and Charmed.

Alyssa is also a lifelong activist and is passionate about fighting for human rights around the world. In 2003, UNICEF i

Other books in the series

Hope (3 books)
  • Project Animal Rescue
  • Project Class President (Alyssa Milano's Hope #3)

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