Thursday, September 15, 2011


I've had my eye on this book for a long, long time. It just sounded like such an inspirational story and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Turns out SOMETHING LIKE HOPE is all of the above and SO much more.

What the back cover has to say:

17-year-old Shavonne has been in juvenile detention since the seventh grade. Mr Delpopolo is the first counselor to treat her as an equal, and he helps her get to the bottom of her self-destructive behavior, her guilt about past actions, and her fears about leaving the Center when she turns 18. Shavonne tells him the truth about her crack-addicted mother, the child she had (and gave up to foster care) at fifteen, and the secret shame she feels about what she did to her younger brother after her mother abandoned them. Meanwhile, Shavonne's mentally unstable roommate Cinda makes a rash move, and Shavonne's quick thinking saves her life—and gives her the opportunity to get out of the Center if she behaves well. But Shavonne's faith is tested when her new roommate, mentally retarded and pregnant Mary, is targeted by a guard as a means to get revenge on Shavonne. As freedom begins to look more and more likely, Shavonne begins to believe that maybe she, like the goslings recently hatched on the Center's property, could have a future somewhere else—and she begins to feel something like hope.

What Lila has to say:

I can't describe this book without using the word "heartbreaking." And what's even more difficult to comprehend is the fact that this story may not be fiction to 93,000 boys and girls across the country who occupied residential centers at the time the book was written. In fact, Shawn Goodman has worked in several juvenile facilities like the one in the book, so I imagine he pulled from his own experience to write Shavonne's story.

And there's no doubt in my mind that this book will win additional awards (Shawn has already won the Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel, as seen on the cover). Shavonne's voice is pitch-perfect and Mr. Delpopolo, her counselor throughout the book, could have been sitting across the table from me the way he jumped right off the page. I absolutely loved the tension at having the opportunity to be inside Shavonne's head while at the same time witnessing her actions, which were often directly in conflict of one another. Throughout the course of the novel, she is hiding something and as I turned each page, I was urging her to let Mr. Delpopolo in so that he could help her move forward and could teach her how to heal. I grew attached to say the least.

I've already emailed many of my teacher friends to spread the word about this beautiful book. It would be a great conversation starter in 7th-12th grade and will be a great source of inspiration for students who may be struggling to find their way. Shavonne's story will break your heart, but will also leave you feeling incredibly hopeful. It's the perfect reminder of how lucky we all are to have friends and family members who love us and a life where we feel safe. It also leaves me very inspired to spread some love around.

So here's the deal. One lucky commenter will win a brand new copy of SOMETHING LIKE HOPE. But here's the catch. After you read it, you must donate it to a school or a shelter or hand it off to a young person you know who might benefit from a little hope in their lives. Deal? Deal. Oh...and then we want to hear about it, of course! We want to know if you loved the book as much as us and where the copy ended up.

Leave a comment for a chance to win!

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

Elana Johnson
 is in a tizzy over Texas Gothic
Christine Fonseca  is transformed by Shifting
Shannon Whitney Messenger takes a shine to So Silver Bright – with giveaway
Scott Tracey is on board for Starship Academy
Beth Revis shouts about The Name of the Star
Shana Silver loves Lola and the Boy Next Door
Rosemary Clement Moore is distracted by Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences
Sarah Frances Hardy adores Birdie’s Big Girl Dress
Stasia Ward Kehoe takes a fancy to Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller goes gaga for Glow and Shifting – with giveaway


Kylie1403 said...

This is awesome! I love the idea of paying it forward and can already thing of a few great places that would benefit from such a donation :D

The book sounds AMAZING

Steph said...

Great review, sounds awesome!

Jess said...

Wow~ what a powerful story! Thanks so much for the giveaway~ and for the very cool idea of giving the book to a school or shelter.

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. Sounds heavy, but powerful. Thanks for putting it on my radar, ladies.

Paige said...

Wow, that sounds amazing! I'll look into after Revolution by Donnelly, but then I'll be ready for something light and you girls will have to make a fun light-hearted recommendation.

Reading mind said...

Great idea! i love it! And thanks for the suggestion!

Christi the Teen Librarian said...

This sounds like an incredible book! Thanks not only for the giveaway but for simply bringing it to my attention. I love the idea of passing it along when it's finished!


Tizzy said...

This book sounds like a must-read! Thanks for introducing it to me and for organising this fab giveaway. What a lovely idea to pass it on to someone who needs it afterwards, that would feel so amazing.

Susan said...

What a great, thought provoking book. And it does sound like one that needs to be passed on. I would love to do that!!

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Heather Kelly said...

This sounds amazing. I have worked with teenage girls who turned to violence after having unbelievably hard childhoods. It is sooo hard to see these kids go through the system. I can't wait to read this book.

Thanks so much for spotlighting it!

Beth said...

I love the idea of passing it along when I'm done reading it. I'd probably give it to my daughters' high school. (And if I love it, I'll buy a second copy for myself!)

Felicia said...

I'm not entering in the giveaway. Just a friendly heads up that you might want to change your Twitter password. There's been A LOT of hacking going on, and I received a hack/spam message from you guys, so you might want to change your password asap.( I've had it happen to me so I know what the message looks like).


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