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Hope!: A Story of Change in Obama's America
Hope!: A Story of Change in Obama's America
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader
Graphic Flash

Hope!: A Story of Change in Obama's America

by Eric Stevens
Illustrated by Nick Derington

When Anton Fox is sentenced to community service on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, he thinks it's just a punishment fit for someone who'll never do any better. But as he learns more about his community, and watches the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, he begins to realize that he, too, has the power to change the world and himself.

GenreHistorical Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Interest LevelGrades 3-6
Lexile LevelGN630L
ATOS Level3.9
AR Points1
AR Quiz #130914
PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandGraphic Flash
Page Count56
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



MultiCultural Review - Kathryn Mora

"Each of the stories begins with an illustrated showcase of the characters, and the illustrations contribute greatly to understanding the life of each real-life character. Reluctant readers are drawn into the story by fictional characters who come into contact with the historical ‘great.’ Designed for the interest level of grades 3-8 and reading grades 2-3, this new series offers a unique and compelling approach to a biography. Fighting Spirit: On the Field with Jim Thorpe takes place in 1920. The fictional main character, Howard Tucker, is a smart young man who hangs out with the jocks rather than the brainy guys. Ultimately, he gets advice from the football great Jim Thorpe about how to play in the big game. Muhammad Ali is showcased in another fast-paced novel about a sickly teen who only stands 4’7”. When he gets an opportunity to spar with the great boxer, his life changes forever. Hurricane Katrina is featured in Storm of the Century. Teenager, Ricky Thompson and his family are forced to leave New Orleans and are barraged with unbelievable roadblocks. Ricky documents everything with his new digital camera and ultimately helps save lives. In Hope! A Story of Change in Obama’s America, a graffiti-spraying teen in Washington, D.C., who is sentenced to community service on Martin Luther King Jr., Day, follows other community service workers to the inauguration the next day and realizes he has the power to change lives. Jackie Robinson, the baseball great in Dodger Dreams: The Courage of Jackie Robinson inspires a young man to understand that baseball is more than just a game. Included in each volume is a timeline of the featured real-life character, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts." - MultiCultural Review

December 1, 2010

Library Media Connection, "Connecting Comics to Curriculum" - Karen Gavigan and Mindy Thompson

"These graphic novels cover African American history topics that support the CCSS, which state that college and career-ready sutents should have ample opportunities to "understand other perspectives and cultures." . . .These hybrid books combine historical fiction and graphics." - Library Media Connection, "Connecting Comics to Curriculum"

February 1, 2013

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - Kathie M. Josephs

"Anton Fox makes a bad decision when he decides to spray a brick wall with red paint. After he is arrested, the judge sentences him to seventy-five hours of community service work. He is to start on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Anton’s mother is very angry and tries to tell him to make the best of it. His assignment was to clean up the Mall in Washington, D. C. where the first black President was going to be sworn in. While working, Anton met a young man who was turning eighteen and was excited that he was going to be able to vote. He tried to explain what an honor it was going to be, but all Anton could think of was getting home to sleep. The day of the inauguration Anton’s mother made him go and they had to walk for hours to get near the stage. After listening to Obama, Anton could identify by thinking of how his very own grandfather had been asked to leave a restaurant sixty years ago. This book is well-written, provides lots of information in a short book, and, in the back of the book, the author provides more information about Obama, information on the author himself, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts. One side of the page is written in graphic form, and the facing page is written in straight text. This is a must for all school libraries, classroom libraries, and personal libraries. This is truly an excellent book. 2009" - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

January 1, 2009


The Graphic Classroom Blog - Chris Wilson

"I have a big, fat problem with this book and it caused me some issues. You see, the cover art is deceptive, a point which prevented me from reading and reviewing this book earlier, unfortunately. When I first picked up HOPE, I thought it was a story about Barack Obama becoming president and changing the world. It is not. When providing books about politics and religion to public school students, I want things even-steven. Angry parents, claims of indoctrination and controversies do not do the public school teacher any favors. At the time, I didn’t have any comics on President Bush or Ronald Reagan. I’ve since rectified that, obtaining political comics representing various positions of the political spectrum. Here’s the kicker. This book isn’t about Obama or his presidency. My first clue should have been the historical fiction banner on the front of the book. I took one look at the cover and was worried. So I set it aside – editorial discretion is not an exact science. Black History Month sparked my interest again and I picked it up. This time I actually read the banner on the front and the back cover, and I am glad I did. HOPE is not about the president. It’s not about politics. HOPE is an inspirational story for African Americans in poverty, for those in despair, those who feel oppressed or chained in their own circumstances. Anton Fox is a 14-year-old African American living in the projects –– the Congress Housing Projects, specifically. He has no hope for his own future and feels confined by the projects and poverty around him. Anton is failing his math class and takes his failure out on Mr. Charles his teacher. This good kid finds himself at the school on an early Saturday with red spray paint can in hand to take his anger and frustration out on his teacher. He no more than puts paint to brick when Officer Ernie Griggs catches him red canned. A first offense only lands Anton with community service, but it is still hard word and his mother is disappointed in him. It just so happens that he is charged with picking up trash on the National Mall in preparation for President-Elect Obama’s inauguration the next day. Anton discovers that he is not as imprisoned as he thinks if he will use his head (stay away from drugs, gangs, crime.) Office Griggs, you see, grew up in the projects and knows Anton’s mother. His story is one of becoming something more and moving out of poverty for a better life –– a story that Anton rejects. He is an adolescent and what teen doesn’t find the droning of adults about hope and futures and focus obscenely boring? The community’s excitement about the first African American president is more annoying that inspiring on Anton. History, it seems, is lost on him. His persistent mother and his community service manager stick with Anton and teach him that just two generations ago –– 60 years –– a black person could not walk into a restaurant and eat with white people or drink at the same water fountains or go to the same schools. Now, an African American is holding the highest office in the land. Despite Anton’s harrumphs, his mother drags her boy to the presidential inauguration to stand in freezing temperatures for hours just so her son can witness one of the most social and cultural events of the boy’s life. It is then that Anton comes to grips with his history, his heritage and his future. Anton realizes that the ghetto is not a predetermined prison cell. His mother wants more for him and for the first time in his life, he wants more too. The construction of the book is very contemporary, urban if you will. It is a 56-page, comic-prose hybrid comprised of nine short chapters. It is smartly designed to help young people and struggling older readers make their way through the story. There is also a dictionary, pronunciation guide, discussion questions, bio on President Obama, and other supplemental information. IN THE CLASSROOM Connecting students with real life and future prospects is an exha" - The Graphic Classroom Blog

February 13, 2011

Eric Stevens

Eric Stevens

Eric Stevens lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is studying to become a middle-school English teacher. Some of his favorite things include pizza, playing video games, watching cooking shows on TV, riding his bike, and trying new restaurants. Some of his least favorite things include olives and shoveling snow.

Go to the Author’s Page →