Selling Hope
Selling Hope
Selling Hope
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
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Selling Hope is an inventive middle grade novel about a girl who wants a normal life and how she sees Halley's Comet as her ticket out of the vaudeville circuit.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 opportunity: She invents "anti-comet" pills to sell to the working-class customers desperate for protection. Soon, she's joined by a fellow troupe member, young Buster Keaton, and the two of them start to make good money. And just when Hope thinks she has all the answers, she has to decide: What is family? Where is home? “[An] oft-engaging, pleasantly romantic romp through a fascinating time in America's entertainment history.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Book Details


  • Historical Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels has been touring the small-small time Vaudeville circuit with her father, Nick the magician, ever since her mother died. For Hope, life on the circuit is full of laughs, freedom, and small profits. But Hope wants something else: a permanent home for her and Nick. So when Hope overhears her boss mention that he's going to fire her and Nick after their stop in Chicago, Hope can't believe her luck.

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Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnel Tubb is a story about Hope, a girl who grew up on a traveling vaudeville circus that never stays in one place for more than a month, in 1910 when Halley's Comet is creating mass hysteria. Her father is a magician and she is his assistant. Her father loves performing for the audience and believes that by speaking to enough people on stage they can change the world. Hope however is tired of the constant moving and wants to live in a stationary home, like they had before her mother died and then started performing vaudeville.

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