Kristin O'Donnell Tubb Selling Hope

ISBN 13: 9780312611224

Selling Hope

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9780312611224: Selling Hope

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

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About the Author:

KRISTIN O'DONNELL TUBB is the author of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. She describes herself as "basically a dork who would still be going to school if they'd let me. But they won't (cause that'd just be weird), so I write instead. All of the research, none of the quizzes. It's heaven!" She lives in Tennessee with her family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

May 1, 1910

Seventeen Days

till the End of the World.

News Headline

Earth Will Pass Through Comet’s 24-Million-Mile-Long
Tail on May 18

Cross-Eyed Jane poked her head into the tent. Her kinky yellow hair puffed in after her.

“We gots fifteen more minutes with the tarot cards before she and Nick go on.” Cross-Eyed Jane addressed me as “she,” even when she was talking directly to me. This, coupled with the fact that she was cross-eyed, often made it difficult to know who Jane was talking about. But I was the only other person in the tent, so I assumed her “she” was me. I smiled.

Jane smiled back, her wrinkled face carving into deep ruts, and gazed over my shoulder. I moved my head up and to the left to where I thought she was looking, but those crawly eyes of hers crept right past me. Erm...left past me.

I’m tellin’ ya, the old gal was so cross-eyed, when she rolled her eyes, she hit her ears!

Huck. There it was—the surest sign that I needed to leave this vaudeville circuit once and for all: those awful wisecracks. I guess everyone has a little voice inside his or her head, pointing out all of the things that are funny and fantastical and odd. But my internal voice? Equipped with the kind of one-liner jokes that made vaudeville famous. Not exactly the conscience of your average thirteen-year-old.

I adjusted my robes, the ones I had “borrowed” from the costume trunk, so I’d look more like a true medium. The robes were crafted of a thick red tapestry and weighed upward of twenty pounds. It took half my strength just to keep them draped across my tiny frame. But the robes added an air of mystery to our booth, accented by the massive candles, which threw skipping yellow light across the canvas walls, dripping colorful wax on the dusty ground beneath. Did I know how to put on a show! I should—I’d learned from the best.

Jane and I had set up shop—and by shop, I mean our little canvas booth—next to the other peddlers, just outside the vaudeville theater in Des Moines, Iowa, our latest tour stop. There was a row of us who made a little extra green that way. The actors and stagehands peddled everything from sheet music to medicinal elixirs to stuff they’d purchased in the last town, plus 20 percent. The theatergoers loved this makeshift storefront; for them it was part of the vaudeville experience. And too, Mr. Whitting and the other managers took a healthy cut of our profits, so they saw our little side businesses as just fine and dandy.

“Lead the first Coin in,” I whispered to Cross-Eyed Jane. She clicked her tongue at me; she hated it when I called them that. I began to hum, quietly at first, then letting it grow into a noisy, low moan. I told myself I was getting into character. Plus, the moaning sounded good to the Coins. That’s what I called our customers—the Coins.

Hummmmmmm. Farewell, Hope McDaniels. Greetings to Mademoiselle Ari, Gifted Child Medium and Foreseer of the Future.

Cross-Eyed Jane ducked out of the smallish tent, then back in again, goading a female Coin before her. Jane cupped her hand about the Coin’s elbow, trying to lead her to the table where I sat. The Coin yanked her arm from Jane’s grip and shot her a look of utter disgust, as if she might somehow contract Jane’s crazy eye “disease.” This particular Coin was so big, she almost knocked over three of my candles entering our booth.

I’m not sayin’ the gal was overweight, but she was plump in places where most folks don’t have places!

Jane jutted her chin at me. “That’s her,” she whispered to the Coin. “She’s young, doncha know, but her youth allows her channels to be fully open to the future.” Jane tried winking her spacey eye at me, but it appeared as if she were winking at the heavens instead. I cleared my throat to stifle a giggle. That “open channels” bit always got me.

I had to hand it to Jane. When she came up with this idea of a “child medium,” I was skeptical. Adults forking over a jitney to hear a thirteen-year-old talk about money and love and death? Most of the adults I knew didn’t even pause to hear me discuss the weather, much less pay an entire nickel to hear it. But Jane was right—the Coins loved me. I relaxed them, as though I was simply peeking ahead in a lighthearted parlor game of Ouija board, as though I couldn’t possibly be the bearer of bad news. And I must admit, I loved the power that came with telling adults what they should worry about.

Our partnership was a good one, mine and Jane’s. I asked her once why she didn’t just read the cards herself and keep all the money, instead of just half. She’d snorted, she’d laughed so hard.

“Me, read fortunes?” she’d said with a cough. “People want to see their futures as fresh and lively, like Hope, lassie. A withered old grouch like me don’t exactly set the proper backdrop for a prosperous road ahead, eh?”

Yes, Jane was no spring chicken. She was so old, she looked like she gave her pallbearers the slip!

Jane and I split all money fifty-fifty. And there was nothing like having a wad of cash stashed in your grouch bag. Because I would never—never—not have money again.

Jane now folded herself out of the tent, and the Coin she’d procured perched on the caned chair opposite me. Her knees wouldn’t fit under the tiny folding table between us, so she sat sidewise. I began flipping tarot cards onto the shimmery tablecloth, placing the worn papers into a large, deliberate cross. The middle of the cross I left bare, for the moment. I’d come to discover that flipping that middle card is the Grande Finale and should be coaxed slowly. Coax and hoax rhyme. Huh.

The pips that I turned for this Coin were all minor characters, like The Page and The Queen. What. A. Bore.

“Mmm. Mmm-hmm,” I muttered, and nodded knowingly. The Coin shifted, and the tiny chair moaned. I flipped another card: Judgment.

“Oh!” I said. The Coin gasped.

Did I mention? I didn’t know the first thing about reading tarot cards. The cards themselves were beautiful—blues and purples and reds and oranges that swirled and twined in inky vines, taking forms such as The Empress and The Hanged Man and Death. Each card was a masterpiece. The worn, beloved deck belonged to Cross-Eyed Jane, but she always said, “Lovey, these cards tells me they belong to her.” (That would be me.) When I was ten, she’d allow me to play with them like they were paper dolls. Now I played with them for money.

Next from the deck: The Magician. One of my least favorite cards, not because my father was a magician, but because his love of magic rendered me essentially homeless. I groaned.

The Coin’s eyes grew wide. “What is it?”

The cross of cards was complete, except for that final middle card. Now for The Show.

I placed the remainder of the cards on the edge of the table. Then I rubbed my hands together and blew on them, as if they were icy cold. I swirled my hands mere inches above the incomplete cross, feeling their energy. The Coin ate up this hooey like, well...apparently like she ate up everything: with gusto.

“You are...” I closed my eyes for a moment. “Unhappy.”

The Coin nodded.

Zing. Well, honestly, that one was common sense. The only people who went to a medium were unhappy people. I always started with that one, and I always got it right.

I narrowed my eyes and studied my Coin. Wedding ring, decent clothes, furrowed brow. Pretty, in a plump sort of way.

“You’re worried about something.”

The Coin nodded again. She leaned forward in the tiny chair, and her brown eyes widened. She apparently thought I was on to something.

“You’re worried about your marriage.”

But the Coin shook her head and her shoulders slumped ever so slightly. I knew I’d guessed incorrectly before she even spoke. “No. No, I have a wonderful husband.”

“Yes, yes, of course. You’re worried about money.” Always the next one I tried.

The Coin shook her head again, more fervently this time. Her eyes blazed, and her face screwed up like a twisted dish towel. “No, money’s not an issue, you imp!” she shouted, and pounded the table with the palm of her hand. “I knew this was a waste of my time!”

Money’s not an issue? Fancy that! Money’s an issue for everyone, lady. I felt a little flame of anger ignite inside me at this sudden turn. No money problems! Pah!

But I needed this nickel. “You’re worried about...,” I continued. My hands hovered over the bland cards that this Coin received for her reading. I wasn’t quite sure what to try next. Awful marriages and money problems covered almost everyone. “You’re worried about...your health.”

The Coin drooped in her chair, and I thought for sure that I’d lost her, that she’d had enough of this hoax. But she surprised me. “Yes,” she whispered into her lap. “Is it going to kill us all?”

My mind whirred. It? Kill us all? The only thing that could be was...

“Halley’s Comet?”

“Yes!” The Coin bolted upright and gripped my wrists so tightly my skin turned white beneath her fingers.

“Let go, please.” I said it softly, so as not to alarm Cross-Eyed Jane, who might very well enter the tent with a cocked pistol if she thought I was in danger. The Coin tightened her grip, her fingernails piercing my skin. Her eyes shifted between my face and the cards sprawled on the table between us, and there was a black spot of—fear?—that hadn’t been there before. My heart raced like a locomot...

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Descripción FEIWEL FRIENDS, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312611224

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Kristin O Donnell Tubb
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Descripción FEIWEL FRIENDS, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780312611224

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Descripción FEIWEL FRIENDS, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312611224

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Descripción Feiwel & Friends 11/9/2010, 2010. Hardback or Cased Book. Estado de conservación: New. Selling Hope. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780312611224

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