Hope Nation inspires readers to never give up


Photo By Romina Garber

Hope Nation explores a variety of issues that impact teens today.

Simran Atwal, Staff Writer

When we face barriers or obstacles in life, our hope can diminish over time. However, Hope Nation is a book that shows us that if we just hang on, eventually someone or something will come along to restore our faith. This collection of stories is inspired by the autobiographical experiences of twenty-four young authors from all over the world. Hope Nation was released on the second of January in 2018 to a strong critical reception from YA book review sites for addressing some of the most crucial issues of our generation.

While featuring distinctively personal stories written from diverse perspectives and identities, this book explores timely, relevant issues such as low self-esteem, homophobia, racism, culture, and politics. Each story has its own tone and talking point, demonstrating each author’s journey through grueling experiences that many teens will relate to. As different as these author’s experiences are, they share a common message: that hope is a conscious decision.

Many of these writer’s accounts are simply inspiring and teach us that, even when nothing is inherently wrong with us, the perceptions of others can hurt or heal. In one story, teacher Aisha Saeed discusses how difficult it was to be an American Muslim after the 9/11 tragedy.  Saeed, who was a Muslim, had to face more racism and religious discrimination than ever before. Yet she chooses to remain hopeful. She was patiently able to get through to each and every individual who believed she and other Muslim Americans were to blame for the attack on the Twin Towers.

Trauma and physical challenges are addressed as well. In another story, eighteen-year-old old Libba Bray goes through a life-changing accident in which she had to make the decision to surgically remove her eye.  For some time, Bray dealt with adjusting to one eye, broken ribs, a temporary nose, a broken leg and wires that held her face together. Bray was able to transcend her obstacle with a strong, positive attitude. Against all odds, she holds onto the hope that she will feel whole again once her extensive medical treatments are finished.

Hope Nation is a great read for teens who want to connect and learn from others who have endured difficult experiences.  Reading this book could help readers get through a variety of issues, especially considering the authors have all found a way to overcome the struggles and barriers they face. The book offers up the hope that we can all pass through those seemingly impossible moments with integrity, dignity, and power.

However, Hope Nation isn’t for everyone. This book deeply explores painful subjects that may trigger those who have had similar encounters. Many individuals may also disagree with the authors’ consensus that hope is a conscious decision that we have control over; some may feel this is a way of blaming any victim who can’t find the strength to move forward. Lastly, if you’re looking for light-hearted entertainment, this is not your book.

Despite these considerations, Hope Nation is a beautiful, enlightening selection of stories that will be worth the read to most. Through these authors’ stories, we are reminded that life can be dark, but there is always light to be found for those of us who seek it out.