The book Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman sets a theme of “where am I from?” by having such a hectic life all her years, it’s hard to talk about where she is from and who she is. Choosing this book wasn’t difficult what so ever. It sounded great and also real life stories are very interesting. It’s much easier to relate to and puts a vivid image in your head throughout.
This book is about a girl that has been in and out of juvenile detention ever since she was in the 7th grade. While being in juvenile detention at 15 years old, she gave birth to her daughter. She could only spend such little time with her before she had to let her go. Shavonne feels that her daughter’s better off not being with her but in reality, it is still her daughter.
Ever since she could remember, Shavonne grew up knowing that she doesn’t and never will have the perfect let alone average childhood. Her whole life is filled with abuse, neglect and pain which cause her to point the finger at others for her problems. While in detention center, she got into a fight with a teacher, elbowing her in the face and stealing her sandwich. A man comes in named Mr. Delpopolo. He says, “Hello, Shavonne. I’m Mr. Delpopolo. I’m here to talk to you about what happened earlier today.” (Pg. 2 Goodman) When he told her his name, she laughed out loud. He smiles and says, “I know. Some name, eh?” (Pg. 2 Goodman) She gives him a mean look and thinks to herself, “I’ve seen too many people like this guy before, and not a single one has helped me.” About a week later, a guard pulls Shavonne out and takes her to Mr. Delpopolo’s office. Right off the bat he says, “Okay, here goes. I don’t know if I can help you. Yes, I am a mess. I work here because, strangely, I get along okay with kids. And maybe.” “Maybe?” Shavonne said. “Maybe I was fired from a real job.” (Pg. 3 Goodman) He says it like he’s not even embarrassed. She liked this about Mr. Delpopolo. She’s weary but after a few more talks with him, she soon opens up to trust him. She talks about all the struggles she’s been through and after all she feels comfortable with telling her story.
She tells him how her mother is a crack-addicted prostitute. Although she is the way she is, Shavonne deep down loves her. She likes to think about the time when she and her mother were walking down the sidewalk and she was holding her mother’s hand. She said, “Even if it’s just for the moment, even if it’s just because she’s high on crack and feeling good, my mother loves me.” (Pg. 4 Goodman) She sings, “It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day.” (Pg. 4 Goodman) She goes on about telling her counselor how her father which is completely absent in her life, died from a liver disease while being in jail.
She begins to friend Mr. Delpopolo and talks about even more gut wrenching stories. She proceeds to go on explaining how she was both physically abused and raped when she lived in foster care. Also, that when she had her baby Jasmine, she gave her up to the foster care. She goes back to her room. She’s sad and wants to cry but nothing comes out because she’s so empty. Her roommate Cinda looks at her and says, “What’s wrong?” “Is it your daughter?” (Pg. 7 Goodman) Shavonne doesn’t answer but looks over at her daughter’s picture and thought how much she misses her and says, “She’s so cute.” (Pg. 7 Goodman)
A few weeks have