Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

hope in patienceTitleHope In Patience

Author: Beth Fehlbaum

ISBN: 978-1-934813-41-6

Publication Date: 2010

Genre: Realistic fiction

Reading Level/Interest Age: 15 and up

Plot: Ashley Asher has recently moved to Patience, Texas after she has been removed from her abusive home with her mother and her stepfather, who has broken her arm and raped her. Now she lives with her biological father and his family. Ashley begins to live the life of a normal teenager at her new school but the harsh experiences that she’s faced makes this a little difficult. Trying to live a normal life can be quite challenging especially if she must stand in a court to fight against her stepfather. However there are a few people that are able to help her along the way. She sees her therapist Dr. Matt, she creates a very close friendship with Z. Z., and she has a liking for boy at school named Joshua.

Critical Evaluation: This book illustrates a detailed story about a teenage girl going through an emotional and trying part in her life. This being Fehlbaum’s semiautobiographical work, her detailed writing about Ashley allows the reader to emotionally connect with her and can follow with the difficult healing process after being sexually abused. Through the healing process, many can see that it is easier said than done. Her emotional mindset is almost set in its ways because of her terrifying past, which then leads her to do things that she never would have expected to do. The overall theme of this story is the sexual abuse that so many teens face today. This book can show those that are abused that they are not the only ones who are experiencing this and that there is a way out.

Reader’s Annotation: Sexually abused Ashley Asher tries to live a normal life in Patience, Texas but finds this very difficult for her because her past still haunts her.

Author: Retrieved from author’s official website –

“   I was born in Dallas, Texas, and I have one brother, who is a police sergeant. My husband and I were high school sweethearts, and we married young. We have three daughters who are amazing and brilliant. My oldest is getting her doctorate in Sociology; my middle daughter is getting her MFA in Publishing and Creative Writing, and my youngest child is studying to be a neonatal nurse.

When my youngest daughter started Kindergarten, I went to college to be a teacher, like Ashley’s stepmom in the Patiencebooks. Bev Asher and I share a passion for teaching, social justice, and insisting upon authenticity in the classroom. I have a B.A. in English, minor Secondary Education, from the University of Texas at Arlington,  and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, specializing in Reading, from Texas A & M — Commerce.

I still teach. I taught middle schoolers for the first part of my career, and now I teach 5th grade students in a bilingual education program in East Texas. I am fortunate to love both my jobs, as teacher and author! I cannot imagine a more perfect existence than the one I have. My favorite place in the world is my front porch. I write books there in the summer at a table built by a good friend”

Curriculum Ties:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychology

Booktalking Ideas:

  • If you had a thought in the back of your mind that kept nagging at you, what would you do get rid of that thought?

Challenging Issues:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Religious viewpoints

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Movie? Even though the book was quite an emotional struggle, I was able to connect with the character and understand what she was going through.

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