Anna’s Fight for Hope by JoAnn A. Grote, published by Barbour Books (2004), is part of the Sisters in Time series. This novel is about a young girl’s quest to help others find faith, peace and financial freedom during the Great Depression. It takes place in the year 1931 and revolves around Anna Harrington, her family and friends. Also key to the story is seventeen-year-old Chet who has been sent from his home to procure work in other towns. Anna and her friends explore numerous ways to help Chet, who feels lost and alone. Fred, Anna’s older cousin, becomes friends with Chet and tries to help him find work.

A subplot involves Dot, one of Anna’s friends.  Dot’s father used to have a high paying job, but has lost it and is now seeking employment. When he does obtain a job, he is only paid in scrip. Scrip can be used to buy certain items, yet it can’t be used to pay the mortgage on the house.

As the story progresses, Anna, her family and her friends continue to use their imaginations to think of ways they can make money and help those who are struggling. Anna’s parents often help homeless hobos who come seeking refuge and part-time employment, modeling kindness and care. Anna, her family and her friends communicate about God’s love and desire to help people in the daily challenges they face.

When President Roosevelt is elected, he puts his plan, “the New Deal,” into action. It provides many people with jobs. Chet applies for a work camp in another state, where he can make money and send part of it home to his family. He receives word that they miss him very much and are in favor of this idea. He leaves town with his friends’ bittersweet good-byes. Through their encouragement and the help of their parents, Chet has found a secure job. Near the end of the story, Dot’s father also becomes gainfully employed, and all the families give thanks to God.

This story is a great read for children aged 8-12. It emphasizes God, family and moral values. The young friends look to God for help. Their parents teach them to make sensible choices, to be patriotic and to help others. The friends learn to be industrious and help their families make money to the best of their abilities. I was impressed with how grateful the friends were for something we take for granted every day–ice cream and cake!

I would certainly recommend Anna’s Fight for Hope to young people. It encouraged me to continue doing what is right, even when times are difficult.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many job titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”