Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Frannie's life isn't anything special. She has issues to deal with, just like any other kid, but at the time of the story she's thinking about hope. She'd like to have hope, that thing that makes you happy for how things are now, instead of worry about what the future might hold.
This book is less about plot and more about character development. The following paragraph is a spoiler about the character development, and reveals a tiny bit of the plot.
There's a fuzzy line here between faith and hope. Around the middle of the book, when Frannie is trying to understand hope, she goes to church with her very devout friend because she sees her friend's optimism and hope. We never find out what happened at church or how Frannie felt about it. It's kind of a dead end in the story. Maybe we're supposed to draw our own conclusion. My take (which is undoubtedly shaped by my own feelings about religion) is that she probably saw that religion is how Samantha finds hope, but that it's not the only source. In the end, I think she finds it for herself.