The Trials of Kate Hope

The Trials of Kate Hope

by Wick Downing

NOOK Book(eBook)

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A teen lawyer stars in a novel that “portrays a girl possessing power in the actual world, trusting her own mind and conscience and sense of justice” (Los Angeles Times).
When she was not yet a teenager, Kate Hope started “reading law” in the office of “Judge” Hope, her half-blind grandfather, a grumpy eighty-nine-year-old lawyer with problems. One big problem is that he believes in justice for all, not just those who can afford it. He also needs a partner. Together they find a loophole in Colorado law, and Kate becomes a lawyer—technically. She has a law license hanging on the wall in her office, but she has no idea how to practice law. In a courtroom. With a judge and jury and defendants.
It doesn’t help that things don’t start out so well for Kate’s legal career. The firm of Hope and Hope has an unusual first case, and if they lose it, a dog named Herman—the only friend an old woman has—will be destroyed. But Kate’s grandfather falls ill, leaving her to try the case on her own. Will Kate be able to save Herman from doggy death row? Will Grandfather Hope recover in time to make it to the courtroom? Will life ever be normal again for Kate Hope? Will justice be served?
“The social issues of the day flavor the narrative, which is also laden with legal detail and discussions of justice that will appeal to aficionados of courtroom dramas . . . a unique premise.” —School Library Journal
“Entertaining . . . Educational.” —Kliatt

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547528335
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/21/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 341
File size: 576 KB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Wick Downing, three-time winner of the Colorado Author's League Top Hand Award for fiction, lives in Denver.

Read an Excerpt


If I'm ever famous and someone writes the story of my life, they'll highlight this very day. "On Monday morning, June 11, 1973,” the story would say, “with Mount Evans looming on the horizon west of Denver, fourteen-year- old Kate Hope put in her first full day as a lawyer." Unfortunately for the course of human history, Mom stood in the driveway and had me blocked. "How am I supposed to get to work?" I asked her as I straddled my ten-speed.
"The bus," she said. "Or let me take you, even though you can't stand doing anything the easy way." "There's nothing very hard about riding a bicycle." "Honey, won't you just let me drop you off on my way to work? I hate it when you're out there dodging cars!" "I don't dodge them." I stuffed my foot into the toe clip of the bike pedal and pulled the strap down. "They dodge me." I have Grandmother Hope’s genes, everyone says. Like her, I'm only five feet tall, and like her, I have attitude.
"Kate, you scare me to death,” she said, inhaling deeply on a cigarette. My own mother smokes! She started smoking again exactly when all her friends quit.
"I'd rather get crushed by a bus than die of lung cancer," I told her, guiding my bike around her and pushing off down the slope of the driveway. I rolled into Hudson Street and banked a hard right, then bent down and tightened the strap over my other toe. "See you tonight!" I was halfway to Sixth Avenue Parkway before she could react.
"Call me when you get to the office?" she yelled after me.
What is it about my mother that makes me grit my teeth? I asked myself as I pumped my bike down Hale Parkway. I loved her, and she loved me, but she still hung on to me way too tightly. She wouldn't let me grow up! She saw me in the world she'd grown up in, but that world didn't exist anymore. Mine had body bags, and Vietnam, and Ms. magazine. I had no desire to be the nicey-nice girl who grew up next door, like Judy Garland in Easter Parade. That may have been Mom’s model for life, but it didn't work for me.
A man was riding a bike in front of me, and without thinking I cranked up to pass him. An old guy in his forties, he had a stomach that hung over his belt and he rode with his elbows locked. Would he be willing to take lessons from a fourteen-year-old girl? I could show him how to ride so that it wouldn’t rattle his brains, and could introduce him to Mom. She might take him on as a project to manage, instead of me. "Hi," I said, pulling next to him. "Beautiful morning." He glared at me. "What are you doing on a boy's bike, sweetie?" Not Mom's type, I decided. Instantly. "Is there a law?" I asked.
"Don't get smart with me," he gasped, his chest heaving with exertion as he tried to keep up.
I didn't want him to have a heart attack, but I couldn't keep my mouth shut, either. "You know something, mister?" I asked him as I pulled away. "I hope you don't have any daughters!"

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Trials of Kate Hope 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love law or dogs this is the book for you. It is a page turnner suspenciful book. I couldent put it down.
pretty_reading_girl More than 1 year ago
Most book I get from my school library i don't enjoy but this book was very unrealistic and that's what i like about this.It's romantic,funny and defienetly a page turner.If you ae looking for a law suit book this one is for you!!!!
AvidBookReaderMMP More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It was very interesting and quite cleverly funny. I was rooting for Kate the whole time. I felt so bad about her father and brother, but her grandfather was awesome. I really liked reading the chapters about the trials because both her and her grandfather were great. I really liked how the book ended. Although, I think that Rob Benson should have gotten in trouble with the law somehow because he was such a huge jerk. This book should be read.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It's the summer of 1973. Kate Hope is just your average 14-year-old girl. She's got school to deal with (though it's summertime). She's got a friend who's a boy who she's not quite sure if he's her boyfriend or not. And, oh yeah, she's a lawyer!

Her almost-blind grandfather has had Kate helping him in his law office for the past few years. With his failing eyesight, he's needed help with the reading and researching of his cases. And he found a loophole in Colorado's law that allowed Kate to sit for the bar exam. It wasn't easy, but she passed the exam, and is now a practicing lawyer. At least that's what her law license says.

Her grandfather still handles the trial work, but as his health comes and goes, Kate starts handling more of the responsibility. After he collapses and ends up in the hospital, Kate has to take a case to trial on her own. She's nervous and scared, but a dog's life or death depends on her. An elderly woman's dear pet is being blamed for an injury to a small child, but Kate and Miss Willow know Herman wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone!

THE TRIALS OF KATE HOPE is an amusing look at what the life of a teen girl would be like if she could actually practice law. There's so much that Kate has to learn about life yet, but her youthful take on things may just let innocent people (and dogs!) go free!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I had a young daughter, I would buy this for her and all her friends. It's the story of how a young girl can develop courage -- even though the odds are against her and even though she's scared and still mourning her dad and brother, she decides to push her fear away to help someone who needs her. I thought it was wonderful!