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The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine…

The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978)

by Katherine Paterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
I loved this book for many reasons. One, the plot was very powerful. The book is about a foster child named, Gilly. Gilly is a very spirited, rebellious girl who has been moved around from home to home, her entire life. Gilly finally gets placed in a foster home with a woman named Ms. Trotter. Ms. Trotter is one of the best foster moms in the system. Although she was placed in a good home, Gilly was still interested in meeting/being with her biological mother, Courtney. Although she realizes later in the book that Courtney is not a good person. But, anyway…. Gilly tried to run away to see her. When Gilly got caught and the cops had to get involved, Trotter lovingly came to the station to get her. Gilly was then forced to go live with her grandparents and this was the moment when Gilly realized that she wanted to be with Trotter because she knew she truly cared about her. I also loved the book because you could feel every emotion the characters were feeling which made the book very intriguing and easy to read. It was very hard to put the book down!! Gilly always kept thing exciting so I was always interested to see what she was going to do next. The message of the book was to stay strong. Gilly had to endure so much as a child but she eventually ended up right where she needed to be. The story also gives hope to those children in the foster care system. ( )
  molliewaugh | Oct 18, 2014 |
In my opinion this was an excellent book. The book was about a foster child, Gilly Hopkins, who did not have a steady home for all of her life. Finally, Gilly comes across a home where she is wanted, but Gilly’s attitude towards that family is bad. As a result, Gilly goes looking for her mother, but is very disappointed when she finally meets her. She ends up getting forced to live with her grandmother and not with the family that really cares about her. I liked this book because of the plot. There was a clear conflict of Gilly being wanted and finding her home. The story was suspenseful because you did not know what would happen next for Gilly. The pace of the book was also very good and it was a book that could not be put down. A second thing I liked about this book was that it pushed readers to think about tough issues. Gilly was a foster child and her life was not easy. It was easy to feel sad for Gilly and hope that she found happiness. The big idea of this book was acceptance. Gilly was unable to accept her life without her mother in it. She learned the hard way that she should have accepted Trotter and William Ernest because they actually cared about her, where he mother did not and was a huge disappointment to Gilly. ( )
1 vote AllisonStrait | Oct 16, 2014 |
I did not particularly like this book. I believe that there was no overall plot to this story. It ended abruptly and left the reader hanging wondering how her experience would be with her mother. I did however like the character development throughout the book. I really enjoyed seeing how Gilly softened up to Trotter and William Earnest and how she helped them learn new things. I believe that this book provided a window into the life of children living in foster care. The overall message of this story was that with a little love and support you can change someone's life. ( )
  carolinetownsend | Oct 13, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Great Gilly Hopkins." One reason I enjoyed the book was because of the realistic, well-developed characters. Gilly's stubborn, witty and clever personality was intriguing to me and I found her to be very funny. In the beginning of the story when Gilly is on her way to meet the Trotters, she says, "But I am not nice. I am brilliant... I am too clever and too hard to manage." Gilly's bold and confident comments and thoughts truly helped to develop her character and allowed the reader to really get inside of her head. Another reason I enjoyed this book was the plot itself. It made you want to keep turning the page and see what kind of adventure (and sometimes trouble) Gilly got into next. Gilly's character developed a great deal as the plot unfolded which was also very interesting to see. She went from a stubborn, closed-off girl to someone who was finally able to develop a bond and relationship with a family, which is what she had always wanted. I believe the big idea of this book is to cherish what you have while you have it and to stay strong during tough times and you will come out even stronger and happier. ( )
  KaraHankins | Oct 12, 2014 |
I enjoyed The Great Gilly Hopkins for many reasons. First, I loved the author’s style of writing. Although the story was not told in first person, the emotional connections created with Gilly allowed me to feel as if I knew her personally. “Trotter and Mr. Randolph chuckled happily. People were so dumb sometimes you almost felt bad t take advantage of them- but not too bad.” I loved the way the author describes what’s Gilly is thinking when she is not speaking. It gave a clear insight on Gilly’s negative attitude and bitterness toward life. if the book was not written this way, the message would not have been nearly this powerful.

Second, I love the author’s language use throughout the book. Her use of analogies and descriptive words helped to paint a clear image of what was happening in the story. For example, the author used analogies to described the way in which Gilly was feeling, “Dread lay on Gilly’s stomach like a dead fish on the beach. Even when you don’t look at it, the stink pervades everything.” Using this type of language was much more useful than if she had said something along the lines of “Gilly was feeling anxious because she knew she was the reason her grandmother visited.” The language use and imagery allows readers to physically feel what Gilly had been feeling. Because this book contained such a serious topic, it is important for readers to get a feel for what a foster child might endure. I think the author did a great job of this.

I believe the message of this book was a good one. Gilly endured so much as a child and still ended up finding a loving family that changed her for the better. I believe this demonstrates that you can still be strong and get through the many tough situations you may be given. ( )
  sarahwarner329 | Oct 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
One of my favorites from grade school. Despite her hatred towards her adoptive family, one of my favorite Gilly moments is where she teaches WE (the little boy) to stand up for himself by saying "Get the hell outta my way!"
I would recommend this to anyone, regardless of the age group.
added by leedavies777 | editnew york times

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Patersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berthelius, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mary
from her real and adopted mother with love
First words
"Gilly," said Miss Ellis with a shake of her long blonde hair toward the passenger in the back seat.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064402010, Paperback)

Gilly Hopkins is a determined-to-be-unpleasant 11-year-old foster kid who the reader can't help but like by the end. Gilly has been in the foster system all her life, and she dreams of getting back to her (as she imagines) wonderful mother. (The mother makes these longings worse by writing the occasional letter.) Gilly is all the more determined to leave after she's placed in a new foster home with a "gross guardian and a freaky kid." But she soon learns about illusions--the hard way. This Newbery Honor Book manages to treat a somewhat grim, and definitely grown-up theme with love and humor, making it a terrific read for a young reader who's ready to learn that "happy" and "ending" don't always go together. (Ages 9 to 12) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.

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