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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 132 (next | show all)
After reading the book I decided that I liked it because of the descriptiveness and the story line. In this book it is evident that particular detail was given to practically creating a picture of what was happening in the book in your mind. From the part where Gilly blew a bubble so big that it popped and gum was stuck in her hair, to the part where she ran to the bathroom upset about how her mother was acting in the airport and how she called back to Trotter for reassurance. The story line of this book reminds me of something you might see in a movie or a t.v. show. A child that is in the foster system that is unhappy and who tries to make others understand her misery by making them feel the same way. Additionally, the story ends in a way that is very unexpected, typically story's like this end with the child having warmed up to the person they originally resented and then their life is great. However, this story ends with Gilly living with her grandmother and her mother finally coming to visit for awhile. Although, her mother than says shes only staying in town for a night and then leaving again which crushes Gilly. She then ends up calling Trotter and Trotter explains to her that there is no such thing as a happy ending and that life isn't always going to turn out perfectly. The big idea of this story is to show that though things may not always turn out how you want them to, there is always going to be something good to look at. Happy endings that are perfect are only in movies and books, there is always going to be something that isn't exactly as you pictured it, but that is okay. ( )
  vfromm1 | Apr 11, 2017 |
I liked this book because of the development of the main character Gilly. At first she is shown to be this super tough girl who wants nothing to do with anyone unless they are her birth mom. Throughout the story her only goal is to get to California by whatever means possible. For example, she steals money from her blind neighbor Mr. Randolph in order to buy a bus ticket for California. Gilly manipulates people to get what she wants and is rude to others. For example, she dislikes the young girl Agnes and tears her down but continues to use her to steal money from Mr.Randolph. Throughout the novel we see Gilly develop into this caring young girl. She teaches W.E. how to fight and stand up for himself and helps him learn how to read. She takes care of Trotter, W.E., and Mr.Randolph when they have the flu and starts to look at them as her family. Although the ending is sad I liked how the book showed that life isn't always a fairytale. When Gilly finally meets her mother she is shocked to find out that her mother wants nothing to do with her and only wants the money she was promised. Gill calls Trotter to try and come back to her but Trotter tells her she has a new home and must stay there. The big message of this story is to not judge a book by its cover. Gilly is a young girl who is constantly fighting with adult figures because of issues at home and her desire to meet her mother. When a student is acting out in class there is a reason for it and it is the responsibility of a teacher to get the bottom of it. ( )
  KelseyHernandez | Apr 3, 2017 |
I enjoyed reading The Great Gilly Hopkins. The story is relatable to people of all ages and addresses important topics such as the foster care system and family relations. Gilly has just been dropped off with her new foster family, Trotter and W.E, and she is already planning how to get out and be with her birth mother. Gilly's poor attitude is easy to see through as a reader and very early into the book we pick up that she uses this attitude to be moved around, in hopes of being placed with her mother. I enjoyed experiencing Gilly's character development throughout the story as she learns different life lessons and learns to care for those around her. While the end of the book is not a ferry-tale ending like some may expect, it hits home some very important life lessons, such as when Trotter said "but you just fool yourself if you expect good things all the time." This is a very true statement that helps a lot of children realize they may not always get their way. I think the book urges the reader to think of the true meaning of family and to not judge a book by it's cover- just like Trotter and Miss Harris didn't with Gilly. ( )
  phoebedwilson | Mar 26, 2017 |
It had a good moral and the story/characters were interesting, but something about this felt incredibly dated. I can't put my finger on it, but it felt like it took place in the 70s or 80s. ( )
  benuathanasia | Mar 16, 2017 |
I like this book for several reasons. I like the way the author changes the tone and descriptive language to develop the plot and describe Gilly’s feelings. Even though the book is in third person, the author describes events and people as if Gilly herself were speaking. Toward the beginning of the book, Gilly has quite a bad attitude towards her new foster family. The author uses imagery and descriptive language to make it known to the reader that she feels this way. In the beginning of the story, the author describes Trotter as an “ignorant hippopotamus” and makes many other negative descriptions referencing Trotter’s heavy-set complexion. The text describes William Ernest in a negative context only, referring to him as “retarded”. The texts also indicates Gilly’s feelings toward African American's by negatively describing Mr. Randolph as “colored”, and refers to her teacher as an “African bush woman.” Later on in the story when Gilly’s attitude becomes more positive as she starts to have a change of heart, the text doesn’t describe or reference to any of these people in a negative way. Instead, the author chooses descriptive language to describe Gilly’s affection towards the people she once disliked. I also like that each character in the text was well developed. Throughout the course of the book the author reveals personal information about each character. Over time, the reader begins to develop a love for each of the people in Gilly’s life. Even though the book is about “the great Gilly Hopkins”, the author makes sure to tell enough details about each of the other characters. This helps the reader become connected to them in the way that Gilly is. This helps develop the plot and causes the reader to be sad when Gilly has to leave her foster family and live with her grandmother. This helps the reader connect with Gilly and feel the sadness she too feels about leaving them. The moral of this story is that not everyone’s family is related to them by blood or even by law. Family is the people who are there for you through the good and the bad. Family knows what’s best for you even if you yourself don’t. ( )
  ndrehm1 | Mar 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (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 (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Patersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
Then she printed on the front of the card: They're saying "Black is Beautiful" but the best that I can figger is everyone whose saying so looks mightily like and on the inside of the card she wrote: a person with a vested interest in maintaining this point of view.
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(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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:37 -0400)

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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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