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The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine…
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The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978)

by Katherine Paterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,419852,567 (3.79)33
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» See also 33 mentions

English (84)  Dutch (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
This book was about a young girl who is a foster child and always got herself into trouble that she constantly had to move to a new foster home. But what caused her to act out so much was because she was determined that her mother would come back for her and take her home. The family that she is within the story actually loves her and accepted her despite her actions towards them, but she is not falling for it at all and just wants to leave. The big idea of this story was family because Gilly eventually learned and accepted that they were her family and she was happy there, until it was time to go, again. I really liked this book for two main reasons. The first reason I liked it was because of the cover illustration. The cover of this book showed Gilly as a strong girl who wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone and could handle anything that came at her. This picture of Gilly with her arms crossed, showing her muscle foreshadowed the story to come, and gave us as readers an idea of who Gilly actually was. The second reason I liked this book was because of the storyline. At one point in the story, Gilly was determined not to like the people she lived with. She wanted to treat them with no respect and love, but eventually, she did not even notice that she was actually enjoying her time there with them, and that her love for them had actually grown so much. For example, when everyone got sick, Gilly decided to take it upon herself to cater to her family and make sure that they all got better, even though she was terribly tired from working so hard. All she wanted was for her family to be back to normal again. ( )
  JeNeeH | Mar 31, 2015 |
This book is about a foster child Gilly who wants nothing but to get back to her mother so she has done everything she can to get kicked out of every foster home the state has put her in. In the book Gilly gets put with this family Mrs. Trotter and her adopted son W.E. who at first she can not stand and thinks that they are dumb and trashy. She tries to do everything she can to get them to dislike her. Not only does Gilly try to get Mrs. Trotter and W.E. to not like her she does this with everyone she comes in contact with because she has convinced herself that all she needs is her real mother and herself. In the book she tries to steal money and buy a bus ticket to go see her real mother and gets caught. After this she realizes how much every one in her life really cares for her, as well as them for her. She finally realizes this and her real Grandmother shows up to pick her up to live with her and she has to leave Mrs. Trotter and W.E. and Mr. Randolph who is a neighbor that always hangs out with Mrs. Trotter and W.E. and Gilly. So Gilly moves with her grandmother and realizes that her mother not only left her but left her Grandmother as well and they have some things in common and Gilly starts to like her Grandmother. Finally Gilly gets to meet her real mother and realizes that, her real mother never loved her and never wanted her. Mrs. Trotter tells her that life is tough and she tells Gilly she loves her and Gilly says it back.

In this book one thing I like is that the way the narrator tells the story is from Gilly’s perspective which is being a foster child in the system. In the book you can see when Gilly says she likes moving around because staying in one place is boring and she also says in the book that all she needs is her real mother and herself to be taken care of. When you look at the way she is talking about her real mother you can see where a real foster child might feel the same way. Another reason I like this book is the way the author shows Gilly’s progression of going from hating everyone to loving them. In the book they show this by how she hated Mrs. Trotter in the beginning and at the end of the book she is telling Mrs. Trotter she loves her. ( )
  bwinte3 | Mar 24, 2015 |
The Great Gilly Hopkins is a story about an intolerable, manipulative foster child who learns that families come in all shapes and sizes as long as there is love. I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. First, I liked the fact that the author did not “sugarcoat” Gilly’s thoughts and actions. Gilly cursed, said mean things and thought even worse things about the people in her life. This was a realistic view of how a foster child in her situation may have felt and reacted. It allowed the reader to develop a personal attitude toward Gilly, just as though she were a real person. I personally felt angry, embarrassed and sorry for her throughout the story. Another reason I enjoyed this book was because of the message that just because someone gives birth to you, does not make them a mother. Gilly thought that everything would be perfect if she were with her mother who loved her. However, when she finally meets her and realizes that she does not love her, she understands that Trotter, her foster mother, loved and cared for her like she were her own daughter. Those in Gilly’s life were not conventional, but her family nonetheless. ( )
  KristyPratt | Mar 23, 2015 |
This was a really interesting book. One reason I found it interesting was because of the racial references that were being made in the book. For example, “Almost half the class was black. And she would look dumb to them. A bunch of−” I was really surprised that the author would make a reference like that in a children’s chapter book. Another example was “… one of whom was black with millions of tiny braids all over her head. Like some African bushwoman.” This example came on a little offensive because it is making fun of a young black girl’s hair. I did not understand why those references were made. Another reason I found the book interesting was because of the wide range of emotions that Gilly showed throughout the book. For example, “I will be there soon get your fat self outta here!” Gilly showed a lot of anger in the beginning of the book that she channeled towards her foster mother. Another example of Gilly’s emotions was “…She couldn't push the word hard enough to keep the squeak out−“I Love you”. On the last page of the book for the first time Gilly said the words “I Love you”. I think the author had perfect timing because it left the reader feeling the emotions that Gilly felt in that moment. The big message of the book was that family does not have to be biological and even the toughest people can love and find love. ( )
  KinderelHodgson | Mar 22, 2015 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. The first reason I liked the book was because it was about a young girl who learns to let herself be vulnerable and open up to others. I like the fact that at first she wants to be called by her real name, Galadriel, but when her teacher wants to call her Galadriel, she yells and says that her name is Gilly. I think it's funny and something readers can sometimes relate to in school. I also liked that Gilly did not want to let Trotter get to know her, but by the end she didn't want to leave and told Trotter that she loved her. It was shocking that Gilly didn't want to go live with her grandmother after all this time of only wanting to be with her real family. One thing I didn't like about the book was how slow the story progressed. I got a bit bored in the middle of the book and kept waiting for something big to happen. Another thing I didn't like was that Gilly was portrayed as a mean girl and didn't listen to anyone or follow the rules. That is not a good message to have in a book because kids are more likely to follow what they read. Overall, the big idea of the book was to be yourself no matter the obstacle. ( )
  zfrid | Mar 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (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 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.
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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 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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