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The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine…
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The Great Gilly Hopkins (original 1978; edition 2004)

by Katherine Paterson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9841371,913 (3.87)46
Member:amille115
Title:The Great Gilly Hopkins
Authors:Katherine Paterson (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2004), 160 pages
Collections:Untitled collection, 5th-6th Grade Readers, 3rd-4th Grade Readers, Realistic Fiction
Rating:****1/2
Tags:family, friendship, fosterchild

Work details

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (1978)

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» See also 46 mentions

English (136)  Dutch (1)  All (137)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
In my opinion this is a great book. Two reasons this is a great book are there is a believable, strong character and the book is engaging.
The main character in the book, Gilly, is a foster child that bounced around from a couple foster homes before landing in the one she is at with Mrs. Trotter and William Ernest. Gilly is a strong character who doesn’t really want anything to do with anybody, but as the story goes on she builds those relationships with her foster family. She also builds a relationship with Mr. Randolph the next-door neighbor. All Gilly wants is a family to care and love her. Gilly also wanted her mother to want her, so she tries to run away to find her mother. Gilly has made a mistake trying to contact her mother getting her grandmother instead who pays Gilly a visit and takes her back home to live with them. Gilly realized that she really had it good with Mrs. Trotter and misses her foster family. The character of Gilly is a character that any child that lives in a foster home can relate to wanting to find and get to know their birth mother. I liked the way the author included the letters at the end of the book. This showed a personal connection between Gilly, Mrs. Trotter and William Ernest.

The main message of this story is everyone needs family and a home. ( )
  amille115 | Oct 12, 2017 |
I enjoyed reading this book because it was not about a traditional family dynamic. It is about a girl name Gilly who is a foster child and is placed in a home with Mrs. Trotter who is her new foster mom. Gilly really wants to be reunited with her mother Courtney who she finds to be the most beautiful woman ever. Unfortunately, when she finally is towards the end, she realizes her mother isn’t who she thought she was. My favorite part of the book was when she was physically taking care of Mrs. Trotter, William Ernst, and Mr. Randolph when they were sick with the flu. I think at this part of the book was where she grew the most. She was more empathic and eager to help them. That’s when she realized also that life isn’t bad but it can be tough sometimes. Once Gilly left with her grandmother, she missed her foster family so much. I think the meaning behind this book is that you truly don’t know what you got until its gone, and when she realized she was leaving them forever, she missed all of them and everything they have taught her about what it means to be a family. ( )
  michaelacommodari | Oct 2, 2017 |
While this story had great character development and a realistic theme I appreciated, I never fell in love with the characters or plot. Despite never feeling sucked into this read, I can't help but mention how satisfying it was to watch the main character, Gilly, unfold and grow into herself. At first she was a selfish child with walls built up as high and thick as they'd go. Due to her past experiences in foster homes, she felt scared and unsure to care for another family. However as the story goes on you see the caring nature she always had within, pour out to the people around her. She was still the stubborn free-spirited girl from the beginning, but learned how to let people in and give and receive help.

The theme that life is what you make of it, left me wanting more yet also left me with a sense of satisfaction. There isn't a happy ending and things don't go as Gilly planned, but it's her own actions to blame. Trotter tells her in one of the final pages how life is tough but that doesn't mean it's bad. You have to do your best with what you have and live with the consequences of your decisions. I wasn't expecting this type of theme, but then again maybe I should have. As a reader, I hoped Gilly would finally have a happy ending and in a way, she did. No matter our circumstances, it's up to us to make it a happy beginning. ( )
  kfranc7 | Sep 29, 2017 |
I liked this book “The Great Gilly Hopkins” by Katherine Paterson because the book was engaging and realistic relating to a foster child. This story may help readers realize their life is great, even though they may wish for other things, and that if their circumstances changed, they would miss many things that are in their life now. Gilly always wished to meet her mother, although when she finally did, it was not was Gilly had hoped for and wanted to go back to her foster home with W.E., Trotter, and Mr. Randolph. I really liked how well Gilly’s relationships developed through the story. Although this book was nonfiction, the book was very accurate and relatable to students trying to prove themselves in school and to students that act out. Gilly tries very hard to prove to her teachers she is smart. She persavers, reads above grade levels, and develops a relationship with her teacher she originally didn’t like. This story was also very accurate to the life of a foster child, wishing they knew their birth mother and wanting to know they come from. I also liked how the plot was organized to suspend the reader, while slow pace at times, I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. Even after Gilly stole the money from Mr. Randoplph’s book shelf, I was curious to see if he, as a blind man, would figure out his money was missing. I also liked the way the writing was organized at the end of the story. The letters to and from Gilly made the story a lot more personal since the rest of the story was written in third person. The main message of the story is that not everything has a happy ended but to keep working hard to be a good person. ( )
  cpoers1 | Sep 27, 2017 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for one reason, however, I also disliked it for one reason. I disliked the book because of the language that it used. One of the characters in the novel, William Earnest, was often described as "retarded." This language made me rather uncomfortable, however, it may have been a literary element. On the other hand, I loved this book because of the character development. Gilly is a foster child and acts out for attention. This seems characteristic of children who are forced into foster care. However, as the novel progresses, Gilly begins to settle down and turns out to be a sweet girl. Gilly realizes her love for her foster mother, Mrs. Trotter. Overall, the big ideas of this book were patience and love. Gilly had patience throughout the novel as she waited for her real mother, Courtney, to come and rescue Gilly from foster care. Through this patience, however, Gilly was able to love and appreciate her foster mother, Mrs. Trotter. ( )
  Ochapm1 | Sep 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 136 (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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Dedication
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.
Quotations
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)

(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.

(summary from another edition)

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