Monday, June 21, 2010

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Hollis Woods was abandoned as an infant in a little town named Hollis Woods.  The person who left her there pinned a note to her shirt instructing that her name be just that...Hollis Woods.  Hollis has been bounced around the foster care system for her entire life.  She has made it a habit to run away from these homes as well as skipping school and prides on being "trouble."

When really, all she truly wants is a family.

This book alternates between flashbacks of an almost perfect summer with a wonderful family in the mountains and the present when Hollis is placed with an older women, Josie who turns out to have some memory problems, but is a craftsman which is perfect for Hollis who is a very talented artist herself.

Hollis decides to stay at Josie's for a while but when the social worker informs Hollis she cannot stay with Josie because of her memory problems, Hollis talks Josie into running away.   They go to the cabin where she spent that wonderful summer in the mountains, but now it is winter and a harsh one at that!

As Hollis cares for Josie and tries to come to terms with her past, she learns a lot about herself.

What I Thought: 
A wonderful, well-written book.  I fell in love with Hollis Woods and so badly wanted her to get her dream...a family!  I loved how Giff alternated each chapter with a flashback allowing us to gain insight into her past while living her life with her in the present.   Hollis is a great girl who just has been let down by adults her whole life and has learned to fend for herself.  It's such a gift to see Hollis trust others and allow herself to become a part of a family unit! 

A super book...give to readers who love reading books about strong characters and happy endings.

Very highly recommended.

This book was the recipient of a 2003 Newbery Honor.  

Want to see more?  Check it out on Amazon: Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff.

In 2007, a Hallmark movie was premiered on CBS of this novel starring Jodelle Ferland as Hollis Woods,  Sissy Spacek as Josie, and Alfre Woodard as Enda Reilly--the social worker.  It was really a wonderful movie and though it has been several years since I saw it, I believe it was pretty parallel to the novel.   You can check it out here

1 comment:

sandi said...

I have not read this yet but I have it on my shelf at school.
I had no idea they made a tv movie. I will have to read it then try to find the show!