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Pictures of Hollis Woods Paperback – May 11, 2004

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; DGS REP edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439692393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415787
  • ASIN: 0440415780
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Giff (Lily s Crossing; All the Way Home) again introduces a carefully delineated and sympathetic heroine in this quiet contemporary novel. Artistically talented Hollis Woods, age 12, has made a habit of running away from foster homes, but she s found a place on Long Island where she wants to stay for a while. She immediately bonds with Josie, her new guardian, who is a slightly eccentric, retired art teacher. Yet Hollis is far from content. She worries about Josie s increasing forgetfulness, and she sorely misses her last foster family, the Regans, whom she left under tense circumstances that are only gradually made clear. Giff intersperses tender scenes demonstrating Hollis s growing affection for Josie with memories of the Regans, whose images Hollis preserves in her sketchbook. Pictures of motherly Izzy Regan, her architect husband and their mischievous yet compassionate son, Steven, sensitively express the young artist s conception of a perfect family. As readers become intimately acquainted with Hollis, they will come to understand her fears, regrets and longings, and will root for her as she pursues her dream of finding a home where she belongs. Ages 8-13.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Patricia Giff's wonderful novel (Random, 2002) receives marvelous narration in this very successful recording. Twelve-year-old Hollis Woods, a longtime participant in the foster care system, is sent to live with Josie Cahill. Josie is a glamorous, elderly woman who has been successful in reaching difficult children. Prickly Hollis slowly warms to Josie's charm and becomes protective of the older woman who is exhibiting signs of senility. Alternate chapters reveal Hollis's previous living arrangement in a series off flashbacks. Giff skillfully builds the suspense over how Hollis feels she doomed her relationship with the loving Regan family. Now, Hollis knows that if the social workers find out that Josie is losing her memory, they will send Hollis to another family, leaving Josie without a caretaker. Hollis decides to run away with Josie and heads toward the Regan's summer house. There, both plot lines culminate, leaving Hollis wiser, happier, and finally belonging to the family of which she has always dreamed. Hope Davis does a superb job narrating the story, using subtle vocal intonations to differentiate between the unusually well-drawn characters. She gives Josie a frail but lively portrayal, while Hollis is by turns sullen, defiant, and filled with guilt. As Hollis lets down her self-protective walls, Davis injects her voice with a new quality, helping listeners grow even more fond of the character. It helps that Giff is such a visual writer, using art as a theme through the artistic qualities of Hollis, Josie, and several other characters. This is a recording not to be missed.
B. Allison Gray, South Country Library, Bellport, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Newbery Honor books, Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. She lives in Trumbull, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it highly.
This wonderfully written story will help anyone in need of a touching story, realize the true meaning of love and the real meaning of family.
Lori A. Coates
All the characters in Pictures of Hollis Woods are vivid and captivating, as is the story itself.
Whatcha Reading Now?

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pictures of Hollis Woods is the very moving story of an abandoned girl who has difficulty fitting into foster homes and is constantly getting in trouble for running away. What we get in this novel are two narratives: one in the present as Hollis tries to fit in with Josie, an older woman slowing succumbing to dementia; and one in the form of flashbacks told through description of pictures Hollis has drawn which tells the story of the previous summer when Hollis thought she had finally found a home. Slowly, these two stories are drawn together as Hollis tries to protect herself and Josie as well as come to terms with the events of the previous summer.
All in all, Ms. Giff has written a wonderful novel. The switching between the two plots in handled well and Hollis is a beautifully drawn character. She is difficult and introverted, but she is an artist and is ultimately able to overcome her defensiveness and become part of a family--even an extended family. I would highly recommend this novel to young and old alike.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pictures of Hollis Woods is a book about inspiration, hope, and finding out who you are as a person, and what place in this world is meant for you.

Hollis Woods is a kind, caring, and artistic eleven year old orphan who is trying to figure out who she is. At the same time, Hollis is trying to find a stable family, maybe a family who she can picture growing up with.

This book takes place in a house in Upstate, New York, in the woods and countryside, in the 1980's. It also takes place in Long Island, New York at a small house in the suburbs. Hollis has been in and out of many foster homes, and finally finds a family that wants to take her in and have her become their daughter and sister. Without hesitation, Hollis agrees. Later in the story, a tragic event happens, leaving Hollis scared and unsure of what she wants and what to do next. As a result she decides she wants out of her new family, the Regan's, and she runs away. After running away, the social workers find her, and relocate her to live with an elderly woman named Josie. From the very first friendly hug Josie gave Hollis, Hollis knew she would love living with Josie. They have a grand time living together until a problem occurs, leaving Hollis with no other choice but to run away and take Josie with her. But what happens when social workers and Hollis' past catch up to her? Find out by reading this book.

This book is an easy but touching read. The first twenty pages are slow, but it soon speeds up. This book is slightly confusing at first, because every chapter alternates, from present to past, using Hollis' flashbacks. A word of advice to people who are going to read this book: Notice that the writing in italics are her flashbacks, and the regular print is the present. Parts of this book are slightly cheesy and unrealistic, but all in all, this is a very moving book, and I would recommend it to anyone in search of a short, well done, and touching read.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on October 3, 2002
Format: Library Binding
"This picture has a dollop of peanut butter on one edge, a smear of grape jelly on the other, and an X across the whole thing. I cut it out of a magazine for homework when I was six years old. 'Look for words that begin with W,' my teacher, Mrs. Evans, had said.
"She was the one who marked in the X, spoiling my picture. She pointed. ' This is a picture of a family, Hollis. A mother, M, a father, F, a brother, B, a sister, S. They're standing in front of their house, H. I don't see one W word here, young lady.'
"I opened my mouth to say: How about W for wish, or W for want, or W for 'Wouldn't it be loverly,' like the song the music teacher had taught us?
"But Mrs. Evans was at the next table by that time, shushing me over her shoulder."
PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS is one of this year's most beautiful and most well-crafted tales. With the piles of new books I have waiting for me to read, it is rare for me to read a book twice, no less twice in successive days. But that's how strongly this one has affected me.
"...'Drawing is what you see of the world, truly see.'
" 'Yes, maybe,' I said, not sure what she meant.
" 'And sometimes what you see is so deep in your head you're not even sure of what you're seeing. But when it's down there on paper, and you look at it, really look, you'll see the way things are...' "
Hollis Woods is an artistic foster child whose troubled past has been marked by a succession of stops:
"There was the green house where the door didn't quite close; the wind blew in and up the stairs, rattling the window panes. The white house: crumbs on the table, kids fighting over a bag of Wonder bread. The yellow house: sooty, a long-haired woman with braids, no rugs on the stairs, the loud sound of feet going up and down...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kari DeLano on October 28, 2002
Format: Library Binding
As a future teacher I am looking for books that will keep students interested, yet still give them something good to read. This book is just that kind of book. It evokes an emotion in the reader that is difficult to understand. This is the kind of book that can also spark any lesson plan and add all sorts of activities to the agenda.
With the kind of character and plot development that keeps the reader on the edge of your seat throughout the book, it will be a sure hit to readers of all ages and reading levels.
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