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Pictures of Hollis Woods Paperback – May 11, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
"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...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read for all ages especially if families read together ! Loved this bookPublished 5 months ago by Happylandmom
I picked this one up at a local used book store for less than $2. I hadn't watched the movie, though I do plan to now, and was curious as to how they made a film from such a short... Read morePublished 7 months ago by kimberly hall
I read this one straight through, hit emotions of hope, love, longing, and happy tear jerker.Published 11 months ago by Brandy Musselman
This book it great for seventh graders. I personally loved this book and I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good book.Published 11 months ago by Karen Nappi
I loved this book. As a teacher, it really made me think about what my students may be going through that I might not be aware of.Published 12 months ago by V. Thompson