In 1978, calling on experience with just such people as are in this book, classic children's author Katherine Paterson wrote this novel about a tough foster girl and how she learns the hard lessons of life. It will be well understood by todays older elementary school reader.
Although written over 30 years ago, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS will still be a cute read for the avid young reader, despite the fact that some aspects of the book, particularly the racist element, may be dated. Gilly is fiercely determined to hold on to her gruffness, which may delight young girls who love their anti-heroines. And yet she has a definite soft side, even though she may not want to admit it. I chuckled as Gillys attempts to stay cold and detached often backfired on her. Gilly comes from a time when racism is still latent, and so some of her reactions to people may be a little uncomfortable for us. Still, its important to note that the book itself isnt a racist book, and that over the course of the book Gilly grows. I have other juvenile fiction contemporary favorites out there, but this one isnt so bad.
I found this children's novel to be touching and quite enjoyable when I was younger. I feel the same way now, after reading it again as an adult. It is by the author of Bridge to Terabithia.
The one thing wants is a home of her own. If only she could find her mother and live with her. Instead she finds herself in yet another foster home. At first Gilly despises her new home but she learns to love everyone and is drawn into there circle of love.
Trophy Newbery; Winner of the National Book Award for Children's Literature; Book has won many awards.
This perceptive story draws strength from its finely delineated characters and rich, moving narrative.