Customer Reviews for

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Average Rating 4
( 139 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Memories

I read this book in 5th grd...Haha great book to read together :)

posted by Anonymous on March 21, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

Eleven-year-old Galadriel Hopkins ("Gilly" to the plebs she is forced to mix with in foster care) is not known for being cute or cuddly. Instead, she is the girl with the harsh words, mean attitude and, most recently, the really big bubble of gum that blew up in her fac...
Eleven-year-old Galadriel Hopkins ("Gilly" to the plebs she is forced to mix with in foster care) is not known for being cute or cuddly. Instead, she is the girl with the harsh words, mean attitude and, most recently, the really big bubble of gum that blew up in her face. Gilly is not the girl any foster parent in their right mind would want to adopt.

Which is just fine with Gilly because she already has a mother. A real mother. A movie star beautiful mother named Courtney Rutherford Hopkins who misses her and wishes they could be together.

For Gilly, that's enough. Knowing that somewhere Courtney is wishing for her daughter as badly as Gilly is wishing for her mother can get Gilly through anything.

At least, it could before she arrived at Mrs. Trotter's front door. Everything about this foster home is wrong. Trotter is fat and ugly. William Ernest, the other foster child, isn't too quick on the uptake. And (gasp) a wrinkled, old black man lives next door. Trotter and her band of misfits might be more bizarre than Gilly could ever imagine. But could they also be just what she needs? It's enough to make Gilly hatch an escape plan (or three) in The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978) by Katherine Paterson.

First things first: The Great Gilly Hopkins was the 1979 Newbery Honor book (The Westing Game won the gold that year). It made it to #55 in Betsy Bird's Top 100 Children's Novels poll. I haven't been following the poll too closely because the posts overwhelm me, but the segment about Gilly is necessarily relevant to this review. Katherine Paterson herself was also just recently appointed National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

In other words, everything about this book is a big deal.

Personally, I had very mixed feelings about The Great Gilly Hopkins (although I'm finding that to be true about a lot of children's classics lately). On the one hand I wanted very badly to be on Gilly's side and pull for her as an abandoned child that really needs someone to love her in her own right, not as a temporary commodity. On the other hand, Gilly works so hard at pushing people away that, at a certain point, it becomes hard to care too much or cheer too loudly for this girl who is all hard edges and anger.

This next part is going to have spoilers because just about everyone in the entire world has already read this book: Paterson does a great job creating Gilly as a character she is fully developed even though she is loathe to tell readers everything about her less-than-ideal past in the foster system. The book also handles a bold topic: looking at a little girl who is in the foster system not because she is an orphan but because her parent did not want her. The abandonment is extreme and, in the story, becomes palpable even as Gilly clings to the idealized vision she's created for her mother from a photograph and a note.

That said, I also had a lot of issues with the book. Gilly is essentially racist at the beginning of the story. She does grow and evolve and move past that, but it's one of those elements that seemed to be added to a book for a wow/edgy factor than for the actual story (in other words, I don't know that Gilly had to be racist to make the book work). It also seems like race wouldn't have been such a hot topic by that time--I might be mistaken though since I wasn't actually alive in 1978.

The adults in the novel also bothered me. A lot. If the grandmother cared so much about Gilly why was she

posted by MissPrint on February 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Terrible

    I had to read this book 4 school and i really didnt enjoy it. Gilly is rude and uses bad language, the characters are boring, and the story was just really lacking something essential to make it an enjoyable read.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Bad Book Alert!!!!

    Were you adopted or do you know someone who was? Well this story is about a girl named Gilly who can't find the right foster home for her. The Great Gilly Hopkins was written by Katherine Paterson and has a Newbery Honor Book award. The genre of The Great Gilly Hopkins is realistic fiction. However it used a confusing method of flashbacks and narration,and it also had a TERRIBLE ending.
    I disliked how in The Great Gilly Hopkins there were flashbacks in Gilly's memory and in her imagination. It was confusing to tell if Gilly was having a flashback or if it was the narration. While driving to her new foster home she had flashbacks about her old foster families that she hated. At her final home, Gilly had a flashback about her last foster home that she just realized she missed. The Great Gilly Hopkins uses a confusing method of narration and flash backs.
    I disliked the ending in The Great Gilly Hopkins because it didn't keep you interested. It was confusing and left you unsatisfied. While at the airport Gilly was talking and you couldn't tell who she was talking to. The end was loose ended, and didn't keep you wondering what the visitor would bring to Gilly's life, just informed about Gilly's plans. The ending in The Great Gilly Hopkins didn't keep you interested.
    In my opinion The Great Gilly Hopkins is a bad book. I think it's a awful book because it had a lot of flashbacks and you didn't know if the flashbacks were in the present or a flashback in addition the ending confusing. However even with the few good parts in the book, over all I thought it was a poor book!

    -Flip22

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    How did this get published. :(

    Great gilly hopkins was a terrible book. I had to read the whole
    thing for school and almost fell asleep. Also there is a lot of swearing and very racist. (That catholic banana.) This book should not be read by anyone and should get deleted from every nook. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Zero stars if this thing would let me

    This is the WORST book i ever read. This young papawan, is your first lesson on how to write a book that really sucks. If i had to totaly eraese one book from the world, this would be it!
    EEEEE, wrong time to start your writing life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    Not aa Not a good bokk Not the best book

    I hate it if you like sports do not get this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    It was the worst book ever made in history

    It was horrible. Worst book ever it was bad because in the end it turns out her mom is mean and rude and gilly ends up sad which really shouldnt happen because every book needs a happy ending or its really bad and tacky!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    NOT A BOOK FOR THE 10 YEAR OLD GROUP!!!

    I'm very dissapointed that this is recommended for that age group. I would not let my 10 year-old read any of the authors other books either, no telling what suprises they might hold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    Boring

    this is ther most boring book ever i had to read it for my summer reading book never read this book hear that this book is full of boringness

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    I honetly don't like this book!

    this is a bad book, i know im just a kid but i dont like it at all. the way gilly acts and how she is rascist and she thinks she is one of the boys. Also how she steals and make herself think she is buetiful and that her mom loves her, but why would her mom love her so much to puther in foster care??? Well anyone who does like this book, i'm sorry, but i dont know how you can. t me its boring!

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    Posted September 4, 2011

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    Posted April 12, 2012

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    Posted April 12, 2013

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    Posted July 20, 2011

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    Posted May 11, 2012

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    Posted April 29, 2010

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