Customer Reviews for

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Average Rating 4
( 139 )
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5 Star

(74)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

GO GILLY!:D

A great book really a page turner katherine paterson is a spectacular author

posted by 8262220 on May 26, 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 May 26, 2012

    GO GILLY!:D

    A great book really a page turner katherine paterson is a spectacular author

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Memories

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

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Best Book!

    The great gilly hopkins was a fun book. It is now one of my all time favorites. The ending turned out a little weird but some are. My favorite character in this book was William Ernest or W.E. in the beginning Gilly thinks he's retarded but he really is smarter than he looks.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Fantastic!

    Omg this book is like totally amazing. I read this book all the time when im bored. It never gets old! Although the book is short it is awsome i defanatly recomend this book. GET IT!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    The great gilly hopkins

    I love this book my sixth grade teacher read it to us in language arts. There was some cure words in it and gilly was racist so i wouldnt recommend it for young kids without their parents permission.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2003

    great!!

    it was a surprisingly really good book! going from foster home to foster gilly all twisted but it is a great book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    ;)

    This book is preety good one of the things that rok is the swearing. ;)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    What

    How could you say that it was the worst book ever I loved the book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Ghdhdjdjx

    I had to read this for school in 4th and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is a awesome book and will recamend it to everybody!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    I Love this book

    being a adopted child.. i think this book relates alot to my real life.. she doesn't knwo her real mother but trys to work with her families.. she rebells at first btu trualy loves her ' family ' alot and is very upset when she is taken away from them and must live with her reali grandmother and finds out that her reali mother lied in her loving letters and does not want her to come live with her and onli vists her so she will get sent money for her drug habbits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2004

    The GREAT Gilly Hopkins

    I read this book in the fifth grade, and it changed my life forever. It opened my eyes, made me more thoughtful. Ten years later, I still pause to think about Gilly. An amazing book for all kids in her stage of life. It's about overcoming one's own quickness to judge others unfairly, and finding goodness and love in the most unexpected places.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2001

    Great book for older foster children to read

    I like this book because it gives older foster children a story to read that relates to their lives. The story offers realistic views on some of the challenges encountered in foster care. The book also offers hope. -Cynthia Miller Lovell, author of The Star: A story to help young children understand foster care, and Questions & Activities for The Star: A handbook for foster parents

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    Home Sweet Home

    The book The Great Gilly Hopkins is great. It is by Katherine Paterson. I enjoyed reading it. That is why I gave It five stars. It is about a froster child named Gilly. She never stays at one froster home for long. She acts big and bad. She gets moved to a new home. Her care giver is Trotter. She has another child named William Earnest. Gilly is trying to get home to her mother in California. She steals money from Mr. randolph and Trotter. When she gets enough money she goes to the ticket station to get a ticket. She has to wait though. While she is waiting the ticket man calls the cops. They take her back to Trotter. Gilly doesn't know what to do. She wants to be with her mother, but she can't find away to do it. I reccomend this book to kids who like books about family. I also would reccomend it to froster kids. They would be able to relate to it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2000

    I love the book

    My 6th grade class in los Angelos,California is reading it and they love love it. LOVE THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    A wonderful children's book

    This was a amazing book which was a loved book in my household. This is one of the best children's books that I have ever read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    a very good author

    i love the book it can be read by all ages even older people can get a real joy from reading this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2000

    Great Gilly

    I loved how Katherine Paterson expressed the troubles Gilly was going through. I feel even though she used bad langue it is a good book for kids.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2000

    Gilly the GREAT!

    I thought this book was awesome! I read it in 6th grade and i was in tears! i recomnend it to all because it is outstanding!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Its really

    I wish you could read the hole booj

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Im reading

    Im reading this book and i cant find any bad words some one teeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll mmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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