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Pictures of Hollis Woods

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Overview

Hollis Woods has been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. When Hollis is sent to Josie, she’ll do everything in her power to make sure they stay together.

A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

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Pictures of Hollis Woods

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Overview

Hollis Woods has been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. When Hollis is sent to Josie, she’ll do everything in her power to make sure they stay together.

A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

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Editorial Reviews

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. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
Twelve-year-old Hollis Woods was found abandoned as an infant. Since then, she has shuttled from one foster home to another, never quite loved, and pronounced "a mountain of trouble" by her latest caretaker because she always runs away. The Regans wanted to adopt her, but inexplicably, she ran away again and now finds herself in the care of an elderly artist, Josie, whom she grows to love. The problem is that Josie is showing signs of Alzheimer's and the agency plans to remove Hollis from her home. Instead, Hollis takes Josie in hand and runs away again—back to the Regans. Through trial and error Josie learns the meaning of family and the strength of the bonds that hold people together. The story is compelling, with an interesting narrative line that leads to the solution of a mystery. The plot unfolds in a series of word pictures that flash between the present and the past and effectively illustrate Hollis' own creative drive. KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2002, Random House, Dell Yearling, 166p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Myra Marler
School Library Journal
Abandoned at birth, Hollis Woods has lived in about a half dozen homes and has always wished for a family. A foster caretaker describes her as "a mountain of trouble." When Josie Cahill, a retired art teacher, takes the 12-year-old into her home on Long Island, NY, the two bond almost immediately. Hollis draws pictures with colored pencils and Josie carves branches into people. However, it soon becomes clear that Josie has trouble remembering things, and Hollis becomes the caregiver. When she stops attending school, a social worker comes by to investigate. Flashbacks slowly illuminate Hollis's life with one family who had hoped to adopt her and why this didn't happen. Giff masterfully weaves these two strands together in a surprising and satisfying ending. Strong characterization and a solid sense of place are the strengths of this heartfelt story that will appeal to fans of Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler (2002), Katherine Paterson's The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978, both HarperCollins), and Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Gib Rides Home (Delacorte, 1998).-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Hollis Woods, abandoned as a one-hour-old baby, was named after the part of Queens where she was found with a note pinned on her blanket: "Call her Hollis Woods." She has lived with a progression of foster families since then, running away whenever she feels the urge. Now she has landed at the home of Josie Cahill, a retired art teacher who reaches Hollis in new ways: by helping her develop her artistic talent. In addition, for the first time a foster parent needs Hollis more than Hollis needs her; Josie is starting to forget things, and Hollis vows to make sure that no one will take her away and put Josie in a retirement home. From the beginning, it's clear through Hollis's recollections that something awful happened at her previous foster home, something for which she feels responsible. The Regans had a son Hollis's age and were anxious to adopt her; while Hollis reciprocated their affection and has longed for a family her whole life, she fears she exacerbated existing family tensions and ran away. It's a relief when what happened is finally revealed; the accident for which Hollis blames herself was unfortunate, but not fatal or unforgivable. Giff (All the Way Home, 2001, etc.) expertly portrays the intense, heartfelt emotions Hollis experiences and gives her talent and spunk; she is in no way pathetic, despite her perennial foster-childhood. The secondary characters are also completely drawn and are likable without being too good to be true. This touching story will leave readers pleasantly drained, satisfied with the happy ending, and eager for more about Hollis's future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440415787
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 35,897
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Reilly Giff’s most recent Delacorte book is All the Way Home. She is also the author of Lily's Crossing, a Newbery Honor Book and Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 242 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(151)

4 Star

(47)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    AWSOME BOOK!!!!!!!!!

    I loved the ending. Definitly a have to read

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    I love this book im Melia

    This is a great book about a girl named after the place she was abandoned . In this book it shares her experiences in foster homes. She is doing pics. I hiley recomend this book to u hoping u like it. I know i do. Plz get this book it is worth every penny. Im Melia and i want u to get this book. I also recomend Bud not Buddy a book about a boy in a foster home because his mom died when he was six. He is ten now and finaly meets his dad who is a famous musision. Get it. I also recomend Why Me. It is a great book about a girl growing up wit a abusive mother. Imagine if you were pushed againced an electric fence and then srangled to the ground. I cant imagine tjat happen to me. It happened to a girl named sarah. She has only been hugged and told she was loveded once when she had to shop lift for her mom. Her mom got her a donkey that she saiwas ugly and useles like her. Her mom every day shot the donkey with a bb gun til it died. She goes through alot. PLZ READ THEM

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great adolescent and adult read

    I had to read this as an assigned Trade Share Book for one of my teaching classes, and I was not looking forward to having to read a book catered to an age group that includes my 10 year old son, but I have to saythis was a great read! I wanted to finish each chapter so I could see what was going to happen next and why she had left the family she obviously loved so much, and what was going to happen with Josie...I plan on having my son read it and keep it in my persoanl library for my students once I have my own classroom! :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2010

    A Great Book for Kids

    Pictures Of Hollis Woods. Patricia Reilly Giff. 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012: Scholastic, May 2004. 176 pages.

    Everyone heard of the quote saying you shouldn't take things for granted. Well, I never thought of that quote as much as I did while reading this book. This book made me realize that having a family is one of the greatest things of all.

    The book called Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff, was an interesting book. It starts off as a girl, Hollis Woods, with an extraordinary talent of art, but was abandoned by birth. Hollis was in many different foster homes, but ends up running away because she dislikes the homes. Until one day she met Josie. Josie was an artistic, forgetful lady, due to her ageing. Hollis felt the need that they needed each other like how the table legs rely on each other to stand.

    Hollis has the talent of art and expresses her feelings through it. Like what Beatrice (a minor character) said, "You're going to be something, you and that language you speak on paper."

    Josie was an art teacher, but retired. Because she is so old, she forgets things. If the agency finds out about this, they're going to separate them. That marks one of their big adventures together.

    So together they have a great time going to places together. For example, one adventure they had together is that Hollis and Josie had to run away from the "mustard lady" who would send Hollis away to another home. Hollis and Josie ran off which led to a whole new story.

    Since I pictured this book to be outstanding, I was disappointed. I thought it would be a non-stop page turner, but it wasn't. Although, it was still a good book, just didn't reach my expectations. The book had its moments where I couldn't put the book down.

    It reminded me of a fairy tale where it ends up being happily ever after except the fact how this isn't for toddlers. Also, how this book wasn't buy Disney.

    I did enjoy the details in each picture that Hollis drew. It brought up the things to life where I could visualize the art Hollis drew.

    An example is, "I'd drawn: Izzy flipping a pancake that would land on my plate. Izzy's pancakes were wonderful: covered with apples cut into small sweet chunks, the pancakes themselves so light I must have eaten a half of dozen."

    I also enjoyed the fact how the author, Patricia Reilly Giff, explained a picture of what Hollis drew between each chapter. Then, as you read the pictures and the storyline seem to connect. Doing that, it made the book unique and different than other books.

    The book Pictures of Hollis Woods is overall is a great book. Warning, don't have high expectations. You might dislike the book then.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    looks good?!!!

    i think i might get it

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pictures Of Hollis Woods

    Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff is a fictional story. Pictures of Hollis Woods was a good book because of how Hollis was; Hollis was into art and was a very quiet girl. The setting is in present day Long Island. Hollis Woods is a foster child who can't find a permanent home. Whenever she gets to a certain home, she always runs away because she doesn't like where she is. Hollis Woods arrives to a house in Long Island; the owner of the house is named Josie. Hollis has been there for a while now and she hasn't run away yet. Hollis likes living with Josie because she lets her stay home from school, and is into art as is Hollis. Josie is getting old and forgetful. If the adoption agency figures out that she is like this Hollis would have to go to another house once again. The author, Patricia Reilly Giff, likes to put an image in your head. The point of view starts off with a third-person point of view and then changes to Hollis's point of view. I think people with a caring heart for children should read this book, because they'll get a sense of good vibes, and satisfaction. I do recommend this book for all ages.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    Pictures of Hollis woods review

    Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff, author of Lily's Crossing, fits right into the niche of young girls story's that the author has come to know. Hollis Woods is a young girl, abandoned and tossed from one foster home to another. A budding artist, her pictures help establish her memories and the backbone of this story. They help establish the wistful tone of the story. A story, often told, of a female protagonist trying to find their place in the world, a wandering soul.
    It could be told that this book is divided into two parts, the pictures and the present. The pictures give the aforementioned wistful memories. Throughout the "pictures" the reader is more closely familiarized with the thoughts of Hollis. These thoughts are easily relatable to any preteen. By that I do not mean the same readability that has lured thousands upon thousands of tweens to the latest bubblegum chewing, empowering song-singing, slightly sassy heroine of any of Disney's or Nickelodeons shows/films. I mean that the children will relate to not exactly knowing where to belong in this big wide world of ours that has been in any successful. I liken this book to a particularly good animated movie. I do this because although it is aimed for a relatively young target audience- in this case 9-13 year olds- the adults would enjoy this novel as well.
    Although the heroine is an oft copied element, this modern novel has a relatively original plot. As mentioned before Hollis uses pictures to describe time with her most recent foster family, the Regans. The rest of the novel describes her time with Josie Cahill, a retired art teacher with a tendency to forget. Although she enjoys living with Josie she cannot forget about the Regans. This is stressed so much that gradually throughout the pictures we finally begin to understand the entire story of Hollis and her disappearance from the Regan family, along with her disappearance from many other foster families. However when the "mustard women" from the adoption agency comes to check up on them, Hollis knows that is time for action. Although fleeing from one part of her past she cannot help letting the memories of the Regans influence her next step.
    Throughout this review I have stressed the wistful tone of the story and the strong female main character. This is because it gives the story a theme, one repeated time and time again, home is where the heart is. With such a simple theme it would be easy to render this tome overused. However Patricia Reilly Giff breathes new life into this work with vivid descriptions of the setting, and a window into the main characters thoughts. However this book does not contain a lot of "action" until about three quarters of the way in. Until that the book seems rather like a rather large exposition. In fact it also leaves the characters other than Hollis rather wooden. The Regan family seems a little too picture perfect at first glance, and the characters of Josie and her cousin Beatrice, were left a little untied, left behind at the the conclusion.
    All things considered Pictures of Hollis Woods is a reflective modern novel. Even though the conclusion leaves much to be desired and the characters other than Hollis lack personality it is true that the main hub of the story is Hollis Woods herself. All of the other characters are just living in her world, drawn in her pictures. Because, at the end of the day, these pages and chapters are just Pictures of Hollis Woods.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    A book to read over and over

    My fifth graders loved this book. The girl Hollis is an artist, and learns about herself through her relationships with the different foster families she is sent to. But only through her art can she somehow express herself, and it is her loving, giving heart that is her strength. Beautifully written with memories of past times interspersed with the actual happenings of the moment. It is a book of tenderness and love, and a child who is learning to receive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    AMAZING!!!!!

    I LOVED this story sooooo much!!!!! This story was touching and it made me want to cry when she didn't want to live with or talk to the Regans because she thought the accident was all her fault and they didn't want her anymore!!! I LOVED the ending!!!! I recommend this book to everyone!!!!!!!!! : )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Best book ever :D

    I love this book! My teacher read it to us and we joved it sooooooooooooo much! I think u should read it to. I hope u love it as much as i do! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    TAP HERE PLEASE!!!

    I love this book soo much!!! PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS is a score!!! I think that this book is a really awesome book! I think it would be AWESOME if they would make a Pictures of Hollis Woods 2 or the Return of Hollis Woods! Whoever reads my review, I hope you read this book and LOVE it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    You should read this book.......... if you like slow and boring books. I hated this book!! Itis so slow and boring.

    .

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Ty

    Grrr

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hollis Woods is a 12-year-old orphan who has run away from every

    Hollis Woods is a 12-year-old orphan who has run away from every foster home she's ever lived in. As a last-ditch effort, she is placed with an elderly lady who is "good with girls like you." In her new home, Hollis is finally happy, until she realizes that her foster mother has a fading memory, and she must hid this fact from the state in order to stay where she is. This book is simply precious. Hollis seems so real--snarky but sad, brave but insecure, and willing to do whatever it takes to care for her foster mother. This short book could be appreciated by adults as well as people in 5-8th grades.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Awesome book

    This book is the coolest book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hollis is so mysterious and artistic its just a very loving story and book. Hollis is a orphan and try finding a family to live with but never finds a true family. Until she meets the Stevensons!!!!!! Thats all I'm going to tell you so I dont ruin the story for you!!!! Get this book and enjoy reading it!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

    Holey Mash Potatoes!!!

    Worms are cool.

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    this book was very bad

    i think this book was very boring and confuseing and hard to under stand and it kept on skiping around and there was soooo many chathers in the book you never knew whoi they were tslkign about

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    I don't think it even deserves to be called a book, much less a Newberry

    Pictures of Hollis Wood is a very boring and confusing book. I didn't read the whole thing, but if I don't finish a book, then it's probably that bad. Hollis has these very random flashback and picture chapters, and I was getting very confused and mixed up. There also wasn't much put into Hollis or Josie. They were just blah characters that had no personality type. They both just small talked constantly. And I also don't understand why Hollis would run away from nice people that offered her a perfectly nice life abnd threw it all away. I'm very sorry that my parents bought this book for me, wasting money that didn't need to be spent on a thing that doesn't even deserved to be called a book. Unless you like confusing books, Pictures of Hollis Wood is not for you

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    This book was awesome!!!!!

    The best book i read in 5 th grade it was more than good it is awesome i recomend it to artist and if u were adopted this book knows how u feel if u have more than one home

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Epic

    I love it it is so sad!=,)

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