Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods

4.3 244
by Patricia Reilly Giff

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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.


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.

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.
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.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.64(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.43(d)
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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Pictures of Hollis Woods 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 244 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the ending. Definitly a have to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!! : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Athenia4 More than 1 year ago
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! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holy cow dont'read yuck
CMBLA More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
maddy More than 1 year ago
good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great andd interesting kept me up all night and made me cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was the best book I'v ever read i love this book so much. I think everyone sould ready this book. It was so magical i just love it so much. I love that it has love in it. Hollis- Woods is just a awesome character. She cares for people in the book i just love it so much. I hope eveyone who read this book sould post something amazing, because it is such an amazing book to read. I dont like how Hollis and Steven almost die. It sounds like Steven and Hollis end up liking each other. I gave it five stars because of corse it is an amazing book. And all this is coming from a twelve year old almost thirteen year old year old girl. I think everyboby that reads it will love it. I think every girl will love it, because it is just like a very girly book for some people but to me it was just awesome to me in my opioin. Oh my god i am so sorry for making this so long but it is a awesome book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it it is so sad!=,)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the book and i really like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it was a awsome book. I loved reading it with my class. At first i was not sure about reading it. When we were reading it i was sad because i wanted to read more. It would be better for every if they would come out with Pictues of Hollis Woods 2 or Returen of Hollis Woods. I think it was a good write. I think everyone in the world sould read Pictures of Hollis Woods. I was so sad when we got done with the book i started crying in my head. Thanks for a great book god!!!!!!!!!!! ;D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it! The parts that are confuseing are Flashbacks Fashbacks, to look into the past, to remeber
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pictures of holis woods is by far the best runaway book i have ever read. My favorite about hollis is her attitude and how she thinks. I recomend this book to 8-12 year olds who like adventures art andlove to read. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read it again and again i promise!! M&M 27 @ CC .com "BY!!!!!!!!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book totally rocks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago