Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly GiffWhen I finished reading this book I actually gave a little yell of happiness. I knew there was a good reason why I wanted to re-read this book. I had read it a couple years back and wanted to know for sure why I had liked it so much the first time around.
The book touches on what is most important in life and we are shown this by a girl named Hollis Woods. (btw I thought the name was pretty unique) Hollis has been toted around from foster home to foster home. She is good at running away and pushing people away. Things change though when she is given to the Regans for one summer.
I totally fell in love with the Regans. They are so perfect for Hollis. Steven (the son of the Regans) is the epitome of what a brother should and could be.
The book is set up between the time she spends with Josie (her newest foster parent, and a rich character in the story), and the time she spent that summer with the Regans. There is a huge event that happens during that summer which is witheld from the reader, but slowly but surely it is revealed to us. I was still anticipating what would happen to Hollis even though I already knew what happened. An extremely talented author can do that.
Holliss drawings came to life to me and I could actually see in my mind how real her art was. I was also glad that they mentioned food a lot in the book. Too many books leave that important part of life out. I genuinely was happy for Hollis like she was a real person, but then I thought to myself that is what makes this story so grand; Hollis could be a real little girl and this could actually happen for her.
Even though this book is only 160 odd pages it packs a big punch. The author waste no words and gets the message across clearly that we all just want to belong.
Pictures of Hollis Woods Summary & Study Guide
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. 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.
See a Problem?
Hollis Woods has spent her whole life running. Running from the houses she's put in under the foster care system, but also running from herself. Told in alternating points of Hollis' life- the past with a family she loved and who loved her back and the present with her current caretaker, an older woman who forgets things far too easily. Hollis is faced with the consequences of running from herself. Hollis is faced with the consequences of running from herself and how it has affected her confidence, psyche, and self-perception. In this novel, Giff tackles tough subjects like Alzheimer's and the effect it has on our loved ones as well as what happens when we believe the things that people tell us instead of defining ourselves.