Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

I've liked this book for a long time, and I give it a rating of five out of five. Gilly is a foster child, and her only wish is to live with her mother. Because of this attitude, Gilly is a very difficult foster child. She tries her best to be as bad as she can be so that she'll be sent back to her mom. Gilly swears, is prejudiced, steals, fights, and is insulting. She terrorizes her foster brother, W.E., and verbally abuses her "friend" Agnes. She tries to run away, but things really change when she writes a letter to her mom describing the terrible foster home she's been put into. Actually, Gilly's foster mother,Mamie Trotter, is the most loving and kind person that Gilly will ever meet. As the plot unfolds in this book, I'm reminded of the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

This book has wonderful, descriptive language; and I'm not talking about Gilly's mild profanity. I enjoy the character development and the way Gilly changes throughout the plot. The reader will probably hate her in the beginning but feel sorry for her in the end. It's amusing to be in Gilly's mind as she faces the other characters and deals with situations. Trotter, W.E., Agnes, and Mr. Randolph are excellent supporting characters and help Gilly learn about the meaning of family.

Lexile level from 800

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