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
Sign in. A troubled foster child with an affinity for drawing and artwork, becomes attached to her eccentric and forgetful new foster mother, also an artist. After running away from her last foster placement with the Regan family, twelve year old Hollis Woods is placed with a new foster mother, the loving, retired art teacher, Josie Cahill. Hollis is a talented artist and her life stories unfold through her pictures. One revealing picture is the "W" picture Hollis drew for a first grade class assignment on the letter "w".
The novel received a Newbery Honor Award in It was adapted for television in She was originally abandoned at birth by her mother in a local park, with a scrap of paper instructing that she is named Hollis Woods after the park. Her current foster home is with a kindly older artist named Josie, who treats Hollis with love but is beginning to lose her memory and independence. Hollis realizes quickly that despite Josie's good intentions, she is unable to care for Hollis as a guardian should, forgetting to take Hollis to school and to buy groceries. Hollis fears returning to the home of a former foster mother who she calls "the stucco woman", where she is neglected and mistreated. She knows that if Josie's forgetfulness is discovered, her social worker will send Hollis to another foster home.