The Great Gilly Hopkins
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book is highly appealing, especially to kids beginning to rebel against authority. Fresh and inventive writing keeps readers engrossed.
What's the story?
Gilly is one tough kid. She intends to destroy every one of her foster mothers so she can live with her mysterious real mother. She meets her match in Mrs. Trotter, an overweight, uneducated woman who's only weapon is total love for her foster kids. Can Gilly prevail against that? A great choice for reluctant readers.
Is it any good?
Katherine Paterson has created a believable character in Gilly, and readers learn how pain drives the bad behavior of this foster kid. She beats boys up. She terrorizes teachers. She drives unsuspecting foster parents to nervous breakdowns.
Gilly thinks she's smarter than any authority figure -- until she meets a woman who has had little education but who has wisdom in spades. Mrs. Trotter knows kids, and she knows how to handle Gilly. Gilly ridicules Mrs. Trotter's deep religious faith and defies her at every turn, but she just can't escape the woman's relentless love. Readers are satisfied with the ending, as Gilly resolves her issues and learns to love and be loved.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about expectations. Why are Gilly's expectations for her mother so high? How does Gilly try to protect herself from disappointment?