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In this Newbery Honor Book, a troublesome 12-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.


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In this Newbery Honor Book, a troublesome 12-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

30 review for Pictures of Hollis Woods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    When 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 pushi When 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. Hollis's 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    The story opens with a young girl in foster care. She is asked to do a 'W' picture at school. One girl does a picture of a washing machine and gets a tick. Hollis does a picture of a mother, father, brother and sister and the teacher draws a cross on her picture. The teacher doesn't wait to hear that Hollis made her 'W' picture to show Wishing, Want and Wouldn't it be loverly. Hollis runs away from several foster carers, the story switches between the current time and a family she had met that s The story opens with a young girl in foster care. She is asked to do a 'W' picture at school. One girl does a picture of a washing machine and gets a tick. Hollis does a picture of a mother, father, brother and sister and the teacher draws a cross on her picture. The teacher doesn't wait to hear that Hollis made her 'W' picture to show Wishing, Want and Wouldn't it be loverly. Hollis runs away from several foster carers, the story switches between the current time and a family she had met that she was happy with until something went wrong. We guessed what had happened pretty soon but we were still on the edge of our seats to find out what happened and desperately wishing it would turn out alright. We read this in one sitting luckily as we were anxious to make sure several characters were alright. There were some wonderful characters in this book. We loved the descriptions of the characters love of drawing and love of life despite their bad circumstances. This was a wonderful story and very uplifting. The end was very emotional and a real struggle to keep my voice steady for a read aloud! The only thing I can think of to improve this book would be some illustrations, I would have loved to see Hollis' drawings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    Buddy read with GR friend Laura. I could have easily read this book during a single day, if scheduled that way. It was very hard to stop reading as I wanted to keep reading, and I did read it over 3 days, my buddy taking a bit longer because she got even busier with real life than I am. Whatever you do, don’t pick page 125 as a stopping point. Luckily, the chapters are short and it’s easy to read just one more if you don’t want to stop. I had seen and enjoyed the tv movie when it first aired. I Buddy read with GR friend Laura. I could have easily read this book during a single day, if scheduled that way. It was very hard to stop reading as I wanted to keep reading, and I did read it over 3 days, my buddy taking a bit longer because she got even busier with real life than I am. Whatever you do, don’t pick page 125 as a stopping point. Luckily, the chapters are short and it’s easy to read just one more if you don’t want to stop. I had seen and enjoyed the tv movie when it first aired. I remembered one scene at/near the end of the movie but was surprised and glad that I remembered no other details of the story, even as I read the book all the happened was not familiar and no memories of the story surfaced as I read it. The story was like new to me, and from what I remember of the movie, I think it changed a great deal from the book, especially the details of that one thing at the end of the movie and near the end of the book. Great story. Wonderful and memorable characters including an especially unique cat. I cried at the end, mostly happy tears. I would have adored this book when I was 9-12 years old and I loved it even now. I might watch the movie again. I have the DVD home from the library. I want to see the art, particularly Hollis’s. I remember a bit about how Josie’s art looked. Recommended for those who have interest in orphan/foster child stories, for artists and those interested in art, those who enjoy (complicated) family stories, those who can appreciate reading about older people with memory problems, cat lovers, most girls ages 9-12.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    Second book for BookTubeAThon 2017 completed! Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff 3 stars 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 Second book for BookTubeAThon 2017 completed! Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff 3 stars 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 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. Hollis' struggle to cope with her own self-loathing at the young age of twelve-years-old portrays how adults' negatives words and admonishments shape our younger years, but also gives us hope that there are adults out there who are quick to love, cherish, and nurture the good that they see in young ones. This is a very intense story for the targeted age group, but I think it's very apt to start exposing children to these kinds of topics, especially topics like self-perception, disease infecting loved ones, and the struggle that children face with defining themselves. Giff's writing is nothing special, but it's an important story and one that has moved and affected millions. I remember how jealous I was that the higher reading group was reading the book that had a Hallmark movie coming out and my mom bought me a copy of the book after we watched the film together. I found it recently in her bedroom on a bookshelf and I instantly knew that I wanted to finally pick this one up. I'm twelve years late to picking this book up, but I'm really happy that I finally picked this one up. This isn't a groundbreaking novel for adults, but it is for children and I think that's so important. Whimsical Writing Scale: 3 Character Scale: 3.25 Plotastic Scale: 3 Cover Thoughts: I don't particularly like the cover, but it's nostalgic for me because I recognize and know it so well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This book is geared towards pre-teens and its a good short read for them but you don't necessarily have to be an adolescent to enjoy it. The concept of a family is given a whole new light. Hollis is a very unique character, undeniably one of a kind. This book is geared towards pre-teens and its a good short read for them but you don't necessarily have to be an adolescent to enjoy it. The concept of a family is given a whole new light. Hollis is a very unique character, undeniably one of a kind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    What a wonderful read! I so enjoyed reading this with my friend, Lisa. We both cried happy tears at the end. I know I would've loved this book as a kid, but now that I've discovered art mid-life, I loved it even more. Looking forward to watching the DVD soon. If you enjoy books about misfit, eclectic characters; family stories, with a creative side, and if you enjoy happy endings, you might really like this book as well. I just love a teary, happy ending. My first by this author, and it won't be What a wonderful read! I so enjoyed reading this with my friend, Lisa. We both cried happy tears at the end. I know I would've loved this book as a kid, but now that I've discovered art mid-life, I loved it even more. Looking forward to watching the DVD soon. If you enjoy books about misfit, eclectic characters; family stories, with a creative side, and if you enjoy happy endings, you might really like this book as well. I just love a teary, happy ending. My first by this author, and it won't be my last. ❤️

  7. 5 out of 5

    malc623

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved Picture of Hollis Woods. To start, I loved the author style of indirect characterization. The way he showed me how was the main character. Like when in-between chapter the author put sections called pictures. I like best the first picture, the way she showed us the abstract way Hollis thinks, the W picture marked with a big X because the teacher didn’t understand where the W words were. Next to say, I also liked the main topic theme. Hollis leaving her home to live in a way, an adoptive I loved Picture of Hollis Woods. To start, I loved the author style of indirect characterization. The way he showed me how was the main character. Like when in-between chapter the author put sections called pictures. I like best the first picture, the way she showed us the abstract way Hollis thinks, the W picture marked with a big X because the teacher didn’t understand where the W words were. Next to say, I also liked the main topic theme. Hollis leaving her home to live in a way, an adoptive home with new person for her and get away from her life. A quote when they introduced the new house would be: “I’ve lived here” – Josie raised one eyebrow – “Since they invented the spoon.” Last but not least, is how the author showed me in deep details the environment around Hollis. The author made an excellent job describing the things. Like a part where it said “Outside it was almost dark. A silver moon curved over Old Man’s mountain, and a single star was just visible.” It perfect imagery took me inside the story, looking at that single star in the sky. This book was awesome, I really liked it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I am quickly becoming a fan of Patricia Reilly Giff. How have I gone my whole well-read life without really knowing anything about such a gentle, effective, talented writer? This book was lovely. It was simple, but powerful and touching on themes of changing wayward, defiant behavior by loving: fixing the environment, not fixing the kid. My only complaint is that it was too short. I loved Hollis and each supporting character. I am now reading "Lily's Crossing" by Reilly Giff, and I think I'll li I am quickly becoming a fan of Patricia Reilly Giff. How have I gone my whole well-read life without really knowing anything about such a gentle, effective, talented writer? This book was lovely. It was simple, but powerful and touching on themes of changing wayward, defiant behavior by loving: fixing the environment, not fixing the kid. My only complaint is that it was too short. I loved Hollis and each supporting character. I am now reading "Lily's Crossing" by Reilly Giff, and I think I'll like it more just because it's longer and more developed. I can't wait to read many more of the other books she's written. Lovely!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Highly recommend for age 10 and up. Note: no worries or warnings

  10. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This book is different. It’s not just a novel with words and pages and chapter titles. It’s not just a story. It’s a picture. The author has painted us a picture, one long, deep, full picture of Hollis Woods, a tough orphan no one can handle. Nothing has been left out of this picture. We see Hollis, see right through her toughness, see her from different angles, see her until we know the real Hollis Woods. And that Hollis Woods just wants a family. Just wants to belong. It’s a touching, poignant This book is different. It’s not just a novel with words and pages and chapter titles. It’s not just a story. It’s a picture. The author has painted us a picture, one long, deep, full picture of Hollis Woods, a tough orphan no one can handle. Nothing has been left out of this picture. We see Hollis, see right through her toughness, see her from different angles, see her until we know the real Hollis Woods. And that Hollis Woods just wants a family. Just wants to belong. It’s a touching, poignant picture, brimming with depth and emotion. Everything is real. Everything is fresh and clear and easy to reach out and touch. I love this book. It reads simple, it reads clear, but there’s so much more underneath the words, underneath the paint. It has emotion and feeling and character and depth and reality. And it’s beautiful. I love Hollis Woods’s “pictures”. They come between the chapters, giving you glimpses of the Regan family and that precious summer Hollis had with them. I like the way the author splatters words together. It’s so much like paint, really, when you think about it. An artist brushes paint over a clean white page. An author wipes words across theirs. But I think Patricia Reilly Giff did both. I preferred Hollis’s writing to the actual dialogue. The book’s in first person (my favourite), so you’re looking at the world through Hollis’s eyes the whole time. I liked the flow of Hollis’s thinking, the way her words mixed and matched together to create chapters of flowing, beautiful prose. But the dialogue didn’t grab me as much. It felt strangely average in such an excellent book. I liked it though. Alright…loved it. I loved every bit of this book. I wanted the end…but I didn’t want the end. I'm sure you know how that feels, right?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I am really surprised that this is a Newbery Honor book and that it has such high ratings and good reviews. To begin with the writing is sub-par with some very awkward moments that make me feel as if there was little editing. Most of all, though, was the fact that it seemed to be written by someone who had done absolutely no research into the foster care system. Now, I'm not going to claim that I'm an expert, but I'm at least aware enough to recognize all the inconsistencies throughout this book I am really surprised that this is a Newbery Honor book and that it has such high ratings and good reviews. To begin with the writing is sub-par with some very awkward moments that make me feel as if there was little editing. Most of all, though, was the fact that it seemed to be written by someone who had done absolutely no research into the foster care system. Now, I'm not going to claim that I'm an expert, but I'm at least aware enough to recognize all the inconsistencies throughout this book. Now, I realize that this is a children's book, but there really could have been more back story to Hollis. The way it is, we don't get to see what drives her feelings and actions, they just are. Children's books can still be honest without being too much for a kid and this book just isn't honest. Hollis is a foster kid yet her past experiences in the system aren't even hinted at. We know she's run away from half a dozen homes but no reason is given besides "I got sick of them and they got sick of me." I just see the author as being cowardly for not taking the story further, for not putting more into the character. This book is supposed to be an award winner, yet it does nothing brave or new and does not push any boundaries. It's totally safe and predictable. Speaking of predictable, this is another issue I had with the book. Within the first few pages (literally), I had already predicted the rest of the book. Again, just because it's a children's book doesn't mean it can get away with being unsophisticated. Had I read this when I was younger I'm sure I would have felt patronized. Absolutely nothing surprised me about the book. Even the parts that were supposed to be mysterious and drive the plot forward were painfully obvious. Coming to the end, the entire last fourth or so of the book was far too contrived. It went from being unrealistic to completely unbelievable. None of the characters' actions made sense and I was left rolling my eyes at the events that lead up to the perfect ending wrapped in a little bow. If your looking for a book about a girl in foster care I would go with The Great Gilly Hopkins.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jaimi Rachelle

    This book is one of my all-time favorites. Every time I open it, to any page, it transports me back into her world. It's so bitter-sweet. I love it. This book is one of my all-time favorites. Every time I open it, to any page, it transports me back into her world. It's so bitter-sweet. I love it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    sweetsweetclem

    Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (Author of the Newbery Honor Book Lily's Crossing) is a book about a girl named Hollis Woods (abviously) who is an orphan. She has gone from house to house always getting kicked out for things she doesn't even always do, until finally she finds a family she really feels apart of. She likes to draw pictures, and that's why I think it is called PICTURES of HOLLIS WOODS. Almost every chapter of the book goes back and forth. One chapter will be about w Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (Author of the Newbery Honor Book Lily's Crossing) is a book about a girl named Hollis Woods (abviously) who is an orphan. She has gone from house to house always getting kicked out for things she doesn't even always do, until finally she finds a family she really feels apart of. She likes to draw pictures, and that's why I think it is called PICTURES of HOLLIS WOODS. Almost every chapter of the book goes back and forth. One chapter will be about what's going on in her life at the moment, and then the next will be about a picture she has drawn, and why she drew it, and the story of the picture. All of the pictures are of things and people in her life, sush as the family she actually feels apart of. I'm not quite sure actually if it's a fictional or non- fictional book. It seems like it could be real, but also there is a possibility of it being made up. It makes you want to keep on reading becuase you want to know what happens with her and her new family and if she will stay with them. Also, to read about her pictures. It's actually quite fascinating to hear the story behind her pictures. She explains what the picture is and why she drew it and then she kindof just talks about things around that time, like what was going on, and why they were doing what they were doing in the picture. I'm not quite sure who I would suggest this book to. I guess I would suggest it to people who just like to read about people's lives and different things they go through and why the people do certain things in the book. Also, to anyone who's looking for a little variety in their readings, you know, something just different from other books.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Colby Sharp

    I love what Patricia Reilly Giff was able to do with Hollis Woods in less than 200 pages. Beautiful book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Rose

    I loved this book just as much as I loved the movie!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    I think this book means to do well, and its by a "beloved author", but, oh my did it have flaws. First off, it's shallow and too simple. I know it is for children, but there is no reason to weaken a story, or to dumb it down. Yes, I appreciate that this is a clean book, without as much as even a kiss or hand holding. I like that because clean is hard to find, and as a 6 th grade teacher, a necessity. It wasn't necessary to describe any abusive situations in Hollis' life (she is a foster child), I think this book means to do well, and its by a "beloved author", but, oh my did it have flaws. First off, it's shallow and too simple. I know it is for children, but there is no reason to weaken a story, or to dumb it down. Yes, I appreciate that this is a clean book, without as much as even a kiss or hand holding. I like that because clean is hard to find, and as a 6 th grade teacher, a necessity. It wasn't necessary to describe any abusive situations in Hollis' life (she is a foster child), but there was nothing even hinted at. Hollis likes to run away. She has run away from many foster homes in her 12 years. Why? She is afraid of becoming emotionally attached. Makes sense, but no where in her back story do we see an instance of her living happily with a family and being torn from them (which is entirely plausible in the world of foster care). There's just no evidence to back up her feelings. The entire story I felt much like Josie, the aging foster mother who has dementia. I felt I was floating along in the story, but didn't really know what was going on. The pacing felt off. The story is told as a flip flop from the present to the past. At first, the past seems like a distant memory, but then you realize that Hollis is simply remembering the previous summer (of only a few months ago) when she lived with a pre-adoptive foster family. Except Hollis ran away and now is with Josie. By the end of the story, the problem is simple. Josie can't care for Hollis, so Hollis has to go live with Eleanor, but Hollis gets Josie to drive them north and "escapes" before having to move. And of course there is a happy ending. Now let me tell you about the nit-picky things that pulled me from the story. First off, I took classes and was certified as a foster mother. So I've met caseworkers. They dress neatly, not in food stained sweats as Giff describes them. They are way over worked, but let me tell you they'd notice if the foster mother had dementia to the level Josie is described as having. Finally, just because Hollis "chose" to run away, does not mean she would get the final say in where she lived. The family court judge would decide, and in this story, the Regans dearly want her, so of course they'd have been in court or in meetings working to get Hollis back. When Hollis and Josie run away, Hollis goes to the "summer house" which is four miles from the Regan's "winter house". The police are looking for her, but no one checks the summer house, not even the Regan's. That's just plain senseless and weak writing. Later in the story the author describes the summer house as having a broken window and snow causing water damage that wasn't noticed until May. Ummm, if I owned two houses four miles apart, I'd be checking in on my house to make sure it was wintering all right. Don't even ask me how much gas Hollis paid for on Long Island, but strangely, after the trip of about 175 miles they were on empty. What a gas guzzler! Hollis heats soup on a stove, she calls a purse a pocketbook, she desires just one egg then she could make something delicious to eat. Ummm, is she 12 or 70? Hollis and Stephen (who we assume is also a foster child) walk 4 miles to the town to a store. They're 12, there not your children legally, but you are responsible for them. Should they really walk that far alone? Then there is Josie. Josie is a lovable character, really, my heart goes to her and so did Hollis'. It was a turning point for Hollis to care for another. Being protective made her more able to accept being protected. I like that part of the tale. But the nitpick: Maybe Josie worked 44 years as an art teacher at a private school and had no pension, but if she was a NYS teacher at a public school, she'd have no money troubles in retirement as described by Giff. Even if she wasn't a pensioner, she's have her Social Security and after working her whole life, it wouldn't be riches, but she wouldn't be worried about having the money to buy food. Of course, the county would be paying her the daily rate for boarding a child, and that's partly to buy the kid decent food. Should you read this? Yes, it's easy and about 150 pages. It's good for a class with poor comprehension because it is simple. It could be used in grades 4-6. For an award winner, it just could have been better.

  17. 4 out of 5

    L13_Meghan

    What a great picture book for older readers! Pictures of Hollis Woods takes the reader through a series of beautiful pictures that tells this child's story of growing up within the foster care system. This child moves from home to home, and finally finds a place that she wants to stay for a while. Once here with her new care taker, Hollis will do whatever it takes to stay in this home. This is a great story for students to begin to understand the struggles that some children must face at such a What a great picture book for older readers! Pictures of Hollis Woods takes the reader through a series of beautiful pictures that tells this child's story of growing up within the foster care system. This child moves from home to home, and finally finds a place that she wants to stay for a while. Once here with her new care taker, Hollis will do whatever it takes to stay in this home. This is a great story for students to begin to understand the struggles that some children must face at such a young age. Teachers can use this book for many different purposes and adults can use this book as a great conversation starter with children who may be going through something similar. Overall, a great read!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    UGH so good I loved it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Absolutely wonderful. Took me way too long to read. <3

  20. 5 out of 5

    ❤Marie Gentilcore

    This was a nice story of a young girl named Hollis Woods who is in the foster care system. She narrates the story as she looks over a series of pictures. She tells of times with the Regan family and then comes back to her current home with Josie, an elderly and forgetful artist. The ending was satisfying and I enjoyed this short book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thom

    This book is just heart-rending. Hollis Woods sure is tough. Tough on herself most of all. Great book. You better be good at reading through tears if you start this one. No shock that this book won awards. It’s amazing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aydin M.

    I read this book quite a while ago. Although I don’t really remember the book I remember really liking it and referring it to friends.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elsa

    This book was definitely amazing! It is about a girl who runs away from the only family who offers her a home, for a reason you will find out if you read the book. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a hope-filled book. Quick read that left me with a good feeling!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer

    Seems like I've possibly read this before, regardless it was worth revisiting. Seems like I've possibly read this before, regardless it was worth revisiting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Sarver

    Pictures of Hollis Woods written by Patricia Reilly Giff is an incredible realistic fiction book. It feels like it’s a true story. It puts you in her shoes, and it gives you empathy for Hollis. Hollis is in Foster care, and she needs a family. She still stays strong even though she’s often feels alone. This book is light-hearted. This book tells a wonderful story of a girl finding a family, and going on an emotional roller coaster. It’s very heartwarming. This book is Hollis’s journey to be part Pictures of Hollis Woods written by Patricia Reilly Giff is an incredible realistic fiction book. It feels like it’s a true story. It puts you in her shoes, and it gives you empathy for Hollis. Hollis is in Foster care, and she needs a family. She still stays strong even though she’s often feels alone. This book is light-hearted. This book tells a wonderful story of a girl finding a family, and going on an emotional roller coaster. It’s very heartwarming. This book is Hollis’s journey to be part of a family. Hollis is brave and courageous, but she can be vulnerable. She loves to draw. “I pulled out some paper,made a quick sketch, and climbed some more.”(Patricia Reilly Giff, 120). Hollis is a fantastic artist, and the book really shows that. The author did an amazing thing with this book. The book is formatted by her drawings. She keeps the drawings that she draws from a specific moment. The book jumps back and forth talking about her drawings, and the memories with it. It goes to her old family to her new one with Joise. The Author did a great job blending them together. She original goes with a family, and she feels like she starts to belong. Her family is the old man, Steven, and Izzy. They live off a little in the woods by a river/pond in a cabin. They have a lot of hobbies. She has a lot of fun with them. She is really brave, and wants to climb a mountain even though the old man and Steven tell her not to. She still does. That resolves in a bad accident. She feels bad and she runs. She goes to a new foster home where she meets a woman named Josie (her current foster parent), and she has trouble remembering things. Hollis wants to stay with Josie to help her. She misses her old family. Hollis is confused about what to do; she just wants a family. The theme of Pictures of Hollis Woods is discovery. The author shows self-discovery and the discovery of a family. Hollis goes through a lot. She hates herself; then misses her old self. The author is showing that discovery is more than just finding something. It’s the hard long process to go through to get something. That you don’t just get handed something. Hollis Woods is trying just to have a family and be a part of one. It’s not easy in foster care. The author shows this very well. Overall Pictures of Hollis Woods was an incredible book. It put me in Hollis’s shoes. I love how the Author went back in forth through the timeline. It made me want to keep reading to find out what happened. This book is relatable and it makes me think it's true. So it makes me connect with it more. I feel for Hollis and all of her losses. I recommend this book to anyone that loves realistic fiction and that can connect with it, and someone around the age of 10-13.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Holly Berk

    "Pictures of Hollis Woods" reveals the emotional journey of a young girl who is going through the foster care system. It is written through both flashback and real-time events, which combine to tell the story of Hollis Woods. She is an artistic girl who is described as a "Mountain of Trouble." However, with time the reader comes to learn that Hollis is passionate and adventurous, and wants nothing more to feel like she belongs. The reader follows Hollis from home to home, with particular attenti "Pictures of Hollis Woods" reveals the emotional journey of a young girl who is going through the foster care system. It is written through both flashback and real-time events, which combine to tell the story of Hollis Woods. She is an artistic girl who is described as a "Mountain of Trouble." However, with time the reader comes to learn that Hollis is passionate and adventurous, and wants nothing more to feel like she belongs. The reader follows Hollis from home to home, with particular attention given to a loving family and a quirky old lady named Josie. "Pictures of Hollis Woods" is a story full of how love, family, and friendship can change a person's world. This book would be wonderful to potentially use as a book club or reading group book in a fourth or fifth grade classroom. I think it could definitely spark some deep discussion between students, as the events could either be close to students' hearts, or be something they have never come close to experiencing. I would also recommend this book for slightly advanced readers because it may be confusing for students while it changes back and forth between flashbacks and real-time. "Pictures of Hollis Woods" is also written in a way where the characters' thoughts and feelings are not always stated directly, leaving much room for interpretation. This book would create wonderful discourse and help students to practice many reading strategies. I really enjoyed this book and truly believe that fourth and fifth grade students will as well!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Celestasaurus

    Family. It's a concept foreign to Hollis Woods. She's never had a family, never had anyone that she could always turn to, never known the power of unconditional love. Left in the Holliswoods park just hours after birth, Hollis Woods has been running from foster homes ever since. She is the legendary troubled child of New York. "W" is for want. "W" is for wish. All she ever wished for was family. When she meets the Regans, she immediately feels at home. She belongs for once. Izzy, the Old Man, and Family. It's a concept foreign to Hollis Woods. She's never had a family, never had anyone that she could always turn to, never known the power of unconditional love. Left in the Holliswoods park just hours after birth, Hollis Woods has been running from foster homes ever since. She is the legendary troubled child of New York. "W" is for want. "W" is for wish. All she ever wished for was family. When she meets the Regans, she immediately feels at home. She belongs for once. Izzy, the Old Man, and especially her new brother, Steven, are amazing to her. She couldn't run away forever, and now she doesn't want to. But things change. Life doesn't always go how she wants it. In order to do what she believes is the right thing, she must give up what she treasures most. This novel is heartbreaking, let me warn you. This novel is the opposite of hearbreaking; it's uplifting. Cry for sadness, cry for gladness. I . . . I'm trying terribly hard not to spoil the ending.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Sanchez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I couldn't bring myself to like this book all that much. I found the book rushed and undeveloped. I understand that Hollis is an orphan who likes to draw and had some 'dark' secret but that's it. I didn't grow to like her like I hoped I would, but rather felt nothing towards her. I didn't hate her or didn't like her, she was just there. I feel like she's missing that quality that sets her apart from characters of other books I read. Also, I don't really understand why people thought of her as tro I couldn't bring myself to like this book all that much. I found the book rushed and undeveloped. I understand that Hollis is an orphan who likes to draw and had some 'dark' secret but that's it. I didn't grow to like her like I hoped I would, but rather felt nothing towards her. I didn't hate her or didn't like her, she was just there. I feel like she's missing that quality that sets her apart from characters of other books I read. Also, I don't really understand why people thought of her as trouble and a bad kid. I get the not going to school part, but that's all I can think of. She's not bad in any kind of way. All she does is stay in a house then leave. Also, the ending annoyed me too. I was getting to really like Josie and right when they were going to stay together and start all over, she just dumps her and goes back to Steven and his family. She did Josie good and I was just really disappointed she ended up going back. I didn't like this book that much and was such a disappointment to me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    Do you want a book that you can finish in 1 or 2 days that grabs your heart right from the beginning? I felt instantly on Hollis' side from the first few paragraphs and had to know what happened next. It made me wonder how many Hollis' are out there: talented, good, loving and caring kids that have never been allowed the chance to prove it. I liked this author. I like it when I can get lost in a story---I don't want to be consciously aware that I am reading a book--I want to be so involved that Do you want a book that you can finish in 1 or 2 days that grabs your heart right from the beginning? I felt instantly on Hollis' side from the first few paragraphs and had to know what happened next. It made me wonder how many Hollis' are out there: talented, good, loving and caring kids that have never been allowed the chance to prove it. I liked this author. I like it when I can get lost in a story---I don't want to be consciously aware that I am reading a book--I want to be so involved that I forget I am holding and turning pages. That's why I like her. She doesn't have to try; she just IS good. That's why I'm going to read more from her. And that is why her books have won awards.

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