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Pictures of Hollis Woods

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  20,013 ratings  ·  1,305 reviews
Pictures of Hollis Woods 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. Full description
Paperback, 166 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Dell Yearling (first published August 28th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
malc623
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
sweetsweetclem
Oct 16, 2007 sweetsweetclem rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: explained in review
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
...more
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 ...more
Colby Sharp
I love what Patricia Reilly Giff was able to do with Hollis Woods in less than 200 pages. Beautiful book.
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 ...more
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
...more
Cindy
Overall Review: Do you ever read a book so good that it makes you want to rush out immediately and read everything that author has ever written? Pictures of Hollis Woods is one of those books. Hollis Woods is an orphan, left in a suburban neighborhood, called Holliswood, as a baby. All she's ever wanted is a family, but the adults in her life describe her as "a mountain of trouble." Can she learn to be a part of the family she's always wanted, or is she doomed to repeat all her past mistakes? Pi ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
J.R. Tompkins
Dec 16, 2014 J.R. Tompkins rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.R. by: Forums
As if brushing color subtly onto grained paper, Patricia Reilly Giff sketches pictures of hollis woods, modeling eleven-year-old self-described "mountain of trouble" Hollis Woods with word-pictures of her W ish to find a place to fit in.

Hollis surprises you. Yes, she's expectedly crusty around the edges, defensive on the outside, ready to slip quickly away from any foster home she doesn't like with "running money," as she calls it. She finds tentative space in the home of artist Josie Cahill and
...more
Lauren Kester
The book Pictures of Hollis Woods is a sad book, but it has a happy ending. Pictures of Hollis Woods teaches you that not everyone has an easy life, and you should be thankful with what you have.

In the beginning Hollis is about to be dropped off at her new home. Hollis' new guardian is Josie Cahill. Josie was an art teacher but now is retired. At first Hollis is hesitant about staying with Josie because she looks different but after three weeks Hollis becomes comfortable around Josie and real
...more
Melodee
I love this book! It is a young adult novel, and I am reading it to my students again this year. It's a really easy read and written so well. You'll adore the character by the second chapter!!

Just finished this with my class and I couldn't read the last page because I started to cry. So, an awesome student finished it for me and then we watched the Hallmark DVD to compare/contrast the book/movie.
Araya Swinehart
Pictures of Hollis Woods is an extraordinary book.It has a very deep story lines. More so for me because of personal reasons, but this is a book that could steal anyone's heart.
It all starts with a young orphan who feels that she doesn't fit in with any of her foster families. That is until she meets an elderly artist who is slowly losing her mind to dementia. Just as Hollis's love for this woman is growing, their time together is shrinking. Not because the dementia but because the agency deci
...more
Kyla Middleton
This book, I believe is one that is both emotional and entertaining. The main character Hollis Woods faces the hard life of being a foster kid. Her mother abandoned her when she was only a baby, so she lives her life everyday feeling alone and unaccepted. Hollis feels like she has no place in the world. She believes that since her mother gave her up, she was not good enough for her or anyone else on planet earth. Hollis goes from home to home, and every time, with every family, it just does not ...more
Tina Shelstrom
Pictures of Hollis Woods
By Patricia Reilly Giff


This book is a book that will touch your heart, “Pictures of Hollis Woods”, by Patricia Reilly Giff. This is a very good book to read when you are feeling sad or depressed. It really brings out the inner “you “. Hollis had never known how it felt to be truly loved, until she met her foster parent Josie. The downside of Hollis and Josie having an incredible bond is that Josie is loosing her memory. If the secret service finds this out, Hollis has to
...more
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), ...more
Kelsey Carroll
Pictures of Hollis Woods is my kind of book. I looked at the cover of the book, and I most definitely did not expect it to be about a young 11-year-old girl. For some reason I thought it was going to be about the Holocaust (because of the cover). Hollis was a young girl who was passed from foster home to foster home. All of the homes seemed to run together. In her mind, each dwelling she was placed at, was just like the last. She was very good at pushing people away because she had to do it so f ...more
Kristen Mcchesney
I had mixed feelings about this book. There are parts of the story that I was connected with and thought had the potential to be developed into a more meaningful and expansive story about Hollis Woods. Yet, the book had significant holes in the thread of the story and I felt that it did not give enough background to paint a full, clear picture of who Hollis was and how her life had unfolded. I thought the story of her and Josie lacked lucidity and authentic emotion. I never felt as if their rela ...more
Kathy Sanchez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Reading Countess
Disclosure: I read Pictures of Hollis Woods with a group of my fourth graders as a lit. circle. In place of the riveting basal program my school has purchased, I am the only teacher running a reader's and writer's workshop approach to literacy. Being an island unto myself has caused me to run the gamut of emotions-often in the same day. Am I doing my high needs kids a disservice by not following the riveting basal page-by-uninteresting page? Are my kids going to be further ahead than they would ...more
Cait Grace
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
...more
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 ...more
Abby Karam
This book was a very touching story about how a foster child felt like she was being thrown around to different houses. When Hollis Woods didn't like a house she would pack up her stuff and leave, sometimes not being found for up to a week. But she was always put somewhere new and finally she thought she found a place she liked. Until something happened and she decided to leave again. I would recommend this book to 6-8th graders.
 Ley Reann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
▓▒░єℓℓα░▒▓
I loved this book. I read this book in my sleep (that was really weird. I remembered the story and everything, but I didn't remember getting up and physically reading it). I read it on a 5 hour car ride. *sigh* memories.
Janette
When I first started reading this book I thought, "Oh, it's one of those poetically written melancholy books. Clearly, someone is going to die."

So I was pleasantly surprised when no one died and I would recommend it on that merit alone. It is beautifully written too, if you're the type that loves writing that is prose-like.

I only faulted it because it seems to be one of those kids' books that are written more for adults than children. My kids couldn't get into it, probably because of the beautif
...more
Mylife54321
Jun 15, 2008 Mylife54321 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who love sad/happy stories
Recommended to Mylife54321 by: My Mother, a Librarian
I personally quite enjoyed this book, it was of a girl in hard times, after all she was an orphan, first she finds a good home, then she breaks the car with her new brother and runs away afraid of getting in big trouble for injuring him badly, this girl is a great artist; mainly a drawer, but when she finds another great home what does she do when something happens to her beloved Josie, what will Hollis do so her and Josie will stay together forever?

(this book is also a movie)

Warning: This book
...more
M_griffin
This realistic fiction book tells the heartfelt story of a 12 year old girl named Hollis Woods. Hollis grew up in the foster care system, never feeling that she fit in anywhere, except for with one special family; the Regans. Hollis tells her story through her thoughts and descriptions of the art she creates. She allows the reader to relive the moments in her life where she felt unwanted, alone, and responsible for everything that was going wrong around her, but she also invites the reader to li ...more
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
More about Patricia Reilly Giff...
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“Drawing is what you see of the world, truly see...And sometimes what you see is so deep in your head you're not even sure of what you're seeing. But when it's down there on paper, and you look at it, really look, you'll see the way things are...that's the world, isn't it? You have to keep looking to find the truth.” 26 likes
“You're going to be something, you and that language you speak on paper.” 5 likes
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