Linda Lipko's Reviews > The Great Gilly Hopkins

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
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's review
Oct 18, 2011

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bookshelves: newbery-winner, young-adult
Read in October, 2011

The author has the unique honor of receiving two Newbery Medals, one for The Bridge to Terabithia and another for Jacob I have Loved. The Great Gilly Hopkins is a 1979 Newbery honor book.

It is obvious that Paterson knows the heart and soul of young adults. Her writings provide clear insights into children facing troubled situations.

Galadriel (Gilly) Hopkins is an angry, manipulative 11 year old. Shuffled from many foster homes, she flips a cold, nasty attitude to anyone who dares to walk in her path. No one is spared -- Teachers are mocked and tested; foster parents are driven to the edge in trying to reach her and children on the playground are beaten.

When Gilly is placed in the home of the Trotters she decides it is time to run away from what she calls the fat woman and her retarded foster child William Earnest.

When her scheme to connect with her biological mother nets the result she had not planned, Gilly learns an important lesson in realizing her biological mother is not the wonderful person she imagined and the Trotters aren't so terrible after all.


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