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Great Gilly Hopkins [Audio Cassette]

Katherine Paterson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1979

Eleven-year-old Gilly has been stuck in more foster families than she can remember, and she's disliked them all. She has a county-wide reputation for being brash, brilliant, and completely unmanageable. So when she's sent to live with the Trotters -- by far the strangest family yet -- Gilly decides to put her sharp mind to work. Before long she's devised an elaborate scheme to get her real mother to come rescue her.

But the rescue doesn't work out, and the great Gilly Hopkins is left thinking that maybe life with the Trotters wasn't so bad ...

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Gilly Hopkins is a determined-to-be-unpleasant 11-year-old foster kid who the reader can't help but like by the end. Gilly has been in the foster system all her life, and she dreams of getting back to her (as she imagines) wonderful mother. (The mother makes these longings worse by writing the occasional letter.) Gilly is all the more determined to leave after she's placed in a new foster home with a "gross guardian and a freaky kid." But she soon learns about illusions--the hard way. This Newbery Honor Book manages to treat a somewhat grim, and definitely grown-up theme with love and humor, making it a terrific read for a young reader who's ready to learn that "happy" and "ending" don't always go together. (Ages 9 to 12) --Richard Farr --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood.After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels.Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia.Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont.They have four grown children.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars MJB Gilly Hopkins Reviews April 10 2008
The Great Gilly Hopkins- by Emily 4.5 Stars

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson is a novel about a young girl named Gilly. She was placed in foster care when she was younger and has been with 3 different families in her eleven years of life. Life can be tough for Gilly, so many new changes and new people, but Gilly can be a handful for those around her. While Gilly learns to live with her new, but different, family, she tries to locate her real mother. As Gilly attempts to cope with her new environment, she also learns the values of respect, discipline and what it means to live with a real family that cares about you.

I believe that the main message in this novel is that you should be careful for what you wish for. Gilly had a dream that she wanted to meet her mother, but when she finally met her, she wasn't nearly what she thought she thought. Also, inside the book there are little messages about racism, friendship and co-operation.

Overall, I thought this was a very enjoyable book. I liked this novel because there were many connections and relations, and it really enlightened me in some difficulties that people have in life. The only thing that surprised me was the ending. I still liked the ending, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. I highly recommend this book- it would defiantly NOT be a waste of your time.

The Great Gilly Hopkins
By: Kodi 4.5 Stars

The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson is a book about a girl who is an orphan traveling from home to home. Her name is Gilly, (Galadriel) and she goes to a new foster home and meets her new family. She hates them but in the end things are twisted around as her dream comes true.

The Great Gilly Hopkins has two messages that first come to mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book Nov. 17 2004
I first read this one day in class last year.We were going to be stuying it.At first,when I read the first 2 or 3 chapters i said "This is so boring!" but as i read more I loved it!Its a great story with lots of depth.Its about a girl who is forced to move in with a foster family.Really good book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some things are better unanswered April 14 2004
Some things are better unanswered, March 30, 2004
Reviewer: Casey Erikson from New Iberia, Louisiana United States
I highly recommend this book, the warmth and love it displays and the harsh reality of our actions. Author Katherine Paterson writes about the sensitive subject of foster care. Gilly Hopkins an eleven year old child has been in foster care all her life with the hope of her mom returning one day to get her. Gilly is a very bright and unmanageable child who is placed with the Trotter family to live. At first Gilly can only see what is on the surface of her new family, a large obese religious woman and a slow timid boy. Before she can see what is in the hearts of her new family she writes a desperate note to be rescued only the rescue is not what she expects and comes after she has learned the true meaning of family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Wacky Family March 4 2004
By A Customer
The Great Gilly Hopkins
The main character Gilly Hopkins is a self centered unloved 6th grader. In less than 3 years, she's been moved to 3 foster homes. When she meets her new foster family, which consists of a fat lady, named Trotter, a punny retarded 7-year-old William Ernest and a blind black old man Randolph. She tries lots of things to get away from them and the old run down house. She even steals, cleans and gives William Ernest reading lessons. She does all that hard work just to get caught. The one-day she gets taken away to live with her grandma and then she realizes how much she loves and misses her foster Family. Then she meets her real mom and finds out she doesn't love her. Next she figures out that the Trotters love her and she loves them.
I thought it was great how Gilly changed so much and how she learned it was okay to be loved and love. I really enjoyed when she was teaching William Ernest how to fight and stand up for himself and I need to learn how to stand up for myself. I thought it was a wonderful book with lots of detail and feelings that a kid might feel in their everyday life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great? Honey, she's fabulous. Jan. 31 2004
Let me begin by giving full praise to the original cover of "The Great Gilly Hopkins". I've seen the reissued covers and they fill me with sadness. On the original front cover is Gilly Hopkins herself. Hands placed firmly on her waist, elbows akimbo, she's blowing a bubble the size of her head. Her hair is short and mousy colored and she's wearing a shirt that I myself wore, I'm certain, in 1982. On the back cover the bubble has popped all over her face, giving her an odd bubbley mask. Compare such a beautiful illustration of this human being with the current spunky pink cheeked aw-ain't-she-sweet kid on the current covers. For shame, Mr. Publisher. For shame.
Now this book is great. Doggone it, I do this with every Katherine Paterson book. I walk in with the vague hope of not hating the book (paging "Bridge to Terebithia") and end up loving it as much as everyone else in the world loves it. What is not to like about this book? You begin with a thoroughly unlikable character. Sure, maybe she's been having some ups and downs in her life, but she's a racist, thieving, conniving little brat. And doggone it if you don't end up loving the little whelp by the end. Gilly changes, the reader changes with her, and the people around her are great. And the ending is far from perfect for poor Gilly, but she did bring it on herself and she's strong enough to survive it. The book's got pep, the girl's got pep, and the whole thing is thoroughly enjoyable. Two thumbs way way up for the Gilly gal.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like adventures, you'll want to read this book!
This book will make you want to cry and laugh at the same time. It's about a girl that has been to more foster families than she can remember. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching
The Great Gilly Hopkins is a sad story, but people will not observe it unless they read the latter part of the story. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003 by Reading for Fun
4.0 out of 5 stars There is no adultery in this book!
That "reference to adultery" is overrated. She doesn't go into the details about sex, you can still keep that a secret from your kids, all she does is say "it's annoying when... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003 by Ulyyf
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I thought this book was really great because it showed me that not all people in our world end up having happy endings or live happily ever after. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam's Gilly Hopkins review
I thought that this book was great. I would reccomend this book to kids because it was enjoyable and funny. The best thing about the book was that they grew and changed. Read more
Published on June 16 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Greg's Gilly Hopkins review
This book was pretty good. I thought the book was good because it didn't happen but it could have happened. Read more
Published on June 16 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Tom and Karl's review
I don't like this book because the girl is basically whining the whole book because she wanted to see her mom. Read more
Published on June 16 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Book
This is a marvelous book. I'm astounded by the reviews objecting to Gilly's swear words and racist attitudes. Of course she swears (mildly, by today's standards). Read more
Published on May 3 2003 by J. Duprau
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