Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pictures of Hollis Woods

by Patricia Reilly Giff
narrated by Hope Davis
New York : Random House Listening Library, p2003.

Hollis Woods is a foster child, and she's been billed as trouble. Ever since the past summer, she's run away from homes when she gets tired of being there. She's given a new chance, however, when she goes to live with an older woman named Josie, who connects with Hollis through their artistic ability. In between the chapters narrating "The Time with Josie," Hollis slowly explains what happened that caused her to start running.

Because of the similarity in plot - an independent heroine in search of a place to belong - I couldn't help but compare and contrast Hollis' story to The Great Gilly Hopkins. But after awhile, I stopped the mental comparison. Hollis has a different personality and different desires from Gilly. Even though she's "trouble" because of her running, Hollis shows kindness in her unwillingness to leave Josie alone when it becomes clear that the older woman has become more than normally forgetful. She does want a family, but she makes one where she is instead of trying to recreate the past. I really enjoyed this story, and I cheered for Hollis all the way.

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