Pictures of Hollis Woods

Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
My Recommended age: 10 and up
Guided reading level: V
Lexile Level: 650L 
DRA 44

Hollis Woods is an orphan who runs away from every foster home the state places her in. She is finally placed with a rather far out old women named Josie, whom she quickly comes to find a happy home with. As time passes however she realizes that Josie isn't quite all there; and, fearful that social services will remove her, she runs away again, this time taking Josie with her. Throughout the book Hollis documents all of her happiest moments with pictures, and we learn of her past and the happiest memories of her life.

When my eldest daughter was in 4th grade her teacher recommended this book.  She ended up reading it once, and again, and again, when after the 4th time the teacher gave it to her. It is to this day her favorite book of all time.  I too enjoyed it immensely. While there was nothing offensive in this book, be aware that Hollis, at age 12, runs away (and has many times). As this book does have a happy ending, it would be prudent to discuss with your kids that running away is not a great choice, as it will neither solve the underlying problem and is terribly dangerous. For that matter dragging a crazy old woman along with you, no matter how much you like her, is a really bad idea.


1 comment:

  1. My 4th graders love this book. It's confusing at first because there are 2 separate stories which come together at the end, so you have to tell them you're not supposed to know what's happening until the end.


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