The Great Gilly Hopkins Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Great Gilly Hopkins

Giladrael "Gilly" Hopkins is not an easy child to raise. Just ask her three previous foster families, who have all given her back to Social Services for various reasons. Being shuffled from home to home has made Gilly a cynical, resentful 11 year old girl, who only wants to find her biological mother. Gilly is certain that once her mother learns of her plight with the foster care system, she will be rescued immediately and live a life of love and luxury.
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The Trotters, Gilly's new foster family, are excited to have Gilly join their poor, but loving family. Gilly, however, is determined to make Mrs. Trotter and her foster brother so miserable that they will want to send her back. Mrs. Trotter desperately wants to reach out to Gilly, despite her racism, rudeness, lying, and poor personal hygiene.
The review of this Book prepared by Serena Gutnik

Gilly Hopkins can't have what she really wants. Instead of being reunited with her mother, she is on her way to her third foster home and she is determined not to get along with anybody, especially her new foster mom. But Mrs. Trotter is equally determined to break through the hard protective shell Gilly has built around herself with love, patience, and humor. Gilly discovers that sometimes you have to let go of impossible dreams to make room for sweet dreams to come true-a place to call home and someone to love you unconditionally.
The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

The Great Gilly Hopkins is an endearing story about a young girl who struggles as an orphan after being abandoned by her mother. She lives with a foster mother but runs away in search of her birth mother. She instead finds her grandmother and has to live with her since she rejected her foster mother. This is painful for Gilly because she grows to love her foster mother but has to go live with her grandmother at the end. Gilly learns that life is not always fair and she learns to appreciate those that love her in a short period of time.

The review of this Book prepared by Daniela Lo Presti

Chapter Analysis of The Great Gilly Hopkins

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   struggling to earn a living to survive Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Age 11-14 Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   orphan story Wild kid(s)?    -   runaway!

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast City?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   very gullible, like Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Great Gilly Hopkins

Katherine Paterson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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