Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

One of my all time favourites. I used this one as a class novel twice and the classes loved it. It is more for the 12-14 year old range and has very good character development. Who could forget Maime Trotter the big bible-wielding lady whom Gilly the main character loathes for so long? Gilly finds herself in yet another foster home where her bitterness, anger and cynicism after years of repeated abandonment and rejection don't allow her to readily befriend or even accept William Earnest, another foster child in Trotter's care. To top it all off she has to run errands for and deal with the blind man next door, Mr Randolph, who is an African American. Gilly has to confront her own racism, help William Earnest deal with bullying and find out who she really is. All the while she plans her escape hoping to reunite herself with her mother Courtney Rutherford Hopkins. There are some profanities in the novel but these are a reflection of the hard life Gilly has lead. The following interview with Katherine Paterson about her books and why she writes is very interesting.

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