Pictures of Hollis Woods

February 20, 2012

By Patricia Reilly Giff
Reviewed by Cayli Y.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars

Imagine only being able to express yourself through pictures. Your first year of school, the only way you could communicate to others, was through your drawings. Drawing took you to another world; a world of your own. For Hollis Woods, drawing pictures was her doorway to a place where she actually wanted to be. Anywhere other than Earth.

Pictures of Hollis Woods is a Story about a twelve year old girl who is bouncing between house, to house, to house. Hollis is what her friends and family call a “mountain of trouble.” Hollis is trying to find her place in a world that seems to never understand her. She finally feels at home when she meets her new foster parent, Josie Regan. Hollis admires Josie, for the reason being that Josie seems to be the only person who understands Hollis. Hollis Woods has escaped from multiple foster homes in the past. When she escapes, the only thing running around in her head is this: I am not loved. I am not loved. Being with Josie connects to the first theme of the story: belonging. When Hollis first met Josie, Hollis did not know the difference between being needed, and being wanted. In the beginning of the story, it tells you of a time when Hollis was in kindergarten, and her class was drawing pictures. They had to draw things that began with the letter “W”. The snotty rich girl next to Hollis had “washing machine and walrus.” Whereas Hollis drew a mother, “M”, a father, “F” , a brother, “B”, a sister, “S”, and they were all standing in front of their house, “H”. Resulting in her teacher drawing a giant X across the paper. This leads to the second theme: family. Hollis always had desired a family. However, Hollis was always the type to open her mouth, but never say a word. There is only ONE place on this world where you can get Hollis Woods to feel at home; Steven’s house. Steven was Hollis’ best friend, even though she had really only met him once. Hollis had always pretended that Steven was always right there talking to her, even if he had been miles and miles away, in New York. Hollis is in deep despair of missing her first, and only friend, Steven, until Josie teaches Hollis how to ‘live and let die’. Hollis becomes extremely loyal to Josie, so loyal that Hollis is finally willing to go to school again because if she didn’t, Hollis would be shipped away to another foster home. And Hollis was not willing to take that chance. All of this leads to the third theme: friendship. Other than Steven in New York, Hollis never had any friends. Josie was the only person who knew what Hollis was thinking, even when she didn’t have the right words.

Pictures of Hollis Woods is a heart-wrenching story. It might frustrate some people because as soon as you see any chance of Hollis finally finding happiness, something or someone comes along that rips it right out of Hollis’, and even your hands it might seem. I rated this book 4 out of 5 because of the fact that it is so heart wrenching, however it still is an extremely good book.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Help Us Buy Books

Hubbard's Hounds

Browse By Genres

Find What You Need