After running away from her
last foster placement with the Regan family, twelve year old Hollis Woods
is placed with a new foster mother, the loving, retired art teacher, Josie
Cahill. Hollis is a talented artist and her life stories unfold through
her pictures. One revealing picture is the "W" picture Hollis drew
for a first grade class assignment on the letter "w". Hollis drew
her Wish, her Want. She drew a picture of a family. Hollis
had that family in the Regan's, but fear of attachment and motional turmoil
caused her to run away. As Josie's forgetfulness grows worse, Hollis
is forced into the role of caretaker. Through her artwork and her
care of Josie, Hollis Woods finds her family. (New
Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)
Hollis Woods is a troubled twelve year-old orphan who moves frequently
from foster home to foster home. She moves in with an elderly woman
who is a retired artist. In many ways this is a good placement for
Hollis because she has an artistic gift herself. She learns a great
deal about art from the elderly lady and remembers a time with another
foster family in which she was truly happy.
Living with Josie, Hollis discovers that things are not quite right.
Josie is very absent-minded and forgetful. She is kind to Hollis
and makes her feel good about herself. Hollis finds herself taking
care of Josie instead of Josie taking care of her. When her social
worker discovers this she decides to find another foster home for Hollis.
Hollis is forced to make a decision and she includes Josie in her plans.
Hollis must come to terms with her past and realize that making mistakes
is normal and that she is not such a bad person after all. Can she
find a way to make a mends for past mistakes? Will she be able to
reunite with the family that she was happy with? How will she be
able to ensure that Josie has the help and support that she needs?
Read Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff to find out.
(Susan Joyner, email@example.com,
University of South Carolina)
My name is Hollis Woods.
Iím twelve and Iím a mountain of trouble. My name is a real place,
a place they found me when I was a baby. An hour old, no blanket,
with a scrap of paper that said, ďCall her Hollis WoodsĒ Iíve been in foster
care all my life. Being moved from one family to the next.
I run away sometimes. I donít go to school. Kids donít want
to play with me. Donít feel sorry for me because I am tough!
Iím also an artist. Iíve
been happy with the families Iíve been placed with twice. In my story,
The pictures of Hollis Woods I tell all about the time I lived with the
Regans and with Josie Cahill.
The Regans, Izzy, her husband,
Old Man, and their son, Steven, wanted to adopt me, make me part of the
family, the daughter Izzy never had. I ran away after Steven was
critically injured in an automobile wreck that was my fault. Josie,
the retired art teacher, nurtured my love of art but was very forgetful.
She was in the beginning stages of dementia and I soon became the caregiver
To read how my life turns out
please read my story, The Pictures of Hollis Woods.
Prepared by Ann Lewis for South
Carolina Junior Book Award 2005
Sometimes we run away from
the very things that we desperately want or so it seems for Hollis Woods.
What would you do if you made a decision and everything came out all wrong?
How would you find your way back? Take a walk with Hollis and see if you
can second guess her decisions. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2004-2005)
Left alone at a young age Hollis
Woods became the burden of the New York State Social Services. She
ran away from so many foster families that even she had lost count.
After running away from her last placement with the Regan family after
a joyous summer, she is placed by the mustard lady with Josie Cahill.
The hope remained that twelve-year-old Hollis with her love for art would
match up with the retried art teacher.
Soon Hollis found herself in
a place she thought was going to be a happy place. She found out
what people can really mean in her life with Josie. Josie and her
sister Beatrice had shown Hollis what the love of a family could really
mean in life.
To avoid the Mustard Lady and
Social Services Josie and Hollis run away together to the place that Hollis
loves beyond all else. They spent Christmas together under the watchful
eye of a long lost friend. During the entire time Hollis thinks about
the family she lost, and continues to wish and want for a true family.
Will Hollis get her family? (Robert H. King II, Frostburg State University)
After 12 year old Hollis Woods
ran away from a whole lot of foster homes, she finaly decides that she
wants to stay with Josie for awhile just because Josie wants to make a
wood figure of Hollis Woods face. She likes Josie because they both love
art. Josie and Hollis decide to go to the ocean and draw and scetch
it but I dont want to spoil the book for you. You have to read the
rest of the book to see what happens next. (catelyn, k-12 student)