The Great Gilly Hopkins

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by Katherine Paterson. Novel. 160 pages. Grades 4-9.
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Review

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In this Newbery Award winner, we meet Gilly, a foster child who has successfully manipulated the system for years. All that changes, however, when she is placed in the home of Mamie Trotter, an eccentric soul whose household consists of herself and W. E. (William Ernest) another foster child who, unlike Gilly, is fearful and easily intimidated. Next door neighbor Mr. Randolph, a blind African American and elderly gentleman, is a frequent visitor whom Gilly treats with contempt.

Gilly's racial prejudice overflows when she learns that her new teacher is also Black. Gilly knows that she will get true understanding only from her birth mother, Courtney, and plots to be reunited with her. However, she has not reckoned with the wisdom of both her teacher and Mamie Trotter.

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