Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods is a 2002 young adult novel by Patricia Reilly Giff. The novel received a Newbery Honor Award in 2003. It was adapted for television in 2007.

Pictures of Hollis Woods
AuthorPatricia Reilly Giff
Illustratorno pictures
CountryUnited States
GenreRealistic fiction
Publisher[Random House Children's Books]
Publication date
Media typePrint

Plot summary

"Pictures of Hollis Woods" is the story of a 12-year-old foster girl who keeps moving from family to family and has the talent to draw which moves through the story with her adventures.


Hollis Woods

The Regans - Old man, Izzy, and Steven. They want Hollis to be a part of her family even though she pushes them away.

Josie - An elderly retired art teacher who adores Hollis then she starts to become forgetful

Beatrice - Josie's cousin with whom she is very close. She is also a retired art teacher (like Josie) and now owns a movie theater.

Henry - Josie's cat.

Steven - Hollis's older brother

Christina - Hollis's younger sister

Critical reception

Critics praised Giff's work in this book.

According to the School Library Journal, "Giff masterfully weaves these two strands together in a surprising and satisfying ending. Strong characterization and a solid sense of place are the strengths of this heartfelt story that will appeal to fans of Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler (2002), Katherine Paterson's The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978, both Harper Collins), and Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Gib Rides Home (Delacorte, 1998)".[1]

Kirkus reviews states that Giff "expertly portrays the intense, heartfelt emotions Hollis experiences and gives her talent and spunk; she is in no way pathetic, despite her perennial foster-childhood. The secondary characters are also completely drawn and are likable without being too good to be true. This touching story will leave readers pleasantly drained, satisfied with the happy ending, and eager for more about Hollis's future".[2]

Publishers Weekly also stated that "Giff intersperses tender scenes demonstrating Hollis's growing affection for Josie with memories of the Regans, whose images Hollis preserves in her sketchbook".[3]

The Horn Book Magazine has reviewed the book as "a remarkably well-observed novel, weaving gracefully back and forth in time and replete with humor derived primarily from Hollis's candor and tough talk. The tracing of Hollis's relationship with Josie and her foster brother, Steven Regan, is especially well drawn".[4]

Booklist has also described the novel positively by stating that "Veteran author Giff has a sure hand with language, and the narrative is taut and absorbing".[5]


Newbery Medal Honor Book in 2003.

Film adaptation

The Hallmark Hall of Fame film Pictures of Hollis Woods debuted on CBS December 2, 2007. It was directed by Tony Bill and stars Jodelle Ferland as Hollis Woods.

See also


  1. Gaffney, Jean, et al. "Pictures Of Hollis Woods." School Library Journal 48.9 (2002): 225. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.
  2. Wendy, Sept. 10, 2002. "Pictures of Hollis Woods." Kirkus Reviews. Web. 25 Nov 2014
  3. Davis,Hope. "Pictures of Hollis Woods." Publishers Weekly. Web. 25 Nov 2014
  4. Beram, Nell. "Pictures Of Hollis Woods (Book Review) (Undetermined)." Horn Book Magazine 79.1 (2003): 72-73. Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson). Web. 26 Nov. 2014.
  5. DeCandido, GraceAnne A. "Pictures Of Hollis Woods." Booklist 99.4 (2002): 404. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.
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