I’m very excited to have one of my rare guest posts today. Back when I first started my book and a movie concept I got an email from Samantha of Le Chaim on the Right asking if she could share one of her favorite books, Pictures of Hollis Woods. I enjoy reading Samantha’s blog partially because it’s fun to read a blog written by a homeschooled high schooler, partially because she’s a fellow history buff, so I was quite happy to have her write a post for me.
Pictures of Hollis Woods (affiliate link) by Patricia Reilly Giff is a Newbery Honor book for upper elementary and middle school students. The book was later turned into a Hallmark Hall of Fame film (Pictures of Hollis Woods – Hallmark Hall of Fame, affiliate link) . The young subject, Hollis Woods, was abandoned at birth and has been thrown around the Foster Care system all of her life, and none of the families that have taken her in have ever meant anything to her, until she meets the Regan’s. When the Regan family offers to bring them on their annual summer vacation in a log cabin, although Hollis can barely admit it, she fell in love with the family, and couple and their son, Steven. When an accident happens, mostly Steven’s fault, Hollis runs away; blaming herself. Her next home is with Josie, an old, but kind elderly women. Hollis truly feels like she belongs, and doesn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, Josie begins to get Alzheimerís and Hollis is soon destined to be moved, as Josie is unable to care for her. But, this is the one family where Hollis feels like she belongs, and she’s not going to let Josie go. So, she does what she does best; and runs away with Josie. I’ve been a fan of Patricia Reilly Giff, mostly because of her intriguing fiction novels for upper elementary and middle school students. All of her content is clean and family friendly, yet her plots, topics, and characters are quite realistic and intriguing, and her stories often include themes that hit close to home. This beautiful story is what you would expect from a Hallmark Hall of Fame film a sweet, tear-jerker, and more developed than typical Hallmark movies.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for Pictures of Hollis Woods:
- After the accident with her and Steven, Hollis runs away. Why does she run away?
- In the film, Hollis’ social worker asks her why she thought families have to be perfect. Why does Hollis believe this?
- How does the Regan family show Hollis love?
- How does she react to this?
- Do you think running away with Josie was justifiable?
- Could you offer a better solution?
- Themes of Hollis Woods include family, belonging, love, and forgiveness. Discuss these and why they are important. –
Snacks for Pictures of Hollis Woods:
One of Hollis’ favorite food is tomatoes, and she later lies and says she is allergic to them to get out of school. Try making homemade tomato soup (you can’t go wrong with soup) while you watch the film! –
Pictures of Hollis Woods PROJECT:
**SPOILER** In the end, Hollis is finally adopted. Research other adoption stories, and how adoption affects everyone involved. (the adoptors, the adoptee, etc.) I am adopted, and know firsthand there are quite a few interesting adoption stories. 🙂
Thank you Samantha for a fun book and a movie for my kids and I to try later. I’m having so much fun with this book and a movie series.
* graphics from MyGrafico.com