Pictures of Hollis Woods
is the place where a baby was abandoned
is the baby’s name
is an artist
is now a twelve-year-old girl
who’s been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all.
When Hollis is sent to Josie, an elderly artist who is quirky and affectionate, she wants to stay. But Josie is growing more forgetful every day. If Social Services finds out, they’ll take Hollis away and move Josie into a home. Well, Hollis Woods won’t let anyone separate them. She’s escaped the system before; this time, she’s taking Josie with her. Still, even as she plans her future with Josie, Hollis dreams of the past summer with the Regans, fixing each special moment of her days with them in pictures she’ll never forget.
Patricia Reilly Giff captures the yearning for a place to belong in this warmhearted story, which stresses the importance of artistic vision, creativity, and above all, family.
Coalition Staff Member Review
This young adult novel comes from the perspective of a young teen who has been in the foster care system her entire life. Hollis Woods, a talented young artist, was born and found abandoned in a park in New York that also had the name, Hollis Woods. Hollis goes through the too familiar cycle of loving, trusting, hurt, loving, trusting, hurt, loving. And then survival. Hollis draws her way through life and is left with beautiful pictures as memories of her journey.
In her current home with an elderly and beautiful woman named Josie, Hollis finds a kindred artist spirit. When Josie draws a picture of Hollis she finally sees herself the way Josie sees her – she sees the truth about who she is. And in her own pictures, she finds who her family is.
It is a beautiful story reminding us of how complicated it is for our children to love and trust that they are home.Author: Patricia Reilly Giff