Pictures of Hollis Woods

by Patricia Reilly Giff
166 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Reviewer91

A quick but very interesting read, but with loose morality.


Hollis Woods has been in more foster homes than she can count. After running away from the Regans, the only family which has offered her a home, she is sent to live with an elderly artist named Josie. She decides she wants to stay, but fears being taken away by Social Services as Josie is losing her memory more and more every day. She decides that she won't let anyone separate them, and runs away, taking Josie with her.


Hollis' mother abandoned her as a baby. Hollis is difficult, and described as a 'mountain of trouble'. Without permission, Steven (the Regans' son) teaches Hollis to drive while his parents are out. Hollis forges notes to get herself out of school. Hollis takes Josie to the Regans' summer house without permission, and they eat some of the food stored there.

Spiritual Content



Steven and Hollis crash the truck, Steven breaks the bones in his arm and Hollis is cut badly enough to need stitches.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content

Hollis is trying to be as difficult and annoying as possible during a conversation with the Social Services lady, and when asked what she's drawing answers that it's a picture of nude people. Hollis kisses Steven's cheek.

Crude or Profane Language or Content



This book was a quick read, but still very interesting. I liked how the author paused between chapters for the pictures (descriptions of pictures that Hollis has drawn, what they mean to her, and how they are important). The plot and characters were good. Some readers may find parts a little unrealistic.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 11-12

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