The Great Gilly Hopkins Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great Gilly Hopkins.
This section contains 404 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Great Gilly Hopkins Summary & Study Guide Description

The Great Gilly Hopkins Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson.

“The Great Gilly Hopkins” is a young adult novel by Katherine Paterson, which details the experiences of eleven year-old Galadriel “Gilly” Hopkins in the foster care system. Gilly prides herself on being a rambunctious and difficult child. She hopes that one day she will be reunited with her true mother, Courtney Rutherford Hopkins, a stunningly beautiful woman and member of the flower child movement.

Gilly comes to live at the Trotter household in Thompson Park, Maryland, overseen by Mrs. Trotter, and lived in by William Earnest Teague, a slightly mentally-handicapped seven year-old. Mrs. Trotter cares for her elderly neighbor, Mr. Randolph, who is blind and black –things which annoy Gilly at first. Everything about Mrs. Trotter, William, and Mr. Randolph annoys Gilly at first. So, she plots to flee the home and head to California to see her mother. Despite the genuinely kind nature of Mrs. Trotter and Mr. Randolph, Gilly steals money from both of them and attempts to flee west. She is caught by the police, and Mrs. Trotter brings her home rather than pressing charges on her.

Soon after, Gilly writes a letter to her mother, speaking of deplorable living conditions, but she hears nothing back. Time passes, and Gilly grows much closer to Mrs. Trotter, William, and Mr. Randolph. She feels loved and needed by her unorthodox family. Ultimately, Nonnie, who is Gilly’s grandmother, shows up. Having heard from her daughter Courtney for the first time in thirteen years, Nonnie is checking to see how things are with Gilly. A case is made, and Gilly is taken from the Trotter household by social services. Nonnie brings Gilly to her home in Virginia. Gilly regrets leaving Mrs. Trotter, William, and Mr. Randolph behind. However, though she misses them terribly, she and her grandmother warm up to each other. Over time, Gilly comes to love her grandmother very much, although

Surprisingly, Courtney comes to visit from California, but Gilly is horrified by two things. First, Courtney looks nothing like her old photo. She is haggard and disheveled, having wasted away much of her life. Secondly, Courtney has only come to visit Gilly because Nonnie has paid her to do so. Gilly is beside herself with grief. She calls Mrs. Trotter from the airport. But, Mrs. Trotter tells her that Gilly's home is with Nonnie. Gilly accepts this and tells her grandmother she is ready to go home.

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This section contains 404 words
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