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thecheapreader

The Cheap Reader

The Cheap Reader is Alison. She works in a library and dreams of one day becoming a Youth Services Librarian. She loves reading and has a soft spot in her heart for YA and MG fiction.

The Great Gilly Hopkins

The Great Gilly Hopkins - Katherine Paterson I haven't read this book in a really long time. Since elementary school? Possibly middle school? As a result I didn't remember much about the book. I just knew I enjoyed it as a kid. I was impressed that I still enjoyed this book as an adult. Some books lose their "magic" when you revisit them with a different frame of reference.Possibly because I'm fuddy-duddy but I was pretty shocked at the language/content in this book. I don't remember the language being bad when I read it as a kid. Obviously it's not swearing because it is a kid's book but the racism, name calling, and other language is a bit intense. Especially for a book that teachers and parents enjoy and want kids to read!I get why the author wrote Gilly that way. Paterson wants you to see that Gilly is a brat. Bravo ma'am because there was nothing I wanted to do more than wash that child's mouth out with soap and put some sense into her! At the same time, I get why Gilly acted that way. If I were shuffled from home to home and felt like no one really wanted me, I would probably act that way too. That was very nicely done.I had mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand, I thought it was done well. Not every story gets a happy ending. Things never end the way we want them to end and that's fine. That's life. [I would say 'I wish more stories did that' but I don't. Sometimes we need happy endings to keep that spark of optimism alive but that's a discussion for another time.] My problem with the ending was how quickly Gilly changed. To me it felt like it was a really quick transformation from "I hate it" to "Don't let them take me!". Of course I realize ~150 pages is a short story and it's probably hard to flesh out some aspects in that short of space.The bottom line? It's a charming story, that definitely has some rough edges, for children and adults alike.