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Banned Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins

November 11, 2005

21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Reason:  it contains curse words and “takes God’s name in vain.”

After a few weeks of writing up these reviews, I’m beginning to see patterns in their reasons for being banned.  Gilly Hopkins cusses, steals, lies, and is generally an all around obnoxious little rat.  She’s also a foster child desperate to deny how much she wants to be loved and accepted in this world.  I haven’t felt this strong of an urge to cry over a book since Bridge to Terabithia.  Which has an odd sort of logic, since they’re both by the same author.  Gilly is unreformable and unrepentant until she moves in with her latest foster family.  Her own stubborn nature is carefully used to the advantage of those trying so hard to reach out to her.  And when the thing she wants most turns out to be the last thing in the world she wants, your heart will break.  Recommended for ages 9-12.

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