Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Club: Pictures of Hollis Woods

When I previewed this book a year ago, I knew that it would be the perfect December book club selection.  It is relatively short (good for a busy time of year), it ends at Christmas time, and it is a sweet story about longing that is fulfilled.  The protagonist is a foster child who yearns to be part of a family.  She's labeled "trouble" earlier in her foster care experience and struggles with the self-image that that label creates for her.  The ending is happy and the story includes some very important themes about what it really means to be part of a family:  unconditional love, an acceptance of each other's imperfections, and mutual care.

We always use our December book club as an opportunity to make gifts to give to others.  This is certainly consistent with this book in which the emphasis on family includes the responsibility that Hollis takes for an elderly and declining foster mother and surprise secret gifts that Hollis' friend Stephen leaves for her.  We had fun working with friends on some of the gifting projects below and continued on the creations throughout the weekend.

K and G usually create a display representing the book's characters.  From left to right:  "the mustard lady" and her messy car, new sister Christina in the cradle, Stephen, "The Old Man," Izzy, Hollis Woods, Josie, and Beatrice.

Scrabble ornaments

I love these ornaments because they look like stacked books...

Clay ornaments

G made all of these lovely creations

To fill with goodies... or plants.

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