The Great Gilly Hopkins Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

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Did Miss Ellis like Gilly?

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While it's never said directly whether Miss Ellis likes Gilly, she does refer to her as very bright and makes an effort to find her a safe and acceptable home. Miss Ellis often seems frustrated with Gilly, who is often demanding, bossy, and untrustworthy. Miss Ellis is Gilly's social care worker; Gilly is in foster care.

At the beginning of the The Great Gilly Hopkins, Gilly is being taken to a third foster home. It's her third move in a year. Miss Ellis is telling her she needs to put in an effort. Her statements about the previous families make it clear that Gilly did not behave well but also that perhaps the families weren't up to caring for Gilly. Miss Ellis does make a point of saying that she doesn't blame Gilly for what happened.

Gilly is frustrated by Miss Ellis's actions as she tries to straighten her hair, makes her get rid of her gum, and asks her to try to get off on the right foot at her new home. Throughout the book, it becomes clear that while Miss Ellis wants to do things right for Gilly, she doesn't completely understand Gilly. Part of that is due to Gilly not opening up and also lying to Miss Ellis at times about how things are at her new foster home.

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