The Great Gilly Hopkins Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

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What did Gilly Hopkins make for her teacher?

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Gilly, a violently angry girl who aims to be "too clever and too hard to manage," has deeply prejudiced feelings that are part of her general hatred for a world that seems to take no notice of her. Besides being so angry that she gets into fights with boys even though she is out numbered, Gilly also steals from Mr. Randolf, the blind man living next door to Trotter school. Fortunately, he is not prejudiced and driven by anger so he forgives her and even introduces her to poetry. Gilly's good experience with Mr. Randolf wasn't enough to uproot her prejudice. As a result of this continuing blind prejudice, Gilly makes an homemade greeting card for her sixth grade teacher and this is what she Gilly gives her teacher, Miss Harris. The two have a confrontation of sorts in which Miss Harris challenges Gilly to find constructive ways to express her anger at the world. Miss Harris later gives Gilly a copy of The Lord of the Rings. The end result of giving Miss Harris a hateful racist homemade greeting card is that later, Gilly rejects her racist feelings and no longer judges individuals by their skin color.

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