The Great Gilly Hopkins Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

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Why did Gilly wacth television with William Ernest and make a paper airplane for him?

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In the novel, "The Great Gilly Hopkins," Gilly decides that she will get together enough money to run away.  She is wanting to go find her mother and she needs to get to California.  She originally thinks of getting Agnes to help her steal money, but then she decides to get William Ernest to help her steal.  The problem is that up until this time she had been mean to the little boy. 

Gilly decides to make friends with William Ernest so that he will help her steal the money she needs to have in order to buy a ticket to California. 

"In the middle of the last cookie, an inspiration came to her.  It wasn't Agnes Stokes whom she would use.  Agnes couldn't be trusted between freckles.  It was William Ernest.  Of coarse.  Trotter's honey baby engaged in a life of crime." pg 56

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