Holes…by Louis Sachar

Posted December 15, 2018 by Karen in Books, Reviews /

Holes…by Louis SacharHoles (Holes, #1)

by: Louis Sachar
Published by:Scholastic on September 2, 2000
Source: Purchased
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Rating:One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Stanley Yelnats is accused of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to a boys camp in the middle of a bone dry desert. The camp is ironically named Camp Green Lake. Day in and day out the boys at the camp must dig holes in the scorching heat for the warden. This story has multiple perspectives. Stanley’s present day and the past of  Stanley’s great-great grandfather as well as the past of Camp Green Lake.

‘Holes’ is much more gritty than the average middle school novel. Its is definitely not all fairies and unicorns. There are some somewhat harsh scenes in the story but they are important part of the book . ‘Holes’ is a story about overcoming adversity and a deep message about good triumphing over evil.

As for the cast of characters in the novel they are definitely unique. With names like Armpit, Zero, and X-ray how could they not be. This story is told with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. The whole thing with Stanley talking about his  no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather is just hilarious. It’s also really funny about that whole thing with Stanley’s name being spelled the same both backward and forward.

I am not sure why I never heard of this book until recently. I am on a mission to read as many of the Newbery winners as possible and that’s how this novel came to my attention. I loved the story and it is definitely a book that I would like my own kids to read. I have read that this book had been banned. I’m not really sure why unless it was because of the small amount of violence in the novel. If this is true it really pains that the whole point of the novel as a positive message can be so misunderstood and misinterpreted.


About Karen

Karen is a native Orlandoian and still lives there with her family. She loves reading Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction ,’Chick Lit', YA, and Southern Fiction. Some of her favorite things are fuzzy animals, Bigalow tea, and air-conditioning.
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2 responses to “Holes…by Louis Sachar

  1. I thought this book was brilliant! I loved the way Sachar wove all those individual stories together, the interconnectedness of the characters lives. Fabulous!