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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (1998)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

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13,370562165 (4.08)1 / 275
adventure (371) boys (150) buried treasure (72) camp (175) chapter book (114) children (124) children's (273) children's fiction (85) children's literature (107) desert (71) digging (81) family (108) fantasy (112) fiction (1,091) friendship (354) holes (123) humor (149) juvenile (84) Louis Sachar (68) mystery (222) Newbery (282) Newbery Medal (326) novel (106) read (148) realistic fiction (213) Texas (91) to-read (70) treasure (105) YA (227) young adult (425)
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English (551)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (561)
Showing 1-5 of 551 (next | show all)
Summary: This book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who is sent to a Juvenile Prison at Camp Green Lake. Stanley along with the other boys are forced to dig holes all day every day. Stanley meets a friend named Zero and they figure out that the Warden is making them all dig holes, because they are looking for something. One day Stanley and Zero run away from camp. They survive on eating onions. They are gone for about a week, but then return to the camp to find the treasure. They find a suitcase with Stanley's last name on it. The suitcase is valuable and Stanley finally gets reunited with his family at the end.

Personal Reaction: I loved to read this book when I was younger. I was so happy when they came out with a movie, although the book was way better. I think that this is a wonderful choice for young adults to read.

Classroom Extensions: 1) I would discuss with all the children how they would feel if they had to survive on eating only onions for a week. I would ask them what food they would pick to eat for a week straight. 2) I would ask the school if my students could plant a mini garden outside. I would bring hand shovels and have them plant onions. When the onions grew I would let each child taste it if they wanted to. ( )
  SmithAlec | Jul 11, 2014 |
This is the story of cursed Stanley Yelnats, a boy who through a misunderstanding is sent to a 'camp' where the boys are forced to dig a 5x5 hole every day. The story of Stanley is woven with the story of his great great grandfather and Kissin' Kate, all together forming the picture that the boys are helping the warden search for a buried treasure that actually belongs to Stanley. Through the course of the novel, Stanley and Zero develop a friendship and the curse is broken, bringing good luck and fortune to Stanley ,Zero, and their families. In a classroom, we discuss the flashbacks and how different the book would be without that information, and I also have them make a brochure of the camp like you would find at a travel center. ( )
  hellwanger | Jul 7, 2014 |
In Holes, Stanley Yelnats is found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit and has the choice of going to prison or Camp Green Lake. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake is neither green nor in possession of a lake and the warden believes digging a hole a day will help the boys build character. However, Stanley quickly realizes that the warden is digging for something in particular and that the mystery of Camp Green Lake may connect to his own family history.

I’ve always liked Louis Sachar’s sense of humor, which is very dry and a little bit wacky. His writing is perfect for his sense of humor, short and succinct. However, this author I liked in middle school didn’t quite hold up to my memory. The main character’s thoughts and reactions were realistic, but the dialogue was choppy. The transitions to scenes from the past are a little rough as well. Finally, everything connected to everything else excessively neatly, although this was often part of the dry humor.

I think I originally watched the movie before reading the book, but I’d definitely seen the movie before this re-read and I’m glad I had. Having an idea of the plot helped with the rough transitions to the past because I already knew how they connected to the present. The choppy dialogue was much less bothersome because I could picture the characters saying them as in the movie. And the quirky characters in the movie really enhance the author’s humor. The book could probably be enjoyed without seeing the movie, but the movie helped compensate for the books weaknesses and enhanced it’s strengths.

This review first posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
It is about a boy who got in trouble.
  cassierunyon | Jun 26, 2014 |
This is the first book I ever remember actively disliking. Even in elementary school, I was bored every time I had to read it, which was multiple times across a few different grade levels. I never got the appeal of the outlandish story or enjoyed Stanley and his peers as much as my classmates did. I read part of this book over the summer and my final impression is about the same as my first. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 551 (next | show all)
Stanley Yelnats is a young man with some teenage problems like being overweight, poor, and social outcast. His father is an inventor and his mother is a loving and supporting woman. He believes that he and his family are cursed and that life offers nothing but a bad luck to them. Interesting fact about his name is that his last name is his first name spelled backward. His family blames his “no good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather” for a family misfortune. Because of the broken promise of the great-great-grandfather, a gypsy lady doomed his family with a bad luck.
Numerous happenings led him to conclusion that something needs to be done to get rid of the bad luck. He often finds himself being at the wrong place at the wrong time. After being falsely accused of stealing a pair of snickers from a famous basketball player at an auction for homeless, Stanley picks a Green Lake Detention Camp for Boys to serve a sentence. There is nothing green nor lake like about that juvenile correction facility. The camp is run by The Warden and Mr. Sir. Those two are very brutal people who direct each kid to dig a hole each day under the blazing hot sun. The official purpose of hole digging is to build a character. A hidden purpose is to look for buried and lost treasure of outlaw, Kissing Katy Barlow.
I see Stanley growing and changing into a leader throughout the book. He lifts himself and other around him. Teaming up with “Zero” brought many new and surprising events in his life. Together they succeeded in fighting against cruelty of Warden and her team.
Many teenagers can relate to Stanley. There is a lot to learn in this book about hard work, loyalty, friendship, persistence, love, hard work and fate.
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Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Important events
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Awards and honors
To Sherrie, Jessica, Lori, Kathleen, and Emily
And to Judy Allen, a fifth-grade teacher from whom we all can learn
First words
There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.
If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole everyday in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.
It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.
But everyone makes mistakes. You may have done some bad things, but that doesn't mean you're a bad kid.
His muscles and hands weren’t the only parts of his body that had toughened over the past several weeks. His heart had hardened as well.
It felt good to walk in the shade of the two oak trees. Stanley wondered if this was how a condemned man felt on his way to the electric chair – appreciating all of the good things in life for the last time.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between Louis Sachar's original novel Holes (1998), and other variants of the same or related material. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Japanese Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
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. 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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439244196, Paperback)

Stanley Yelnats is unjustly sent to Camp Green Lake where he and other boys are sentenced to dig holes to build character. Stanley learns the warden has them digging holes for something else- but what?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:31 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Average: (4.08)
0.5 1
1 23
1.5 14
2 113
2.5 33
3 551
3.5 165
4 1240
4.5 219
5 1188


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