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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2000)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,510847142 (4.07)1 / 334
Authors:Louis Sachar
Info:Bloomsbury (2000), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Holes by Louis Sachar (1998)

  1. 20
    Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: With offbeat characters and distinctive settings, these well-paced, affecting and funny novels are about compassionate boys: Moose, caring for his autistic sister on Alcatraz Island (Al Capone); Stanley, who escapes from a juvenile detention camp to help another inmate (Holes).… (more)
  2. 31
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  3. 00
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  4. 00
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  5. 01
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  6. 23
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English (832)  Dutch (6)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (845)
Showing 1-5 of 832 (next | show all)
I love how much my students love this book. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Stanley (Caveman) sent to Camp Green Lake where boys are forced to a dig 5ft x 5ft hole every day in a giant dry lake bed. And it all ties in with the legend of his great great grand father who failed to fullfil his promise to Madame Zeroni who gave him a pig. Its dark and highly symbolic. Easy read but it seemed kind of empty to me. ( )
  margaretfield | Jul 8, 2018 |
I remember first reading Holes when I was in middle school, like around 7th or 8th grade. It caught my attention because at the same time there was a movie version of the book being released by Disney. I read the book first and immediately it became one of those books that I read over and over and over again. The story concerns Stanley Yelnats, a young boy on his way to a juvenile prison camp after he is (wrongly) convicted of stealing a famous baseball player's shoes from a charity event. Stanley and his family are down-on-their-luck and he thinks this is just another part of their family curse inherited from his pig-stealing. In the prison camp he meets the other boys in his work group, all of whom go by some sort of nickname like Zig Zag, X-ray, etc. The prison camp is also in the middle of the desert and each boy has to dig one hole each day about five feet deep and five feet wide as punishment. Stanley befriends a boy in his work group, Zero and teaches him how to read and write. Zero and Stanley become close and Zero opens up to him that he was the one who caused Stanely to come to the prison camp in the first place because he stole the shoes and then tried to get rid of them. Through a series of events, Stanley and Zero escape the prison camp into the desert. There are also the intertwining stories of outlaw, Kissin' Kate Barlow, who was a school teacher in the town where the prison camp is now. She was a white woman in love with Sam, the African-American onion seller in town. Their romance was thwarted when a jilted lover, Trout Walker, found out and killed Sam. Since then rain has ceased to fall on the town, turning it into a desert. Then you get the story of Stanley's great-great grandfather Elya Yelnats in Latvia. He asked the town mystic Madame Zeroni to help his secure the hand of one of the local beauties. When he doesn't come back to fulfill his promise, Madame Zeroni puts a curse on him. I don't want to give too much away but this is a story I think both kids and adults should definitely read. There's mystery, adventure, humor, romance. What I remember liking about this book as a kid was that everything was connected somehow, like the actions of people in the past had a resounding effect on people in the present so the story threads made sense and were easy to follow. If you're interested, I would also recommend watching the Disney movie of the same name, I thought it was a pretty faithful adaptation of the source material. ( )
  melissa_tullo | Jun 28, 2018 |
I loved this book. Saw the movie many years ago... I was actually surprised because somehow the movie was very close to the book. ( )
  Emmie217 | Jun 27, 2018 |
This book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who is under a curse. A curse that started with his great-great-grandfather and has been passed down from generation to generation in Yelnat history. Now Stanley got sent to Camp Green Lake to learn how to fix their attitudes. How do they do this? By digging holes day after day. Five feet wide and five feet deep. Stanley eventually finds out that the warden is having the boys dig holes every day because he is looking for something valuable. Stanley then tries to investigate on what exactly the warden is trying to look for and why.
This book had some humor, was thrilling, and was crimeful. I admired how the author of this book kept everything so interesting throughout the book. In my opinion, this book is better than the movie (isn't it always though). This book was just so great and I'm looking forward to convincing my brother to read it soon! ( )
  Hannah.b3 | May 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 832 (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
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
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 German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:29 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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