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Holes (A Yearling Book) by Louis Sachar

Holes (A Yearling Book) (original 1998; edition 2000)

by Louis Sachar, Vladimir Radunsky (Illustrator), Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,350736119 (4.07)1 / 303
Title:Holes (A Yearling Book)
Authors:Louis Sachar
Other authors:Vladimir Radunsky (Illustrator), Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)
Info:Dell Yearling (2000), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newberry, Discipline, Family

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
    Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Maiasaura, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: With tall-tale elements, quirky characters and serious themes such as racism, these poignant and humorous novels with fully-realized settings are about brave boys who make a big difference in the lives of those around them.
  3. 00
    Hidden Talents by David Lubar (Runa)
    Runa: Misfit kids bond after being sent away from home to a reform program.
  4. 00
    Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos (cransell)
  5. 01
    The Afterlife by Gary Soto (weener)
  6. 23
    Savvy by Ingrid Law (kimby365)
    kimby365: I can't guarantee that you'll enjoy that book if you enjoyed this one, but I'd say it's a pretty safe bet.
  7. 02
    Jo Badpenny: the comic life of a master criminal by Lookman (XRAY)

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English (720)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (731)
Showing 1-5 of 720 (next | show all)
A good coming-of-age story. Very interesting and thought provoking for a young adult's story. ( )
  shadana | Jun 20, 2016 |
Holes is an interesting book for kids of all ages. It would be an especially interesting book to young adults who found themselves in trouble all the time through no real fault of their own. It is a book about fate, coincidence, and good luck. It conveys hard work, being lost, surviving the desert, adventure, snake venom, false accusations, and finally success and freedom. It even looks at how even though parents are doing their best, they can still make mistakes about us.
  Manyalisa | Jun 14, 2016 |
I don't understand the reviews that say this is 'easy and enjoyable' or 'fun.' I mean, yes there are some clever bits, and yes it's totally accessible (that is, not 'highbrow Literature'), but it is intense & meaningful, violent, controversial, & memorable. Sachar's excellent 'Sideways School' stories did not win the Newbery - this did. There's a reason for that. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This is one of the few times where I love the book and movie about the same.  I really enjoy Louis Sachar's sense of humor and this book was no exception.  I loved the mixture of past and present to get the full backstory on Stanley's situation.  The book was a lot of fun to read with a lot of laugh out loud moments for me. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
Protagonist Stanley Yelnats is the fourth Stanley in his family. His great-great-grandfather traveled from Latvia to the United States, unaware that he was cursed because he forgot to keep a promise. Whenever bad things happen, his family always blames that curse. So it is only the bad luck caused by Stanley's 'no-good-dirty-rotten pig-stealing-great-great grandfather' when Stanley is hit on the head by a pair of sneakers and consequently accused of stealing them from a children's orphanage. The boy is faced with the decision of either going to jail or going to Camp Green Lake. For Stanley, whose family is very poor, Camp Green Lake seems to be the obvious choice as he thinks of it as some kind of summer camp. This, however, turns out to be a big misconception. Camp Green Lake is a correctional facility for boys. Located in the desert, there is no lake as the name of the camp might have suggested. Instead, there is just dust, a few tents and many holes. Those holes are the right means to turn bad boys into good boys according to the Warden of Camp Green Lake. Each boy has to dig one hole every day to 'build character'. However, Stanley soon finds out that there is more to the holes than the Warden lets out.

In this young adult novel, the reader follows the development of protagonist Stanley, who progresses from being bullied at school to being a courageous young boy at Camp Green Lake. While the narrator clearly shows his opinion about the effectiveness of digging holes to 'build character', ironically, it is exactly this that helps Stanley in his development in the end. The novel explores the meaning of friendship in a world of hardship for boys who come from poor families or do not even know their families. To my mind, the novel is less criticism of teenage correctional facilities or boot camps, but rather a story revolving around a likeable protagonist everyone can sympathize with. It is Stanley and his relationships to the other boys in the story that are most important in unfolding a plot that is almost secondary. Eventually, Holes follows Stanley in his endeavor to step out of the hole that is his life.

I would recommend this novel to teenagers and any other readers interested in young adult fiction. 3 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | May 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 720 (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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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.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 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 9 descriptions

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