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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,605676137 (4.07)1 / 299
Authors:Louis Sachar
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (2008), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read in 2012, middle reader, texas

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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    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
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  4. 23
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    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.
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English (665)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (675)
Showing 1-5 of 665 (next | show all)
I liked this book more the second time reading it now as an adult than I did when I read it growing up. I was able to understand the dark humor throughout the story that I read right by the first time through. The characters are so complex and each have their own back story which explains their time spent at Camp Green Lake. Though it is filled with dark humor it is told in a light hearted manner, making it appropriate for children. The combination of the light hearted tale and the dark humor fill the pages with an action filled plot. Each characters background supports their strong voices. Their obvious differences are relatable to all readers in one way or the other. Even as an adult I found there to be enough twists and turns to keep reading quickly, all the way through the book. There is a slight sense of an underdog story for many of the characters that I think is appropriate for the audience it is written for. The language is comical, for example each characters’ name, but is well constructed and for a reason. The overall message teaches reader about loyalty, true friendship and not judging others by their looks - or their unfortunate mistakes in life. These are very heavy morals to a story especially geared to a younger audience, but they are clear and easy to comprehend through the language in the book. ( )
  mcicch2 | Nov 29, 2015 |
Summary: Stanley's family is cursed with bad luck. Unfairly sentenced to months of detention at Camp Green Lake, he and his campmates are forced by the warden to dig holes in order to build character. What they don't know is that they are digging holes in order to search for a lost treasure hidden somewhere in the camp.
Personal Reaction: This is one of those books that you get locked into and don't want to stop. With every chapter there is something new that you find out that draws you in even more. Some of the language used in it might not be suitable for younger children but for middle-schoolers it is a good and easy read.
Extension Ideas: 1. The students will rewrite their own ending to the book. 2. The students will write a letter to the camp warden expressing how they feel about the way she runs her camp.
  Kelsie_Murphy | Nov 29, 2015 |
Stanley is a young boy who is cursed with bad luck because of his great great grand father. He is sent off to a juvenile detention camp called camp green lake. At Camp Green Lake all the boys are required to dig holes in the desert all day every day. Through out the novel, you come to find out why stanley is cursed and how it relates back to Camp Green Lake. Camp green lake actually used to be a beautiful town before the lake dried up. Now the owner makes the boys dig in search of the treasure that was supposedly left behind. ( )
  Emilysill | Nov 19, 2015 |
Stanley Yelnats is arrested for a crime he did not commit and is sent to a prison in the Texas desert where he must dig a hole every day--but what is the Warden looking for?

I read this aloud to my son, and we both enjoyed it. I personally had to keep myself from racing ahead and finishing the darn thing to find out what happens! I think Holes just goes to show that writing a really good children's book is even harder than writing for adults. This book has a rich back story, it flips back and forth in time, it's funny, it's got a mystery, it's a buddy book, it's an adventure, we really care about the characters, there is serious danger that must be overcome, and everything is tied together satisfactorily at the end. In other words, it has to do everything that adult books do, but at a level that kids can relate to and enjoy. I read a lot of humdrum kids' books, so it's nice to come across one that hearkens back to the great stories I remember from my own childhood. ( )
  sturlington | Nov 19, 2015 |
In this book a young boy named Stanley Yelnats gets sent to a disciplinary camp for young boys.There the boys are told day in and day out to dig holes. One day Stanley digs his hole and finds the lipstick to an old Outlaw. This is the beginning to a long adventure he has. In the end Stanley finds what they were digging holes for and unravels some things about his family he never knew.

Personal Reaction:
I have read the book and seen the movie and they are both really good. I think it is a good book for kids to get and stay interested in.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1) Have the students group up and answer questions about the story
2) Have a movie day after reading the book
3) Have the students share some things about their family history
  connorshayne | Nov 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 665 (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
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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.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 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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