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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,866685133 (4.07)1 / 299
Summary: This book is a novel about the main character that is sent to a detention camp because of being accused of stealing a pair of shoes. The story then goes on to tell his experience at the detention camp.
Personal Reaction: I enjoyed reading this book when I was in school because I hated reading but this book kept me interested.
Extension: This book could be a good way to get kids to start reading novels in the classroom.
  kimlien91 | Apr 25, 2012 |
English (672)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (682)
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My family listened to this on the drive from southern Florida to Asheville, North Carolina recently. We all loved it, which is saying something because there's usually at least one person who at best just tolerates the audiobooks we put in the car's CD player.

I do question how aware children the ages of the boys in the story are of the history of racial inequality. I remember being pretty oblivious to this kind of thing until I was in my early teens, but then maybe it's white privilege that allowed me to remain clueless for as long as I did.

But the fact that this children's book caused me to ask myself this question only makes me like it even more. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Feb 3, 2016 |
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It's about a rather ordinary boy, sent unjustly to an abusive 'camp' where he is forced to dig a huge hole every day. He makes friends, and becomes gradually tougher as he succeeds in his digging. At the same time, there are some intriguing flashbacks in his life and that of his forebears.. all of which come together in a most satisfactory conclusion. A little tense in places, and some dark humour too. Recommended ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Holes is a fantastic book ,the story follows Stanley Yelnats who is in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up going to a juvenile detention camp for stealing shoes he never stole. But the person who actual stole it was zero he was homeless and saw a very nice pair of shoes he liked so he took them but they were famous sneakers. the cops started to chase him so he ditched them and they landed on Stanley.This story explains their time spent at Camp Green Lake. Though it is filled with bad humor it is told in a light way, making it appealing for children and young adults as myself. the pages are with an action filled plot. Each characters background supports their strong voices.Stanley even teaches zero how to read because he was really never thought how to do anything and didn't go to school. By the end, everybody likes him. The book does a beautiful job painting a picture of Camp Green-Lake by using descriptive language. The reader can almost feel the dryness and the heat. I think that the main idea of this book the characters are well developed. You get to learn about each boy's background and find out why they all ended up at the camp. ( )
  Rishad23 | Jan 21, 2016 |
Stanley Yelnats is a very unlucky fella. He is going to a reconstruction facility where prisoners dig holes all day in oppressive heat to help them change their mindset. I found the attitude of Stanley remarkable because of the situation he's in. Sachar does an amazing job in describing Camp Green lake and I felt as if I was really there. The ending was also a fell good moment as Zero finds his mom and they all become rich. Even though this was a bit of a childish ending, I still noted the book despite a few dry moments as it can get a bit long.
  dickards | Jan 17, 2016 |
Stanley yelantes has been sen to Camp Green Lake for stealing a pair of shoes. Stanley didn't actually steal the shoes. They fell out of the sky and landed at his feet. Stanley blames the whole incident on his pig stealing great-great-great grandfather who was cursed by a gypsy. When Stanley arrives at the camp he finds there is no lake or water of any kind. The campers are required to dig a five foot deep, five foot wide hole every day on the dried up lake bed unless they find something interesting. Then the warden might give them the day off.
I was a little worried this book wouldn't fit the tag but there is a side story, involving why the lake dried up, that definitely invovles racism. This book won the Newberry award in 1999 but I found it an enjoyable read as an adult. I do wish some of the fellow campers personalities had been more developed. Except for X-Ray and Zero they all kind of run together. The author does a good job of weaving inthe back story of the town and the pig stealing without taking away from Stanley's story. I see there is a sequel to this book. I definitely will look into reading it. i'd like to spend some more time with stanley.

( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Holes is a fantastic chapter book that I recommend for grades 3-6. The story follows Stanley Yelnats who is in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up going to a juvenile detention camp for stealing shoes he never stole. Stanley meets all kinds of characters at the camp, including a very mean warden. The story is intertwined with a plot line that takes a few generations prior at the location of the camp. This book is great at engaging students in a very interesting and easy to read story. ( )
  Ryanscheafer | Dec 20, 2015 |

Do you come from a poor family, or did you go to jail for something you did not do? If both are right then you are like Stanley Yelnats who went to a camp for bad kids. What do they do you may ask, they do the funnest thing ever, dig holes 5 ft wide and 5 ft high, fun huh? Poor Stanley , did nothing to deserve this. But then meets a friend named zero who helped settle in and with something else… Will caveman survive this mess caused by a curse. Fun and adventuress book I say. I recommend it

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ( )
  creepingcreeper | Dec 15, 2015 |
Stanley was incorrectly arrested for and convicted of a crime, so he had to pick between jail or Camp Green Lake. He picks camp, which isn’t the type of camp he wished it was. All day, every day, he and his fellow inmates have to dig holes where the lake once was. Each hole has to be five feet deep and five feet wide, and they’re to tell the warden if they find anything interesting. That piques Stanley’s curiosity, and he’s convinced that the holes are being dug to find something specific - he just has to find out what, and then prove it to the authorities. Very interesting story with Sachar’s signature wit. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Dec 10, 2015 |
Holes is a great chapter book for children to read. It explores the life a boy who has had a lifetime of bad luck. The book was also adapted in to a movie in 2003. ( )
  DaniDeb12 | Dec 2, 2015 |
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 |
This book is about a boy who just happened to be there when things were going wrong. Because of this he got blamed for the crime. He now had to choose jail or go to camp. He choose camp, but the camp was horrible. The men who ran it only wanted to find the treasure that was somewhere on the land. Stanly and his friends wanted to leave this horrible place so they fought their way out. Fighting I mean by going against the owners of the camp.
I liked this book. It is very interesting and many people have read it. I have also seen the movie. This book has unexpected things along the way, but Stanley always had a great outlook. I believe this book is good for reading and a lesson to be learned.
An extension to this book could that he reflects on his life when grows old and tell the story to his kids and grandkids. Another extension could be that he writes a comic book about what all happened, but makes a few changes to make it funny.
I think if this comic book were to be made that it would encourage younger reader to look at the pictures and get familiar with the story. So they when they grow older and more knowledgeable readers they can look up the real book and read it. ( )
  hollym0714 | Nov 18, 2015 |
This book is very captivating and intriguing. I remember watching the movie as a kid but reading the book helped me better understand the whole purpose behind why Stanley was doing what he was doing. I really enjoyed reading this story and can see a lot of my future students loving it as well.
  ninaberger | Nov 16, 2015 |
Wonderful story about family lineage. ( )
  Blaire_Stewart | Nov 16, 2015 |
This story is about a young boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stanley is a young boy who was traveling home one afternoon when a thief threw their picked object over a bridge and hit Stanley in the head, soon after the police arrived and took him away for a crime he did not commit. He believed it was caused by a curse from his grandmother who placed one on the entire family when something goes wrong, they blame her. He was sentenced in a hearing to either go to camp or go to juvenile, he chose camp thinking how bad could it possibly be, that would soon be shown that it was awesome. There is nothing camp like about this facility, it is run by two very mean people who are determined to find something that is hidden within the ground of the once upon a time lake. The point behind digging all the holes is to create a new and better character however to most people it is just cheap labor. In a place that is so terrible, Stanley is the hope for everyone, bring humor, and hope into a once blank facility. After the many wasted hours searching and digging holes Stanley and his friend Zero plan an escape. Though things don’t go according to plan it makes for an adventure nonetheless.

Personal Opinion
I believe this good is a good example at teaching people a lesson for actions that are inappropriate, wrong and anything in-between. It is also a good book about telling the truth and hoping that it will set you free. Stanley didn’t steal anything however he was punished for it by being sent to this camp. Always maintaining that truthfulness is what this book is about, no matter what your actions are as long as you are trying to do the right thing and change your bad behavior that is all you can truly do.
Classroom Extension
1. The classroom could have a fun scientific experiment. Have them mix different types of mixtures together and create their own “foot odor fixer” like Stanley’s father
2. You could also have a treasure hunt around the school, leaving hints in different places of the school that will finally lead to the hidden treasure. The team to find the treasure first wins extra points on a test or assignment of their choosing.
  haleycurry1 | Nov 11, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. I believe it does an amazing job of intertwining to stories into one, which for younger readers can be a new concept and a difficult one. The characters are also relatable but yet still unique. I also really like how the ending almost leaves you hanging. I think this book is a good read from 4th grade on up to 8th grade depending on the reader.
  NathanMerlin | Nov 10, 2015 |
coming of age ( )
  mew034 | Nov 1, 2015 |
This book has been sitting on my shelf forever but I picked it up this week when I exhausted my Kindle’s battery. How lovely to hold an actual book again. I know this is a book for tweens, but I’d heard such good things about it that I wanted to see for myself. I loved the premise: that Stanley is wrongly found guilty of stealing a pair of trainers and is sent to a juvenile correction camp where the punishment is to dig a hole a day. Five feet deep and five feet wide. Every day. It is supposed to be character-building, but Stanley thinks there is another agenda.
“There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas. That was over a hundred years ago. Now it is just a dry, flat wasteland.”
It is a story about finding out who you are, standing up to bullies and finding your bravery.
“Out on the lake, rattlesnakes and scorpions find shade under rocks and in the holes dug by the campers.”
Woven in with the day-to-day tale of hole-digging is the background to Stanley’s unlucky family; unluckiness blamed on his no -good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Stanley is a kind of every-boy, who helps a boy worse off than himself and ends up challenging the system. And Sachar ties up the loose-ends brilliantly.
Not just for kids.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 30, 2015 |
Summary: The story is about a young both named Stanley yelnate, who was sent to a juvenile correction facility which was Camp Green Lake. His family has need crushed because of his greater grand father. He did not commit the crime he was sentenced to the camp the boys have to dig one hole a day to build character but you will find out they are diving for other reasons.

Personal reaction: This book was very good I loved how it jumps back and fourth telling a story from the present and the past I also how the story was about family and friend ship.

Extension: 1. The class will watch the movie over the book.

2. We will discus the likes and dislikes of the book and the movie.
  aja_cc | Oct 29, 2015 |
I liked reading this book many reasons. I liked how the author used flashbacks to help the reader make connections between events that were happening in the present and that happened in the past. Showing flashbacks from the past helped the reader to understand why certain events were happening in the present. I also liked the author’s use of humor. The author uses humor as an effective tool to ‘water down’ more serious issues and themes in the story.
The message of this book is that you can shape your own destiny. Despite all of the bad luck in his life, Stanley is determined to create a better life for himself and his family. By persevering through tough times he is able to change his future. ( )
  KerryMcLaughlin | Oct 28, 2015 |
I'm sort of torn on how I'd rate this book. Maybe three and a half stars. I know it was (and is?) very popular, so I'm probably missing something about it. The story was certainly unusual and kept my attention. But the ending was rather improbable. Ultimately I'm not really sure what it was about! ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
This book is a great book for older children. It teaches friendship and character. I love this book and would recommend it to many children. ( )
  akf97 | Oct 22, 2015 |
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