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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,596676137 (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 (665)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (675)
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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 |
I was inspired to read this book again after seeing the movie. I enjoyed the book for two reasons. First, 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. Zero is a boy who looks small for his age and comes off as dumb to his camp-mates. After learning about his past, you find out that he was homeless before being sent to the camp. He didn't have the same educational opportunities as the other boys, explaining why he comes off as "dumb". He develops quite a bit throughout the book and his true colors start to show. Stanley even teaches him to read. By the end, everybody likes him. I also like the language used in the story. 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 is about friendship. Stanley helps Zero become a happier and better person through his caring friendship. There are also several other relationships that benefit from friendship in the book. ( )
  jwrigh28 | Oct 22, 2015 |
You know one thing you never see in YA -- kids in prison. Well, he's not really in juvey, but an "camp for troubled teens". Which is not so much a camp as slave labor -- also not often seen in YA. How he gets sent to this obviously corrupt and unaccredited alternative to jail, I don't know. That's the biggest implausibility, but if you get past that, it's a compelling story. And that's because the author is doing things you don't see in YA -- living among criminals, manipulation by adults, ambiguity on who to trust, sins of the father -- along with humor like stinky shoes and onion eating. Heavy stuff for a kid's book.

But I know kids can take that stuff, so I like it. It's not just one story, it's a couple stories, but they all come together. All the set pieces, motifs, characters meet each other in a dynamic way -- part Western, part prison story, part funny YA book -- so you're getting a meal with flavorful and different side dishes. Each is different but they all complement each other in ways you didn't expect. ( )
  theWallflower | Oct 21, 2015 |
Holes is about a young boy named Stanley Yelnats whose last name happens to spell his first name backwards. Stanley is not very rich. His family lives in a stinky old apartment. If you're wondering why his house is stinky it's because of his dad. His dad is a scientist and is trying to come up with a solution for foot odor. Stanley also has a great great grandfather who has left a curse upon his family for the rest of his life and his children, and their children and so on. Every time something goes wrong they always blame their great great grandfather. Stanley was walking home and an orphan had stole a pair of shoes that belonged to one of the fastest runners in the world. The orphan was walking on a bridge and heard sirens so he panicked and took the shoes off and threw them over the bridge and they happened to hit Stanley right on top of the head. The cops found him and thought he stole them so he went to camp.There at camp they had to dig a hole everyday to build character but it wasn't really to build character it was to find something special for the warden and nobody had a clue.

I think Holes is a great book. I think you will like this book if you are into teen books. I especially think you'll like this book if you like to dig holes. I also think it is good for people that like action or big risk. ( )
  XxayvionT.b4 | Oct 21, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is an excellent book. The author does an excellent job of creating descriptive vivid language that hooks the reader into the book. An excellent example of the author’s vivid writing is in the quote, “At this time of day, Stanley sometimes could see some distant hills or mountains on the other side of the lake. They were only visible for a short while and would soon disappear behind the haze of the heat and dirt“. This quote is an excellent example on how the author creates interest by writing very vividly and with drama. In addition to the excellent writing, the author also creates believable characters. I think this is evident in the description of Mr. Pendanski “Mom” when we first meet him. “Mr. Pendanski was younger than Mr. Sir, and not nearly as scary looking. The top of his head was shaved so close it was almost bald, but his face was covered in a thick curly black beard. His nose was badly sunburned.” This quote is a great example of how the author uses vivid imagery and numerous adjectives to describe the characters so they are clear in the reader’s mind. Overall, I think the main idea of this book is to keep and trust good friends. Stanley’s friend Zero, is with him until the very end. ( )
  eyork1 | Oct 20, 2015 |
Holes Contemporary Realistic Fiction
By Louis Sachar

“Holes” by Louis Sachar has won a Newbery Award for his contemporary realistic fiction chapter book. This one of my favorite children’s chapter book because it is a great example of how the good guys win and the entire story comes full circle. “Holes” jumps back and forth between the present an era 120 years ago. I like how as the present Stanley Yelnat’s story is told, it corresponds to his great great grandfather’s past 120 and explains the curse that was laid on his family. I think it makes the reader excited to learn more about each story and relate them to one another. The underdog, Zero, ends up becoming a real hero when he and Stanley team together to find what the warren is looking for. Zero doesn’t respond not because he doesn’t understand or doesn’t know how to speak, but because he doesn’t like answering other people’s questions. No one expects Zero to have so much courage to run away from Camp Greenlake and later return with Stanley. The moral of the story is also great. Although Stanley is unjustly sent to Camp Greenlake and mistreated by authority (mostly Mr. Sir), he is released from camp at the end and finds the money stolen from his great great grandfather by the bandit Kissin’ Kate Barlow. Although the warren attempts to claim that the money is hers the suitcase it is found in has Stanley’s name on it. In the end the curse is lifed. Stanley and Zero, the good guys, win and the bad guys lose. ( )
  LBurro2 | Oct 20, 2015 |
Holes is a story about a boy, Stanley Yelnats, who has been sent to a juvenile corrections facility called Camp Green Lake. His family has been cursed because of his great grand father. He did not commit the crime he was sentenced for. At Camp Green Lake boys have to dig one hole a day "To build character". However, you find out that they are digging for other reasons. The curse is lifted at the end of the story because of Stanleys actions. The book also jumps back and forth telling a story from the present and the past. The big idea of this story is the importance of friendship and family. It also shows that people can work to fix things. ( )
  fmccas1 | Oct 20, 2015 |
Camp Green Lake is a juvenile detention facility where there is neither a lake nor any greenery. Stanley Yelnats is sent there when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit. He blames his great-great-grandfather for his bad luck -- ever since that ancestor's pig-stealing incident, all of his family has been unlucky. At Camp Green Lake, the Warden has the boys go out in the wasteland where a lake once was and dig holes. Perhaps the Warden thinks this will build character -- or perhaps there's some other motive. . . .

Part mystery, part adventure story, with a secondary historical narrative woven through, Holes really is a triumph of a book. The plot is tight, the characters are nuanced, the setting is detailed. I'd recommend this to anyone who has an interest in juvenile fiction, but I'd also recommend it to anyone who has a low opinion of children's books -- this is the sort of book that might change your mind! ( )
  foggidawn | Oct 18, 2015 |
I enjoyed reading the book Holes by Louis Sachar. The story has great characters that the author gives unique personalities to throughout the story. In addition, the plot of this story is very unique, no one could possibly infer what type of punishment the main character, Stanley will have to endure. The main character Stanley or "Caveman", as the rest of his newly acquired, delinquent friends call him, is sent away to "Camp Green Lake". This isn't your typical summer camp, and it doesn't take long before Stanley is five feet deep within a hole, digging in a dried up wasteland. Stanley is amongst a few other kids who were sent away at this camp, when they come across a foreign object in the ground. This story creates suspense as the reader tries to piece together what will come of this object and what is its significance. Holes is a great story of mystery and inner relationships amongst a group of unlikely friends. ( )
  Cdavie3 | Oct 15, 2015 |
I really enjoyed the book holes. Although I had already watched the movie I found the book had several very noticeable differences that made it much more enjoyable. I truly enjoyed the way the author chose to portray the character of Stanley making him a larger boy who has a lot of difficulty adjusting to the culture of the camp itself. I believe it makes the character very relatable for the reader. I also enjoyed the descriptive writing style the author uses. I feel this really helps the reader clearly picture what they are reading and draws the reader in to the story. I enjoy how the author uses three separate story lines throughout the book and separates each story into small parts that make you want to learn more. I also enjoy how he foreshadows their connection through Stanley blaming things on his "no good, dirty rotten, pig stealing great great grandfather." Overall I think this is an excellent book that does a great job at teaching figurative language and is fun way to show the value of honesty and friendship. ( )
  ccarpe13 | Oct 15, 2015 |
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