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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

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13,856587150 (4.07)1 / 280
kimlien91's review
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 |
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A young boy whose family is down on funds and luck, find himself in a juvenile delinquent center for boys. When Stanley and his friend come across a favorable treasure, the leader of the camp tries to bring the boys apart. Great Novel! 5th
  Nicole129672 | Nov 19, 2014 |
After watching the movie, I purchased this for my son, hoping to find a book he would enjoy reading. I was successful, he loved this book. It has all the right stuff. Adventure, secrets, evil adults (and some good ones, too), smack talk and deep friendships.
  MrsLee | Nov 18, 2014 |
Summary: Stanley Yelnats had unfortunate events in his life happen. H was accused of a crime that he did not commit, and it lead him to Camp Green Lake, where he is to serve his time digging wholes. He first thinks that the people that he digs wholes with day in and day out are his friends, but he soon has a reality check. As the story develops you get flashbacks of Stanley s life before Camp Green Lake, and also the history behind Camp Green Lake. You soon seen the relationships of the ancestors of the current Camp Green Lake inhabitant, and also why Stanley and his family have really bad luck. Stanleys grandfather was cursed by the Madame Zeroni for not keeping his promise. Stanly was able to break that curse, because Zero his good friend from Camp Green Lake is related to Madame Zeroni. At the end of the story the characters realize who they.

Personal: I originally watched the movie, just recently when i went on vacation i read the book. The book is far better by giving you more details, and keeping you interested.

classroom:1). Ask the students what food they would eat for a week straight and why?
2) have the students do a compare and contrast over the movie and book.
3) Have everyone bring there favorite food in and put it in a mason jar and every week have them write down in a journal about how long it last.
  pambam_11 | Nov 11, 2014 |
Summary- This is a book about Stanley Yelnats who was sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn't commit. His family is known for having bad luck because of some kind of curse. He end's up going to the camp and meeting new friends. Along with hardships and struggles, at the end of the movie Stanley unexpectedly finds a way to break the curse.

Personal Reaction- I first read this book in the 5th grade. I had to do a report over it and ever since then it has been one of my all time favorite books. It's no surprise that this book won a Newbery Award because this book is pure awesomeness.

Classroom extension ideas-
1) Plant onions and watch them grow
2) Group discussion- Ask the kids how they would feel if they had to eat only onions for a week.
  brittanyblakesley | Nov 10, 2014 |
Louis Sachar

I have probably read this book about ten different times since first being exposed to this book in the fifth grade. I really love this book, and Holes is probably in the top ten list of books for myself. The entire book seems completely plausible. I don't think there was a point in the book when I thought something could not have happened in real life. Stanley's situation of getting sent to the boys camp for "stealing" the shoes was something that has happened in life, someone was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sachar was extremely descriptive in his book, which led to me being able to easily picture the story in my mind. The one thing that was really descriptive was the huge rock on top of the mountain that looked like it was god giving the thumbs up. Everything in the book was put well together. The story flowed really well and I think that was helped by the fact that the story is paced really well. Holes is not an easy read but will not take you three weeks to read it either. I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read a great story. Louis Sachar did a great job at putting the message in his book too, stand up for your friends. ( )
  bokeef2 | Nov 10, 2014 |
Holes still to this day is one of my favorite books to read. Stanley was just an ordinary innocent boy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time when a pair of baseball shoes fall fro the sky onto his head and he was believed he stole the shoes that was from a charity. Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake where he has to dig holes everyday till his sentence is up. he meets new friends, understand his struggles, and and in the end, he finds all the pieces that come together between Camp Green Lake and his family history. This is an amazing book to read foe 3rd to 5th graders and it's packed with comedy, suspense, and romance. An amazing read for anyone.
This is a Newbury award book. ( )
  Patrick-Shea14 | Nov 7, 2014 |
This book is about an adventure of a younger boy, and it is also a part of his life experience, he got a lot from it. I believe readers would get a lot from the book.
  xliao | Nov 5, 2014 |
This book is about a young boy named Stanley Yelnats who gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile delinquent camp for young boys. He is wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit. The boys at the camp have to dig 5ft x 5ft holes. If they find anything of interest inside the holes, it must be reported to the warden. The boys are told that digging holes builds character when in reality the boys are being used to find valuable hidden treasure for the warden.

I like this book because it engages the reader throughout the entire story. Its use of imagery and dialogue help set the tone and action of the story. I like its use of symbolism, dialogue, and use of flashbacks to historical moments.

An example of symbolism includes the onions throughout the story. Onions represent hope and good will. Sam, the kind selfless man in the flashbacks, sold onions which brought joy to the townspeople. Onions also kept Stanley and Zero nourished when they reached the mountain. They kept them alive, not only by feeding them but by running through their blood as well, protecting them from the yellow spotted lizards towards the end of the book. I think it's neat that something that is normally foul or makes one's eyes water is used as something so powerful.

An example of dialogue that stood out to me was when Zero shared that, "When you spend your whole life living in a hole, the only way to go is up". Lines like these are short but powerful. It speaks volumes on what the characters go through, what kind of impact the events of their life has had on them, and the mentality they now have with how they choose to move forward in life. Each key character seems to have their own mindset that is worth getting to know and learn from in the story.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks used throughout the story. I liked linking the events of ancestors' lives with what is going on in present day at Camp Green Lake. The oldest flashbacks felt more like a folktale one would hear around a bonfire. I liked how everything connected with each other. For example, Miss Katherine went from a sweet school teacher to a vengeful woman after the love of her life was ruthlessly murdered. Her name changed to Kissin' Kate Barlow because of her venomous kisses.

The main idea of this story is to stay true to yourself and do the right thing. Good does conquer evil in the end even when bad things happen along the way. ( )
  GinaBayne | Nov 4, 2014 |
Holes is a unique story of underdog Stanley, he is wrongfully sent to a correctional program in the desert. He encounters many antagonists, and the story has many twists and turns. This is a quality book that keeps you interested and thinking. Best for children age 10-13.
  nphernetton | Nov 3, 2014 |
In my opinion Holes is a great book. I really liked how this book would go back in time to tell the story of Stanley Yelnats’s family history and how the family became cursed. I also really liked the dynamic of the boys in D-tent. Even though they didn’t always get along they still remained “brothers” and would stick up for each other and they always had each other’s backs.
The big idea or main message of the story is friendship. Friendship is one of the most important aspects in one’s life. You can find a friend in the most random situations and they can usually change your life for the better. ( )
  Jillian_Magee | Oct 26, 2014 |
"Holes" is story of the very unlucky Stanley Yelnats who is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn't commit. He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time thanks to his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great great grandfather. I really liked this story due to the progression in the main character and the flashbacks within the story.

Stanley changes dramatically from the beginning to the end. Back in school, he was picked on and bullied, so when he comes to Camp Green Lake and begins to make friends, he tries to conform and fit in. For example, when X-ray tells Stanley to give him anything he finds, Stanley decides "it was far more important that X-Ray think he was a good guy than it was for him to get the day off" p. 53. As the story progresses, he realizes that they aren't really his friends and begins to do what he feels is right regardless of what they think, such as teaching Zero to read and write. He also grows stronger physically and mentally as the story goes on. In the beginning he is overweight and passive as he follows whatever he is told to do, but by the end he is stronger and thinner, and takes courageous chances like stealing the truck to go find Zero.

Also, I really liked the flashbacks in the story. Since Stanley's bad luck comes from his great great grandfather, the story flashbacks to tell this story. At one point, the story flashes back to long ago when his great great grandfather saw Madame Zeroni in order help him win over the father of the girl he thought he loved. Madame Zeroni helps by giving him a pig and the secret to make him big and strong, but in return she asks him for a favor. Unfortunately, this favor is never returned, so the Yelnats are doomed with bad luck for the remainder of their lives. This enhances the story, because it allows the reader to get a better appreciation and understanding of the events in the story. These flashbacks reveal why the holes are being dug and how each of the characters are significant to each other. For example, Zero (Hector Zeroni) is actually related to Madame Zeroni, who caused the Yelnats decades of bad luck.

Overall, I found the "big idea" of the story was never give up. Each time Stanley's bad luck got the best of him, he didn't give up or lose hope. Instead, he remained hardworking and honest, which eventually resulted in Stanley and his family getting everything they deserved. ( )
  KendraEscalona | Oct 25, 2014 |
Holes by Louis Sachar is a book about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who goes to a juvenile delinquent camp for a crime he didn’t commit and this is all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great great grandfather. Throughout the story the reader sees the adventure that happens during his stay and the friends he makes. All of this leads down to an amazing road that shows his luck might be changing soon. I loved this book! I read this book when I was younger and loved it and I decided to read it again because of this. I love this book for a number of reasons but the main two reasons are the overall story/way it was written and the characters. The story in this book is so unique. The story is about a boy named Stanley but it follows three different times in history, all of which connect to Stanley and the place he is currently at, Camp Greenlake. An example of this is seen when Elya Yelnats, Stanley’s pig stealing great great grandfather, is trying to win over his love Myra Menke. The author tells the story not from Stanley recalling it from memory but from the actual time it happened. I feel this added to the story and made it that much more interesting because you could really understand the correlation between now and then instead of just hearing the story from Stanley retelling it as well as increasing the idea of what will happen. I feel this was very unique way to write the story and an unconventional one as well and personally something I loved about it. The overall story is also an amazing one because it conveys an overall message that you can do whatever despite your circumstances even curses. This is seen throughout the whole story but mainly seen at the end where Stanley out does the yellow spotted lizards, dehydration and hunger and finds the treasure that is rightfully his. After everything bad that happened to him because of his luck he overcomes and finds happiness. The final thing I liked about this book was the character, all of them were so full of life and outrageous characters that in my opinion added to the story and made it more fun and light hearted. For example Zigzag, throughout the whole story Stanley tells us about how crazy Zigzag is and how crazy he looks. He tells us that he has crazy blonde hair and the longest neck ever. This really creates a mental picture in the readers mind and enhances the humor in the story, along with creating interest. It also created a fictional and unrealistic element to the story. ( )
  BriaCoogle | Oct 25, 2014 |
I think this was an awesome book! I loved the interactions between the characters such as Stanley and Zero, and I also like how even though we don't see much of their interactions with their families, that it still plays a big influence on how their characters became who they are (for instance, Zero doesn't know of his mothers whereabouts but we still see how close of a relationship he had with her and how it adds to his character). I like the plot, and the suspense that it builds throughout, waiting to find out what they're digging for, and if they'll ever find it, and where it will lead when they do... The big picture of Holes is friendship, and fate. ( )
  jknuts1 | Oct 23, 2014 |
I loved this book as a kid! I think it's a great read for boys and girls. It's definitely a book that boys can get into. I like that there are a lot of characters, too. This is a realistic fiction book.
  LaurenValencour | Oct 22, 2014 |
I thought Holes was a great read. I liked Holes because of how the plot was organized and how it progressed. Stanley was overweight, was not confident in himself, had no friends, and had bad luck. As the story progressed, and as Stanley spent time at Camp Green Lake, Stanley transformed. Stanley developed physical strength through digging holes, personal strength by having enough courage to stand up to the Warden, made a wonderful friend made Zero, and became lucky. The second reason why I liked the story was because of the characters, I loved the diggers. I thought they were all well developed because they each had a story and distinct personalities. For example, Zero’s story was that he was homeless previously before coming to Camp Green Lake and did not know how to read or write. X-ray was the leader of the group and was manipulative and got jealous when Stanley and Zero were getting more attention than he was. The message of the story was that justice would prevail. Stanley was proved innocent and was freed from camp, while the Warden was to be put in jail for practicing illegal ways at the camp. ( )
  Germuth | Oct 21, 2014 |
I liked this book for three reasons. First, I liked the plot. The story was about a boy named Stanley Yelnats, who gets accused of stealing a pair of famous sneakers, so he gets sent to Camp Green Lake. This isn’t a normal camp and not a lake, where it is very deserted and full of dirt, in which the boys have to dig holes to “build character.” I liked the plot because it was full of suspense and drama, as Stanley and his new friend Zero, run away from camp and get themselves into many problems. A second thing I liked about this book was the characters. Stanley was the main character and he was very interesting because he was innocent, but takes the blame for a lot of things as he claims his family has bad luck. I also liked how all of the boys at the camp were included in the story and impacted the ending. The author does a good job of giving each character a significant role. The third thing I liked about this book was the point of view. This story was told in third person, which allowed the author to include events from the past and present that impacted the plot of the story. Overall, the big idea of this book was to never give up and never lose hope. Also, that if you are honest and hardworking, things will always work out. ( )
  AllisonStrait | Oct 19, 2014 |
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.
  astinchavez | Oct 16, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this book for a few reasons. I remember watching the movie Holes before and it helped me visualize the camp, and desert setting more realistically. The writing and plot is very engaging. The dialogue, and plot help to make it suspenseful. The warden and boy who dig holes are at each other for the entire story. The characters are very authentic and easy to become attached to. Zoro, for example cannot even read. Readers are pushed to think why the characters are really forced to dig holes. The big idea of this story is to persevere despite the circumstances. ( )
  dbaker16 | Oct 16, 2014 |
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
I think that the big message of this story is that if you stay true to yourself and if you're a good person good things will happen to you. One reason I like this book was because of the writing. I liked the flashbacks of Stanley Yelnats' family and Hector Zeroni's family. Another reason I liked this book was because it had humorous writing in it. For example, every time they refer to Stanley's great great grandfather he is called a "no good rotten pig stealing great great grandfather." I liked the repetition of this and thought it was funny. ( )
  rjayne2 | Oct 7, 2014 |
In my opinion this is a great book. When I was younger, I enjoyed reading it because of the adventure and "mystery." Now that I read it again, as a future teacher analyzing the story, I am able to see and consider things that I never saw before.

To start off, I liked this book because of the language the author used. Throughout the whole book, the author says, "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather." The description of the great great grandfather is so long, yet unique. I thought that it brought some humor into the book. In addition, it is similar to a children's book because sometimes words are repeated over and over again for emphasis. Having this said throughout the entire chapter book allows the reader to see how much of a "no good" great great grandfather he was and how much anger Stanley's family members had against him.

Another reason why I liked the book was because of the writing. When reading the book, I liked how the story would go back and forth from present day to the past. I thought the author organized it well. The reader is able to get background information on Stanley's family from the past throughout the book. Also, when the author did it this way, it wasn't confusing to read. The reader is easily able to tell when the story took place in the past or in present day.

Although this book is fiction, the reader is able to understand the racial problems that occurred in the past. In third or fourth grade, I believe bringing awareness of racism was one purpose. I thought another purpose of this book was about friendship. The book talks about Stanley and Zero a lot and the loyalty of their friendship. ( )
  epark6 | Oct 2, 2014 |
I liked this book because it had an interesting storyline to it. However I remember when I was in elementary school, I never wanted to read it because I thought only boys read this book. This book is definitely written for the older crowd in elementary school because of its language and theme of the book. The book shows determination as well as the power of fate. The main character believes he is just unlucky, but this curse is broken at the end. The book also shows how friendship is important, and how a friend can help ease the bad times. ( )
  Juliekessler1 | Sep 25, 2014 |
By far one of my favorite chapter books in elementary school. I loved the sense of desperation and sorrow but still a sense of hope in such hard times. This book tells the story of Stanley who gets in trouble with the law and is sent to Camp Green Lake, a correctional facility. Here he is forced to dig holes in the burning heat with very little water or survival. This story is a perfect coming of age novel and is perfect for young readers to relate to hard times in life.
  Jclark5 | Sep 24, 2014 |
An incredibly enjoyable book with a great reader of the audiobook. ( )
  dougcornelius | Sep 12, 2014 |
Holes is a book about a boy who had run into a terrible bad luck streak, it became so bad that he ended up getting sent a camp that was pretty much like jail and he runs into a great cast of people, except the people who ran the camp who treated everyone like trash. He thinks of plans to escape but what ended up happening is that he found why he was cursed and he fixed it. And they finally realized it was a mistake that he was their

A little more difficult book for kids to read but i find that kids would love to read the book and watch the movie to talk about the differences.

Have the kids write all the differences between the movie and the book talk about some times they had bad luck streaks
  RaymondGraham | Jul 22, 2014 |
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