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Holes by Louis Sachar
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Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

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14,176634143 (4.07)1 / 288
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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Read my review of the audiobook version of this 1999 Newbery Medalist at http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/2007/09/holes-1999.html. This is plot-driven realistic fiction that children really do enjoy reading.
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
Holes is a book about a boy who comes from a rather unlucky family. the plot of the story is the boy is sent to a juvenile detention facility in the middle of the Texas desert. he is sent there because he was accused of stealing some shoes which he hadn't but since his family was so poor the only choice he had was to go to a juvenile detention facility. the facility he was going to made the kids there do extremely hard work it was that they had to dig holes in a dried up lake looking for some thing that the book doesn't state. when the boy arrives he carbine has 4 other kids in it 3 of them are talkative while one named zero never talks later on in the book while the boy is out digging they the workers bring a truck full of water so they can refill there bottles so what the boy and his new found friends do is the knock out the driver and steal the truck they drove in circles and all over the digging field until they drove into a hole and then the guard woke up and punished them to extended digging hours with less water so in turn that provoked one of the boys to decide to flee from the facility and try his luck out in the desert and the boy was zero so this made the main character get sad because him and the boy were good friends and he feared that zero would die in the desert so the boy went out ran away to and began his search for his friend after hours of walking in the desert he found a wooden thing in the sad so he went up to it and found an entrance he entered and to his surprise he found zero who was seeping with a bunch of jars around him he woke his friend and asked him if he was ok and zero said he was fine because he found the thing they were in and it had jars of an unknown substance which they both liked so they stayed there until the ran out of the jars of stuff and the main character told zero about a oasis legend and they began a journey for it they found it and stayed there for a while until they decided to go back to the juvenile detention facility. when they arrived the main character found his parents there and the had a lawyer and a few cops with them and zero and his friend found out that they are now free to go.

I gave this book the rating it has because it is a very good book. I think its a good book because it has a very good plot line to it. I also enjoyed the vivid details it gave because they weren't to much but not to little also they were just the right amount. I hope to read this book again sometime soon and understand it more. I hope you find this book as enjoyable as I did. ( )
  nicholasvb1 | May 11, 2015 |
This book would be good to use when talking about how to deal with unfair situations. I think students will like this book because of the main character and the other characters in the camp. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | May 5, 2015 |
This book is about a young man named Stanley who goes to a correctional camp called camp Green Lake. He has had bad luck since he was young. His whole family is cursed due to his great grandfather who got cursed. Due to this he is stuck at a camp were there is an evil warden. He learns a lot about himself and he learns to stand up for himself. He then realizes that he is more important than ever and he also fixes the curse in his family and he is finally free from his bad luck.
  margaritamunoz14 | May 4, 2015 |
Holes is one of my favorite books of all time. I remember reading the book in the third grade and now thirteen years later I still love the book just as much. Sachar did an amazing job with the entire thing. I believe the part that I liked most about the book was that everything in the end was tied together. It takes a very talented author to keep the readers attention through the entire book with so many twists and turns and still make the ending make sense. For example in the end the reader finds out that Zero is related to Madam Zeroni who is the woman that put the curse on the Yelnats family. This revelation gave so much more meaning to the friendship that Zero and Stanley had while they we at the camp together.
Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed were the flashbacks. It is often confusing sometimes for the reader to have flashbacks in the story. Sachar made the transition from the present at the camp to the past with Madam Zeroni. A smooth transition between the two really helps to keep the reader engaged in the story. It also helps them to get the main idea of the story because they don’t constantly have to be thinking about where in the story that they are.
While the story telling in the novel really adds to it, the best part of the novel is by far the main theme of friendship. The boys at the camp all form a tight knit family like group. They help each other through very difficult times in their lives. One of the most important friendships in the book is between Stanley and Zero. This friendship actually ends up saving both of their lives. This story teaches the reader that friendships are important and they can have a great impact on your life. ( )
  Khammersla | May 3, 2015 |
I really liked this book because the themes within. The main idea was everything happens for a reason. Every child needs to understand that everything in life happens for a reason, and will work itself out. Stanley always believes that he is unlucky and in the wrong place at the wrong time, but at the end it fulfilled the prophecy between the Yelnats and Zeroni families. Also, this book had a lot to do with friendships, which is something that is very important to me. Stanley and Zero's friendship lead to their mutual survival and wealth. ( )
  sceres1 | May 3, 2015 |
Summary: Stanley and his whole family is cursed with extremely bad luck. And after a sprout of that bad luck he is sent to a juvenile detention camp where he is expected to build character and serve his time. Here he meets many other young boys that have had their own hardships and were sentenced to the same fate. The warden has the boys dig holes in order to build character but in reality she is trying to find a long lost treasure from many years ago. The story switches between the past and the present at Camp Green Lake and gives the reader an inside look to the history of the camp.

Personal connection: I read this book in fifth grade as my first "older book". This was the first "big kid" book I read, and my teacher highly recommended it to me. I loved that the story switched back and forth between time and could relate to the angst and feelings of the youth at the camp.

Class use: Use this book to also teach about racism because that was the background story of the book. ( )
  allisonpollack | Apr 30, 2015 |
The book Holes is about a family that is cursed by not fulfilling a promise between two people in the past the Yelnats and the Zeroni’s. This curse ends up affecting the people’s future relatives Stanley and Zero in different ways. At the end of the book Zero and Stanley become good friends and are reunited with their families. The big idea of this book is that fate feel like it always interjects in the lives of these families to bring them together, as well as showing how being mean to others change them.

One reason I like this book is how it relates what happens in the past can reflect on future events. An example from the book would be when Kissin Kate Barlow robbed Stanley’s great-great-grandfather and Stanley ends up in Camp Green Lake because the Warden is trying to find the suitcase that she stole. Another reason I like this book is that they use different names for the same characters to change their personalities. An example of this is Kate Barlow which sounds like a nice church going ladies name and then calling her Kissin Kate Barlow which sounds like a criminal. Overall I enjoyed reading this book and seeing how the story differed from the movie. ( )
  bwinte3 | Apr 28, 2015 |
I loved this book! It is a great read for one reason, because it has different parts in time in one book. I like how there is the present, Stanley at camp, and the past telling the story about his ancestors! This made the book interesting, different, and made me feel more engaged as a reader. Another reason I love this book is because it teaches the reader that sometimes authority can be wrong! The judge sentenced Stanley to the camp which was a corrupt place. The warden was corrupt and in power and I feel like it made the book more honest because she was not perfect or good. The big idea of this book was the importance of family and friends. Stanley and Zero's bond was amazing and Stanley's desire for family was great to read about. ( )
  jcuttitta | Apr 20, 2015 |
Summary: this is a great book about a boy whose family has been cursed and he goes through the book eventually crossing paths with a descendant of the one who put a curse on his family, breaking the curse.

Personal reflection: I absolutely love this story! It's so great! I have read it many times and it is just awesome. I would recommend it to anyone. I read it for the first time in 5th grade.

Extension ideas: I am not really sure how this could be used in activities in a classroom. One of my teachers just read it to our class everyday while we waited for the busses to get there. It was our end of the day wind down. I imagine reading a big chapter book in front of the class is a good way to help students wind down and let their imagination flow with the story.
  MaeganA | Apr 16, 2015 |
The book is about a boy named Stanley to get sent to Camp Green Lake of juvenile detention camp. He got in trouble for a crime he did not commit, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. At this camp you dig holes for your punishment all day. Stanley then becomes friends with this guy named Hector whose nickname is zero. Zero begins helping Stanley day his holes so that Stanley can teach him how to read. The warred finds out that zeros helping Stanley because he can't read and begins to make fun of zero because he cannot read and called him stupid. Zero gets mad and runs away. Stanley then goes chasing after him because that's his friend and it is dangerous world out there. The two climb up the mountain to where it used to be an old onion Field they survive off of onions and water. They go back to the camp to dig one last hole to find the treasure that they were looking for in the first place. They find a suitcase that has Stanley's name on it . Turns out to be Stanley's great grandfathers treasure.

Personal reaction.
This book is one of my favorites to read. When I first read it always had me on my toes wondering what's going to happen next. I just had to continue reading, I could not put it down. The book is filled with lots of family history of Stanley and Hector and it's crazy how small theworld is and how fate brought them together.

Classroom extension
1 the students can create a family tree of their past family.
2. The teacher can discuss other famous outlaws like Jessie J.
  Kim_Riedmann12 | Apr 16, 2015 |
Stanley is a teenagers who is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for a crime he did not commit. He was accused of stealing shoes from a famous athlete. Stanley and the other boys at the camp are forced to dig large holes in the dirt every day. Stanley eventually realizes that they are digging these holes because the Warden is searching for something. Where there, Stanley meets a boy named Hector also known as Zero. Zero starts digging a part of Stanley's hole every day so that Stanley can teach him how to read. But before Stanley finishes, the Warden finds out about the deal and, along with the other counselors, insults him and calls him stupid because he can't spell a word correctly. One day Zero ran away and Stanley went searching for him. They survived by eating onions and drinking spring water on the mountain. Stanley and Zero decided to go back to the camp to dig just one more hole. There they found the missing treasure, they also found out they were connect in some way.

I loved this book because it keeps you on your toes. You never know what is going to happen next. I also recommend the movie. I liked being able to compare the movie with the book. Both were well written.

Classroom extension
1. have the students write a paragraph about what they think it would feel like to live at camp green lake
2. have the students dig holes to find small treasure. ( )
  TameitriaJ | Apr 15, 2015 |
Summary: The main character, Stanley, is from a poor family and he gets sent to an all boys "camp" after being mistaken for stealing a pair of shoes. The camp is in the middle of nowhere pretty much, and is dry and has no water or lakes. The boys spend their days digging holes that the warden says is building their character, when in reality, the boys are unknowingly looking for a long lost treasure that hasn't been seen in years. Stanley finds out the true reasons behind the digging. Zero, Stanley's friend, runs away from camp and Stanley follows, attempting to help. The two had intentions of finding that treasure, until Stanley was proven innocent. It then seemed as if his family's luck began to turn around. Stanley's true friendship with Zero helped him with going on after the camp, and the treasures and good found helped out his family as well.

Personal Reaction: I love this book, and I have always loved the story. The visual pictures are awesome. The relationships between the friendships and family is strong and gives a good sense of what the words should mean.

Classroom Extension:
1) Make your own sandbox and have the students dig for treasure.
2) Write a story about their family. ( )
  SarahMoore | Apr 15, 2015 |
Summary:
This book is about a boy named Stanley. His family is known to have the worst luck because of Stanley's great-great grandfather. Stanley is walking home one day and minding his own business when all of the sudden these pair of tennis shoes fall out of no where. This is when things turn for the worst for Stanley because it is believed he stole them from a famous athlete. Stanley is found guilty and sent to Camp Green Lake. At Camp Green Lake the boys are made to dig holes in the hot and dry desert. Stanley meets a young boy named Zero and they become friends. They then run away and that's when things change for the two of them. The Camp Counselors are arrested and the other boys are released from the camp as well.

Personal Reaction:
This book has always been one of my favorites. I remember reading it as a kid and getting to read it again was fun. I love watching the movie whenever it is on tv.

Classroom Extensions:
1.) Have your students compare and contrast Camp Green Lake to their school.
2.) Have students go out to the playground and dig tiny holes and bury a treasure inside the holes.
  KristenLaSorsa | Apr 15, 2015 |
Summary: This is a book about a boy, Stanley, who is wrongly accused of stealing, and he get sent to a juvenile correction camp. There he meets another boy, Zero, who is an orphan. They become friends and quickly learn to have each others back. At this correctional camp, the boys have to dig holes every day. They're told it is to build character, but actually the warden of the camp is looking for treasure the was supposed to have been buried in the area. Day after day the boys dig, until finally one day Zero runs off in an old dried up lake where it hasn't rained in years. After a few days, Stanley runs away to find Zero. He finds him alive, and carries him up a mountain to find water. Little did they know, Stanley had broken a curse that had been placed upon his great-great-grandfather by Zero's great-great-grandmother. Finally after breaking the curse, Stanley's luck changes, and the boys return to camp to find the treasure that had actually belonged to Stanley's family. After all of this, the camp is shut down, Stanley helps Zero find his mom, and things finally begin to look up for Stanley and his family.

Reflection: This is a very good book. It has a great story behind it, and I think that students would really enjoy this book. There are some unexpected parts in it that will keep you on your toes as you read it, and it does a very good job of keeping the reader interested. It is very easy to get into this book, and the more you read the more you will find yourself putting yourself in the character's shoes.

Extension: There is a lot of things that a student will react to in this book, so I think a good extension would be to have the students do a journal as they read and have them reflect on what they've read and how they feel about it. This will get the students invested in the book, because if they are reacting to everything in the story, then its almost as if they are in the story.
  mikefletch | Apr 15, 2015 |
Summary:
Stanley's family has a history of bad luck. He ends up at Camp Green Lake digging holes as punishment for something he didn't do. He makes friends with a boy named zero who runs away from the camp and Stanley goes to find him. The two later find something that the warden has been looking for for years.

Personal Reaction:
I remember having dreams when I was younger about having to go to Camp Green Lake. They were more like nightmares. When I read this book I was really small and in my dream I couldn't get out of my hole and they would leave me in there and the yellow spotted lizards would scare me. However, I don't think most kids get regular nightmares about this kind of stuff so it would still be great for kids to read.

Classroom extension Ideas:
-Outside, one kid is "a yellow spotted lizard". Then the rest of the group runs across and whoever is tagged is also a yellow spotted lizard.
-Have the students go on a scavenger hunt to find the treasure at green lake.
  Megan_Livsey | Apr 14, 2015 |
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 | Apr 14, 2015 |
Summary of Book: This book is about a boy named Stanley. His family is known to have the worst luck because of Stanley's great-great grandfather. Stanley is walking home one day and minding his own business when all of the sudden these pair of tennis shoes fall out of no where. This is when things get ugly for Stanley because it is believed he stole them from a famous athlete. Stanley is found guilty and sent to Camp Green Lake. At Camp Green Lake the boys are made to dig holes in the hot and dry desert. Stanley meets a young boy named Zero and they become friends. They then run away and that's when things change for the two of them. The Camp Counselors are arrested and the other boys are released from the camp as well.

Personal Reaction: This book has been one of my favorites for a long time. I was so happy when I got to see the movie. This story teaches to never give up even when a situation may seem unfair or becomes difficult.

Classroom Extension: 1) Have students compare and contrast Camp Green Lake to their school.
2) Have students write a story about what they would have done if they were sent to Camp Green Lake.
  ah932109 | Apr 11, 2015 |
As a younger child, I absolutely loved the novel Holes by Louis Sachar. So, reading this book again as an adult is no different. I still love this story for many reasons. I thought that the characters were believable and well developed. My favorite character Zero, is initially described as having “nothing in his head” (pg. 19). However, as the story progresses the audience finds out that although Zero doesn’t know how to read, he is extremely good at math, and is very perceptive. In the end, Zero finally defends himself against the cruel Mr. Pendanski by smashing his shovel in his face. Not only does Zero learn to read, but also we see his character change from being seen as unintelligent and quiet to just introverted and very smart. I also believe that the main theme of fate and friendship really enhances the story, and makes it relatable for the readers. Even though Stanley is described to be unlucky, it’s a twist of fate at the end when the suitcase has Stanley Yelnats full name on it. The reunification of the Zeroni’s and the Yelnats is directly related to fate and friendship. Zero was the one who stole the Clyde Levingston sneakers and threw them on a parked car, which eventually fell on Stanley Yelnats, who was convicted for stealing the Clyde Levingston sneakers. These events lead the boys to Cam Green Lake, where they eventually become friends and bring their families together again. This book is so rich with themes, and symbolism that I believe this story is perfect for young adults. ( )
  ShakelaWilliams | Mar 24, 2015 |
I thought that this was a great book for several reasons. It had an interesting message, in which the main character, Stanley Yelnats, reached his destiny. I really liked the descriptive writing because it helped to paint a picture in my head since this is a chapter book without illustrations. For instance, page 11 described Camp Greenlake as “barren and desolate….Those two trees were the only plant life he could see,” which gave me a clear picture of a dessert. I also liked the plot of the story and logical series of events. The author didn’t immediately explain the crime Stanley committed that got him into the camp, but later the pieces tie together and the reader learns that Stanley’s fate must all be because of his curse that was brought by his great-great grandfather. Therefore, the series of events make sense which makes the book enjoyable and very entertaining to read. ( )
  akoches | Mar 23, 2015 |
My only regret with this book is that I never read it sooner! I watched the movie years ago, and loved it, and also loved comparing and contrasting between the book. I felt very emotionally connected with the characters while reading, especially Stanley and Zero. They both seem to have been either falsely accused of crimes, and also being misunderstood. I felt anger when reading how horrible the warden treated all of the boys, but was then happy once the boys rebelled by doing things like stealing their truck and running away. This book had a lot of adventure, which kept me motivated to keep reading. Although there were some sad parts to the story, I knew there would be a happy ending since the characters were all good people and did the right things to keep themselves out of trouble. The message of this book is to stick up for yourself and others when you feel is right because the results are always appropriate for the situation. All the boys who were mistreated, were given an opportunity to make things right. For Stanley, he was proven innocent, and was compensated for the time he spent at the harsh camp. This book taught me about the importance of friendships and holding your ground when necessary, which is why I would recommend this book to any one looking to read an inspirational and uplifting, yet exciting, story! ( )
  Milina_Moreno | Mar 13, 2015 |
This realistic tale expresses how digging holes in a correctional facility to benefit the warden pays off for the boys. This is a great tale about hardwork, wit, and friendship.
  harleybrenton | Mar 12, 2015 |
This book is full of suspense and events, which gives for an easy read and keeps readers wanting to read more. The descriptions of the places and events allows the readers to actually picture it in their head. I also like that this book is relate-able to many readers who have been punished for something they didn't do. Most importantly, I like how the book is written. For example, “If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs,"The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies."While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely,Crying to the moo-oo-oon,
"If only, If only.” and “What scared Stanley the most about dying wasn't his actual death. He figured he could handle the pain. It wouldn't be much worse than what he felt now. In fact, maybe at the moment of his death he would be too weak to feel pain. Death would be a relief. What worried him the most was the thought of his parents not knowing what happened to him, not knowing whether he was dead or alive." The way it is written keeps my attention throughout the entire book.
  bmille16 | Mar 5, 2015 |
I loved this book about Stanley's journey at Camp Green Lake. It is a classic book about a new friendship built while struggling to get through a hard time. This book would be great for 5th or 6th grade. It is very entertaining and would really grasp the students' attention. ( )
  Hhaddad1 | Mar 3, 2015 |
Stanley Yelnats and his family has very bad luck because of his no-good-dirty-filthy-pig-stealing-great-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Stanley Yelnats is misunderstood and blamed for a crime he did not commit, stealing shoes that fell on him while he was walking one day. Once he was sent away to dig holes, he learned a lot about different people, learned from those people, and realized that even though those kids were doing time for different things, they were still good people and became his close friends. The book challenges readers to imagine what the text is saying. ( )
  bl200329 | Mar 1, 2015 |
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