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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,155728124 (4.07)1 / 302
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 (714)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (725)
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Stanley gets sent to a place where all he and every other boy digs holes day by day. He and the other boys are away from their families, and now lead a different kind of purpose. Although Stanley is far from home, he meets people and begins to make friends throughout this experience. ( )
  mloya | May 3, 2016 |
I liked this chapter book for three reasons. First, I liked the many themes present in the book. Some examples include, friendship and justice. I also enjoyed the plot of the novel. The ending of the book is not what the reader would expect, and therefore it keeps the reader interested. The characters are also well-developed. In the beginning of the novel, the reader feels no remorse for the main character, but then as he develops, readers understand that he as many of the other young characters are not bad people and they are rooting for them by the end. The main message of this book is that justice will always prevail. ( )
  KatherineNelson | May 3, 2016 |
First thing I noticed about this story that really peaked my interest was its social commentary of the story each character as you read the story you can imagine what the characters actually sound like. Second thing I found interesting was the plot sure it was a tall tale, but it had a sort of realism to it as well. Overall the use of social commentary and the interesting plot will have the audience loving this story, and future stories made by this author.
  MrChowder20 | May 3, 2016 |
I liked this book very much, for two main reasons; the author’s writing style and the fascinating plot. This book was very interesting and kept my attention because of how the events in the story took place. I really liked how there were stories within the book that set up background information but also supported the plot. These flashbacks really kept the book going and added another layer to the style of writing. I also thought the plot tied together really well throughout the book but especially at the end when the main character’s curse was lifted and all of the background stories showed to be significant. The big idea from this story is that, even when you find yourself in trouble and don’t know who to turn to, there will always be someone there to help you rediscover yourself. ( )
  gretchencompere | May 1, 2016 |
Holes is a suspense-filled book that talks about two boys (Stanley Yelnats and Zero) sent to Camp Green Lake. There, they dig holes 5 feet by 5 feet all day long. One day, Zero runs away, and Stanley tries to find him. Together they find what the Warden has actually been searching for, and manage to get rich.

I like this book and also the fact that it talks about the past while the book is going on. However, this might make it hard to understand unless you've already understood the plot. I suggest this book to people who liked: The One and Only Ivan, Amulet, and The Westing Game. ( )
  CalvinG12 | Apr 29, 2016 |
In my option this is a great chapter book for a few reasons. Frist, the plot is suspenseful and engaging. The plot is about a boy breaking his families curse. This passage defines the plot: “Stanley was not a bad kid. He was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted He'd just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather! He smiled. It was a family joke. Whenever anything went wrong, they always blamed Stanley's no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Supposedly, he had a great-great-grandfather who had stolen a pig from a one-legged Gypsy, and she put a curse on him and all his descendants. Stanley and his parents didn't believe in curses, of course, but whenever anything went wrong, it felt good to be able to blame someone Things went wrong a lot. They always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The next reason that I liked the book was because of the well-developed characters. The author develops the main character’s humble and observant personality through descriptions like “Stanley thought about the long, miserable bus ride and felt a little sorry for the guard and the bus driver.” The big message is that you shape your own fate. ( )
  Rvealey | Apr 27, 2016 |
Holes is about a boy named Stanley that gets into trouble after being in the wrong place at the wrong time because of a family curse. As punishment, he is sent to Camp Green Lake, where he and the other residents have to dig holes in the desert. It is revealed that this is because the warden wants to find the hidden treasure. In the end, the curse is broken, the warden gets arrested, and all of the residents of the camp get set free.

Personal Reaction:
This book was quite engaging! It teaches the reader to always be honest and that overcoming obstacles is certainly possible. My favorite parts of this book are the jumps in time periods. These jumps keep the reader intrigued with short side stories that tie in to the main story.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have a treasure hunt! Hide some things around the playground and have the students find them with the help of treasure maps.
2. Have the students talk about what has been passed down to them or what they would pass down to their future children.
  JennyDodson | Apr 21, 2016 |
A book that shows that it is a Newberry winner. I love the story of Holes. It tells about history and how it connects with the story and the young boy Stanley Yelnats. The way the story blends the story together with the present day and the past makes hole a book that readers love.
  Katie-Langston | Apr 18, 2016 |
I liked this book because of the point of view and the descriptive language. The story was told through two different points of views, Stanley and an unknown third person. This could make it somewhat confusing at points because they switch back and forth but I believe the book did a good job detailing when who was speaking. It was had very detailed settings and if I closed my eyes I could in vision the settings and the emotions of the characters especially towards the end of the book when the characters we're dehydrated and the yellow spotted lizards we're crawling all of them. The message in Holes is how friendship is important and making friends will help support you and get through difficult situations. ( )
  amyadams19 | Apr 17, 2016 |
I liked this book for a few reasons. The first reason is because it was not boring, it always had something going on. There was always some action going on or something interesting. Once I started the book, i could not sit it down. It was non-stop read. There was never a dull moment and the author did a great job making it suspenseful. I also liked the book because of its plot. Its plot was fantastic. It felt like a roller coaster going through the plot. It was so cleverly created and mastered. I also liked the characters in the book. The characters were not all bad people because they were in the boys detention camp. They all grew from the camp and learned to come together for one cause and they all became good friends. This could be a great read for a class who has trouble getting along. ( )
  tcutsa1 | Apr 17, 2016 |
This is a fantastic young adults novel!! Although the book is funny and interesting enough to appeal to younger readers, its unique plot actually holds a lot of depth. The characters in the story are relatable, interesting, and well-rounded, and the themes of the book (friendship, bravery, etc.) are shown through the characters and the plot instead of overtly stated. I love the uniqueness of the characters' personalities and the way there is someone for every type of reader to relate to.

FICTION: Although the events of the book are completely made up, they are all plausible and could happen in the real world.
USE: I would definitely love to use this book to introduce a class discussion on morals-- even though the characters did bad things, some of the things were done for good reasons. What does this really say, then, about their morals? I would also use this book to talk about friendship and acceptance between diverse people, reflecting on the boys' friendships that are seen throughout the novel.
MEDIA: N/A since this is a novel without images.
  cmcmahon14 | Apr 15, 2016 |
I would use this book in a fifth grade class. I would make sure each student had a copy, and we would participate in whole group reading daily. Prior to reading the story, I would have students making predictions of what the story will be about, and justify them. Then I would have them read the blurb on the back, and write about whether they were correct or not. During the reading of the story, I would have students complete comprehension quizzes for each chapter. This way I could monitor students comprehension of the text. During reading, we would also create and add to a character chart. We would list the main characters, and then I would have students brainstorm their characters traits. After finishing the story, we would watch the movie in class. Students would then write a paper comparing and contrasting the book and movie. ( )
  ewhite06 | Apr 14, 2016 |
I found this book very adventurous. However it was also quite unusual, because of the book's setting and contents. Yet that is what makes it just that more amazing.

The story is set around a boy named "Stanley Yelnats", who had been sent to a juvenile detention camp for boys called 'Camp Green Lake'. However this wasn't a regular detention camp for it had the most unusual activities as their punishment.

Every day the boys are set to dig a hole, hence the book names origin, which has to be five feet deep and five feet wide. The area the boys are told to dig is called the "Lake" yet how could you dig in a Lake? But the real story was that it was just a long horizon of dry land, a waste land of sorts. The history of the lake is explained to show that in fact there was water once in this lake but that was all gone due to the scorching sun's heat clearing the lake of it's water, leaving just a dry solid land on, which Camp Green Lake is situated on. Nevertheless the "Warden" on the other hand found this land of use. For it being so vast and shriveled, it made the job for the boys a whole lot harder.

Boys at the camp say the first hole is the hardest, but yet others argue that it is the second. No, definitely the third. Thus far all the boys could agree on one fact; everyday the job wasn't getting easier. Whereas, soon, that effect starts to weather away for Stanley. Yes, the days are long, blazing hot and painful, plus their water bottles are normally empty, Stanley coped.

Stanley does make friends, straight after his first day of digging, in fact. Before even Stanley knew, he was nicknamed "Caveman". Following with his friends: Armpit, Magnet, Squid, X-ray. Still there was one other, an odd- looking boy, Zero. He hardly ever talked but Stanley wasn't one to give up. Stanley tries and tries until Zero and him are practically and literally stuck together on their lone journey to death...

In my opinion, this book deserves a 4/5. I, also, would one hundred percent recommend it to someone looking for that something new or one who loves adventures. Full of some exciting moments followed with he questioning times as well. Definitely a cliff hanger! ( )
  JustinVarghese | Apr 12, 2016 |
A boy is sent to a juvy camp in the desert. His every day job is to dig holes unless he finds something such as gold, lipstick, treasure chest, etc. ( )
  lindy_brooke | Apr 12, 2016 |
This fun adventure takes you on a journey with a young boy who is sent to "camp" as punishment but what he ends up finding is himself. This was a great piece of literature and is very entertaining for readers of all ages. Even without illustrations, the writing is able to create a visual for the readers. ( )
  CrystalBrooks | Apr 11, 2016 |
Holes is a book that I would read with a 4th-5th grade class. This is a book we would probably read a chapter-a-day from because it is a longer chapter book. Each day after the chapter reading (sometimes with a tape, sometimes outlaid, sometimes me reading it to them) we would have an extension activity. For example, doing a lesson on cause and effect as a class we would discuss how Stanley's actions (or actions that aren't actually his) get him where he ended up. Another activity we could do once we have finished the book is watch the movie and compare/contrast the two.
  aburgin01 | Apr 11, 2016 |
In my opinion, this is a substantial book. I liked this book for two reasons. First, the plot is organized. The plot fills mysteries, provides suspense and humor, and gives insight throughout the book. Readers are taken through an adventure of one boy who gets falsely accused of theft and then arrives at a detention center camp. He is told to dig holes the whole time while at camp until he realizes the warden is looking for a treasure. The boys then get the warden in trouble, they take the treasure home, and everyone lives happily ever after. Second, I liked this book because it pushes readers to think about tough issues and broadens perspectives. There is a valuable lesson taught in this story about friendship. The group of boys learn how to come together and defeat the warden who was only controlling the detention center to have convicts dig holes to find a treasure for himself. The big idea of this book is that your fate has big plans and any situation can be turned around. ( )
  MackenzieYee | Apr 6, 2016 |
Stanley was sent to a detention camp for boys. He is convinced that his family is cursed. Soon after arriving at the camp, Stanley is suspicious of the real reason the Warden has them constantly digging holes. It isn't just for building good character. He is determined to uncover the real reason at any cost. ( )
  kyahuell | Apr 6, 2016 |
In my opinion this is a great book to read. I like the book because of the well-developed characters. The book is about a boy named Stanely who is sent to Camp Green Lake for supposedly stealing shoes from a famous baseball player. At Camp Green Lake, he was mad to dig holes to help build character. However, Stanely realized quickly that he wasn't just digging holes, but the warden was trying to find something. Stanely's character was a boy that was supposed to be cursed but he defeated the odds throughout this book. He also made friends along the way, whom he taught how to read and write. This type of protagonist character keeps the reader engaged and this is the reason why I liked this book so much. I like the book because of the writing. The writing engages readers to follow along to see whether or not the treasure will be dug up at Camp Green Lake. The treasure isn't identified throughout most of the story, so it keeps the reader wanting to read till the end to find out. Lastly I like the book because it pushes readers to think about the fairness in the court system. Unfortunately, Stanely was told he was guilty at the court although he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was innocent, but still told he was guilty for a crime he didn't commit. It makes the reader think that not all criminals in jail are truly guilty. The main ideas of the story is even when times are rough, never give up and always persevere. ( )
  ahenri7 | Apr 5, 2016 |
I really enjoyed reading Holes. The writing was very engaging to readers for them to understand whether or not the treasure will be found or what the warden will do if it is found. Throughout the story, the reader does not know what the treasure actually is or if there even is treasure out in the desert. This adds great suspense to the story for the plot. The book pushes readers to see that the judicial system may not be fair all the time and people often get in trouble with the law whom may be completely innocent. The main message of the story is to never give up. These boys dug holes every single day but eventually found their way out of the camp. The main character taught his friend how to read and write and this good deed eventually came back to help him. It is a great story of friendship and determination. ( )
  rbiegel | Apr 4, 2016 |
Holes is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats (notice anything strange about his name?) who is accused of stealing a pair of shoes from a baseball player. He is given the choice to go to jail or to go to Camp Green Lake, where there are rarely vacancies. At Camp Green Lake, Stanley thought there would be a lake, but boy is he wrong! All they do is dig holes, five feet wide and five feet deep. I chose this book because my friend really liked it, and my family also recommended it. I liked this book because it kept me interested. I wanted to know whether Stanley was falsely accused, and I also wanted to find out if he ever escaped. ( )
  AnnabelN8 | Apr 4, 2016 |
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially after loving the movie. One reason I enjoyed this book is because of the plot. It kept me interested and excited to find out what happens next. I think this book is perfect for students who don't necessarily like to read because of the mystery. Another reason I enjoyed this book is the language, the author made me laugh a few times and kept me interested. The message of this story would be the importance of friendships. ( )
  tazool1 | Mar 30, 2016 |
I have read this book back in 6th grade and it was really good, I thoutht that this would be a very boring book to start off with but I was awesome.
Stanley Yelnats IV is falsely accused of stealing Clyde 'Sweet Feet' Livingston's shoe donation to a local orphanage and will either go to jail or Camp Green Lake. Stanley chooses Green Lake, where he is forced to dig large holes in the desert each day, by order of the mysterious Warden and her assistants Mr. Sir and Mr. Pendanski. But what the Warden is really trying to do is find a buried treasure that was cracked murderer Kissin' Kate Barlow's fortune long ago. But when Stanley and his friend Zero escape, things get really bad
  LizzyW.Gl | Mar 30, 2016 |
First Stanley, the main character, is taken to Camp Green Lake, where he is assigned a group. Everyone has a nickname, and everyone has to dig a hole five feet deep and wide everyday to build character. You are only taken there if you did something wrong, and someone famous's expensive shoes that were donated to a homeless shelter had fallen onto Stanley's head and Stanley ran with the shoes. The police thought that he had stolen them, though he hadn't. His family was also under a curse because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-great-great-grandfather. After a while he realized the camp was looking for something, but he didn't know what. His group had a leader, and whenever he found something interesting he had to give it to the leader. Stanley did, and so he gave it to the leader, who then got a day off. Stanley realized that he had found the outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow's lipstick case. Camp Green Lake once had a lake, but it dried up when Kissin' Kate Barlow became an outlaw. Also, Stanley's great-grandfather down were all named Stanley. There is a boy who doesn't know how to read and write, and Stanley agrees to teach him how. But the only way that would work out, because Zero (the boy's nickname) is the fastest digger, Zero would have to help Stanley dig his holes so Stanley could have time to teach Zero. On one of the lessons Zero said that he was the one who had stolen the shoes and that if he had just taken the shoes home neither of them would be there. Soon the adults at Camp Green Lake found out that Zero was helping Stanley and Zero was scared so he ran away. Stanley ran away after Zero and they survived on onions in the mountains for a while. Soon they decided they had to come back. While they dug they found a suitcase just as a lady arrived to take them home. The counselers didn't want it, but the woman (Stanley and Zero's lawyer) insisted upon taking them home. When they came home there was a party. ( )
  XantheS17 | Mar 24, 2016 |
I liked the book “Holes” for a few different reasons. First, I like that this book includes flashbacks. The book often shifts to different parts of Stanley’s, the main character, life. Louis Sacher incorporates these flashbacks in the book in a way that gives you a mental image, but also keeps you guessing. I also like that this book teaches the importance of friendship and determination. Stanley became very good friends with Zero, and the two were determined to get their work done, but to also escape Camp Green Lake. Stanley used his determination to break the “family curse” that had been placed upon them many years before. This is a great book that mentions historical events but also presents a present day era as well. The purpose of this book is to describe the life of Stanley Yelnats, and his curse of bad luck that he inheritated from his “no-good-dirty-rotten pig-stealing-great-grandfather”. Stanley was sentenced to work on a juvenile imprisonment camp for a crime he didn’t do. It touches base with historical events such as Latvia. ( )
  aseipp1 | Mar 24, 2016 |
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