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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

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14,074625147 (4.07)1 / 287
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 (615)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (625)
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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 |
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 |
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 |
Holes is a story about Stanley Yelnats. Stanley and his family has very bad luck because of his no-good-filthy-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. His father is trying to find a use for old tennis shoes. One day Stanley was walking home from school, and a pair of stinky shoes fell from the sky, and he took it as a sign so he took them home to his dad. Little did he know that those shoes were a famous athletes shoes, so a police officer stopped him on his way home and arrested him. After his trial, there was a decision that Stanley would spend 18 months at Camp Green Lake. Once Stanely got to Camp. He learned that he would be digging Holes for the whole 18 months that he was at camp. One day he found a tube of lipstick that he gave to one of his camp members. A couple of weeks later, Stanley and his friend Zero, ran away from camp. Thay ran away from camp and almost died in the desert. They found refuge "in God's thumb". When they decided to return to camp, they found a treasure chest from Kissin' Kate Barlow, and they shut down Camp Green Lake for unfair treatment of minors. While the story of Stanley was bring told, they were jumping back and forth between the past, and the story of Camp Green Lake 110 years ago. There was a lot of overlap of the two stories and the families of Stanley and Zero. Genre: realistic fiction. There were realistic characters with fictional events. ( )
  amassingale | Feb 28, 2015 |
Stanley Yelnats gets caught with a pair of shoes that is thrown over a bridge. He gets sent to a work camp for boys. All they do there is dig holes trying to find missing treasure. It turns out a huge adventure involving Stanley's great grandfather will take place there.
  RachelHollingsworth | Feb 27, 2015 |
I love this book because the three intertwined plots adds an interesting and unusual twist that makes it unique. I like the Sachar reveals the historical plots in lumps, intermittently with the present-day storyline. This allows you to figure out the events along with Stanley, rather than having the surprise revealed in the beginning. I also liked how well-developed the characters and relationships in the story are. The book details the main character's social struggles, even though it may not have been directly related to the plot. These realistic conflicts will help readers relate to the characters. The message of the book is that you are in charge of your own destiny. ( )
  agaski3 | Feb 26, 2015 |
I enjoyed Holes for many different reasons. First, the plot was filled with suspense and conflict, which keeps readers engaged. The mysterious features throughout the story causes readers to keep their interest. For example, Stanley's no-good-dirty-roten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather's curse had a large affect on his daily life. Throughout reading the novel, readers are constantly interested in where the curse will lead and where Stanley will end up. Additionally, I also enjoyed the language of the book. While there are serious, terrifying, and suspenseful scenes throughout the book, there are also funny and exciting ones as well. The variety of language keeps readers interested as well. The overall message of the novel conveys the important of friendship and justice. Additionally, the past and present affect each other, while the good always wins against the evil. ( )
  aholli3 | Feb 26, 2015 |
Holes was a good book it has a twist when everyone comes to find the treasure is actually Stanley's. It is a good book for everyone to read at least once. ( )
  MeganBumeder | Feb 25, 2015 |
Holes is a book that I can re visit time and time again and see it in a new light. I read this book in elementary school and did a project on it in college. Each time I learned something new about the characters. Stanley Yelnats is the main character who struggles with the family curse. Later in the book, we find out why his great great grandfather was cursed. Many students can relate to Stanley because he is punished for something he did not do. Students can find themselves in this book and I think that is why it is so popular.

My sophomore year of college the project I did for Holes was very beneficial for my education degree. I was in a group of 5 people and we were all designated roles and each week they changed. It started with a connector role, artist, word wizard, summarizer, and closer. It helped explore the book in a new way because everyone had time to give their insight. It was not overwhelming because you had a set job. We did this project to imitate what students could do when reading a chapter book. At the end, we presented a chapter that was assigned to our group. ( )
  SadieCooney | Feb 24, 2015 |
I believe this is a great read for elementary and middle school students for a number of reasons. The language used by the author allows readers to get to know Stanley Yelnats, a young boy sent to a juvenile summer camp for a crime he did not commit. The writing smoothly flowed between Stanley's experience at Camp Greenlake and flashbacks to Green Lake hundreds of years before the drought to construct the relationship between Stanley and his ancestors that lived long before him. The book pushes readers to think about tough issues such as race, criminality, and abuse but are addressed in an underlying manner that remains lighthearted to readers. This book stresses the overall message that people are in charge of their lives and define their own destinies. ( )
  ajohns75 | Feb 19, 2015 |
Stanley Yelnats is an overweight teenager and a victim of bullying when a pair of old sneakers belonging to a famous sports person falls from the sky. He brings them home to his father who is working on a plan to recycle old sneakers. This sounds pretty normal except a curse started by his great great great grandfather has followed his family for generations (or so they believe). They are sometimes at the wrong place at the wrong time. Stanley is arrested for stealing the sneakers and is sent to a horrible detention home posing as a camp for boys. There he is forced to dig a hole 5 feet deep by five feet wide every single day in the blazing sun. His problems are intensified when he must learn to deal with bullies there too, not only from his peers but also from the sadistic adults.
In his middle-grade story, Holes, Louis Sachar touches many relevant issues: bullying, child abuse, racism, forgiveness and friendship being the most prominent. Three different stories spanning several generations are expertly woven into each other and neatly tucked in together at the end.
Despite the realistic backdrop, the author chose a fairy-tale ending to his story, a bit disconcerting considering the issues presented. The book is a great read and understandably, a sure winner for younger readers.
( )
  BooksUncovered | Feb 17, 2015 |
There are two reasons I like the book Holes. First, I like the language used in this novel because it is easy to comprehend and is in the point of view of a young boy. By having it in the point of view of Stanley, this allows the reader to keep track of what events are occurring throughout. In addition, this book pushes the reader to think of Stanley as an everyday person who encounters struggles like any other student. Lastly, I enjoy how the author illustrates the scenery of the book. With every sentence used, the author allows the reader to take the place of Stanley and feel his vulnerability. The big idea I took from this book is to always be kind to others because, if you are kind to someone it is likely that they will be kind to you. ( )
  anunez1 | Feb 5, 2015 |
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