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Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Louis Sachar

Series: Holes (1)

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13,750576152 (4.07)1 / 279
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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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 |
This is a amazing book. I originally watched the movie before the book but, the book is so much better. The story keeps the reader on the edge of their seat the whole time and it gives the reader a good mental picture of the events that are taking place in the book. This book would be great for the classroom because it can teach them valuable life lessons as well as making for a great story. This is one of my favorite books because of how good the story flows and that the movie is really great in that it makes the story even more powerful. ( )
  loganbuttram330 | Jul 22, 2014 |
This book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats. He was always at the wrong place at the wrong time because of a curse that has been upon his family for years. Stanley was accused of something he didn't do and was sent to camp green lake where he would did holes to build character. Although, the real reason for digging the holes was to find treasure that the warden wanted. Stanley met his best friend zero at this camp and eventually the book tells how Stanley, the curse, zero, the warden, and treasure are all tired together. In the end, the curse is broken, the warden is taken to jail, and the boys are set free.
Personal reaction
Love this book! It is one of my favorites! My grandmother read this book to me and I was so excited when they came out with the movie for it. I watched it over and over!
Idea extensions
This book can really gets children's minds working trying to put all the pieces together.
Together or separately a short story could written to show how one thing can effect another and then try to tie it all together in the end.
As you read the book you could make stopping points and ask the class to tell what they think will happen next.
  christa15 | Jul 16, 2014 |
"Holes" is a book about a young boy, Stanley Yelnats, who gets sent to Camp Green Lake after being accused of stealing a famous baseball players pair of shoes. When Stanley arrives at the camp he realizes it's not how he pictured and is forced to dig holes everyday. He meets a friend there named Zero. They soon realize that the warden is making them dig holes because she is looking for something. One day Stanley and Zero attempt to run away from the camp and survive only by eating onions for a week, then then return to the camp and find the treasure. The treasure has Stanley's name on it and in the end him and Zero were released with the treasure and sent home.

This was my favorite book for a while. This was one of the first books we were assigned to read when I was in middle school and re-read it numerous times since then, along with watching the movie. The main character is Stanley Yelnats and the setting is at Camp Green Lake. This book had the conflict person against society, person against nature and possibly person against person. He was accused by society of something he didn't do which led him to be sent to Camp Green Lake, Stanley also faced person against nature when him and Zero tried escaping and were in the dessert for about a week. Lastly, person against person for when he first arrived at the camp with boys like X-Ray etc. Stanley was a dynamic character as he changed somewhat throughout the story.

Two classroom extension ideas: Have the children draw what kind of food they would want to eat for a whole week if they had the choice. After reading the story, we could go over why it was a bad thing that Zero took the shoes when he shouldn't have.
  bm091113 | Jul 13, 2014 |
Summary: This book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who is sent to a Juvenile Prison at Camp Green Lake. Stanley along with the other boys are forced to dig holes all day every day. Stanley meets a friend named Zero and they figure out that the Warden is making them all dig holes, because they are looking for something. One day Stanley and Zero run away from camp. They survive on eating onions. They are gone for about a week, but then return to the camp to find the treasure. They find a suitcase with Stanley's last name on it. The suitcase is valuable and Stanley finally gets reunited with his family at the end.

Personal Reaction: I loved to read this book when I was younger. I was so happy when they came out with a movie, although the book was way better. I think that this is a wonderful choice for young adults to read.

Classroom Extensions: 1) I would discuss with all the children how they would feel if they had to survive on eating only onions for a week. I would ask them what food they would pick to eat for a week straight. 2) I would ask the school if my students could plant a mini garden outside. I would bring hand shovels and have them plant onions. When the onions grew I would let each child taste it if they wanted to. ( )
  SmithAlec | Jul 11, 2014 |
This is the story of cursed Stanley Yelnats, a boy who through a misunderstanding is sent to a 'camp' where the boys are forced to dig a 5x5 hole every day. The story of Stanley is woven with the story of his great great grandfather and Kissin' Kate, all together forming the picture that the boys are helping the warden search for a buried treasure that actually belongs to Stanley. Through the course of the novel, Stanley and Zero develop a friendship and the curse is broken, bringing good luck and fortune to Stanley ,Zero, and their families. In a classroom, we discuss the flashbacks and how different the book would be without that information, and I also have them make a brochure of the camp like you would find at a travel center. ( )
  hellwanger | Jul 7, 2014 |
In Holes, Stanley Yelnats is found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit and has the choice of going to prison or Camp Green Lake. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake is neither green nor in possession of a lake and the warden believes digging a hole a day will help the boys build character. However, Stanley quickly realizes that the warden is digging for something in particular and that the mystery of Camp Green Lake may connect to his own family history.

I’ve always liked Louis Sachar’s sense of humor, which is very dry and a little bit wacky. His writing is perfect for his sense of humor, short and succinct. However, this author I liked in middle school didn’t quite hold up to my memory. The main character’s thoughts and reactions were realistic, but the dialogue was choppy. The transitions to scenes from the past are a little rough as well. Finally, everything connected to everything else excessively neatly, although this was often part of the dry humor.

I think I originally watched the movie before reading the book, but I’d definitely seen the movie before this re-read and I’m glad I had. Having an idea of the plot helped with the rough transitions to the past because I already knew how they connected to the present. The choppy dialogue was much less bothersome because I could picture the characters saying them as in the movie. And the quirky characters in the movie really enhance the author’s humor. The book could probably be enjoyed without seeing the movie, but the movie helped compensate for the books weaknesses and enhanced it’s strengths.

This review first posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
It is about a boy who got in trouble.
  cassierunyon | Jun 26, 2014 |
This is the first book I ever remember actively disliking. Even in elementary school, I was bored every time I had to read it, which was multiple times across a few different grade levels. I never got the appeal of the outlandish story or enjoyed Stanley and his peers as much as my classmates did. I read part of this book over the summer and my final impression is about the same as my first. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
I am rereading this book with my my 7 Y.O old. I read parts of this originally while student teaching in a " Read 180 " Class I really loved it and I really wanted to know what happened in the end. I recently SAw the movie, twice and really loved it too so now I endeavour to finish this book. I love the story and although it is classified as a "boys Adventure" book, I really think my 7 year old little "girly girl" will love it too.

The story is very uplifting, and speaks to the values I would like to instil in my daughter, that is the value of hope, a positive outlook on life, kindness, acceptance of others, and perseverance.
Plus it is so much fun and very easy to read book. ( )
  gillv | Jun 12, 2014 |
Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot. ( )
  Stsmurphy | Jun 7, 2014 |
I started this book without knowing anything about it, and that is, to be honest, one of my favorite ways to start a book.
I loved the subtle magical element and how everything was woven together at the end. Zero was definitely my favorite character. On the other boys I just couldn't make up my mind, I neither hated them nor liked them, I felt sorry for them but they were outright mean at times. Stanley was OK, I liked his character, but Zero wins hands down. I was also really touched by Kissin' Kate's story, I felt so bad for her, she deserved better.
I really enjoyed how the changes between past and present were written, there wasn't any separation but you could tell right away.
I really enjoyed the book from when Stanley and Zero escaped to God's thumb until the end, which I also really liked.. how the curse was lifted, how Sam (the onion man) revealed that the lizards didn't bite them because of the onions, just wonderful Also, my love for onions has been dramatically increased by my reading this story!
( )
  Yvaine_Thorn | Jun 7, 2014 |
I am reading a great book called holes. This book is about a great adventure involving multiple generations of people and curses. I reccomend this book to all ages and I recorded this book because it is the best book i have read in a long time. I don't usually like to read ether and there were times i could not put the book down i give this book five stars because of the way it is write and the details. ( )
  br14mari | Jun 6, 2014 |
"If only, if only, the woodpecker sighs, the bark on the trees was as soft as the skies." This poem always hits me for some reason. It is only a small part of what makes this book great. I have enjoyed this book everytime I read it. The small world that Sachar created at Camp Greenlake is full of life and the characters are simple but rememberable. It really shows what it is like for these kids but also allows room for humor. The ending section is touching with Stanley and Zero's heartfelt journey. I would recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  thedreadlink | May 16, 2014 |
Holes Louis Sachar 1998 published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 240 pages a young man who has to go to jail or a corrections camp. He chooses the camp thinking it will be a fun place and finds out it is a dessert and they are to dig holes all day until he finds out he is innocent and his ancestors have a long history with the others. I liked this book it was fun to see how everything fit together in the end of the book.
  joey_spencer | May 13, 2014 |
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