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Louis Sachar

Author of Holes

66+ Works 64,483 Members 1,549 Reviews 54 Favorited

About the Author

Louis Sachar was born in East Meadow, New York on March 20, 1954. He attended the University of California, at Berkeley. During his senior year, he helped out at Hillside Elementary School. It was his experience there that led to his first book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, written in show more 1976. After college, he worked for a while in a sweater warehouse in Norwalk, Connecticut before attending Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where he graduated in 1980. Sideways Stories from Wayside School was accepted for publication during his first week of law school. He worked part-time as a lawyer for eight years before becoming a full-time writer in 1989. His other works include There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, the Marvin Redpost books, Fuzzy Mud, and Holes, which won the 1999 Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and was made into a major motion picture. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Louis Sachar

Holes (1998) 23,153 copies
Wayside School is Falling Down (1989) 5,285 copies
Small Steps (2006) 2,964 copies
Holes (Holes Series) 2,686 copies
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes (1991) 1,155 copies
Marvin Redpost: Class President (1999) 1,124 copies
Fuzzy Mud (2015) 838 copies
Sixth Grade Secrets (1987) 789 copies
The Boy Who Lost His Face (1989) 670 copies
Someday Angeline (1983) 346 copies
Johnny's in the Basement (1983) 113 copies
Monkey Soup (1992) 68 copies
Holes 2 copies
Holes - Teachers Guide (2008) — Author — 1 copy

Associated Works

Holes [2003 film] (2003) — Screenwriter — 288 copies
It's Great To Be Eight (1997) — Contributor — 267 copies
Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy (2009) — Contributor — 71 copies


adventure (669) boys (265) camp (264) chapter book (857) children (463) children's (1,045) children's books (177) children's fiction (242) children's literature (373) comedy (190) family (249) fantasy (421) fiction (3,731) friendship (795) funny (236) grade 5 (156) holes (224) humor (1,408) juvenile (295) juvenile fiction (214) kids (198) Louis Sachar (365) math (185) middle grade (229) mystery (495) Newbery (271) Newbery Medal (407) novel (268) own (160) read (424) realistic fiction (920) school (600) series (403) short stories (328) Texas (137) to-read (644) treasure (164) Wayside School (276) YA (529) young adult (890)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Sachar, Louis
East Meadow, New York, USA
Places of residence
Tustin, California, USA
Austin, Texas, USA
Antioch College
University of California, Berkeley (BA ∙ Economics ∙ 1976)
University of California, Hastings College of Law (JD ∙ 1980)
young adult fiction writer
Awards and honors
Newbery Medal (1999)
National Book Award for Young People's Literature (1998)
Short biography
Louis Sachar (born March 20, 1954) is an American young-adult mystery-comedy author. He is best known for the Wayside School series and the novel Holes.

Holes won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". In 2013, it was ranked sixth among all children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal.

After graduating from Tustin high school, Sachar attended Antioch College for a semester before transferring to University of California, Berkeley, during which time he began helping at an elementary school in return for 3 college credits. Sachar later recalled,

I thought it over and decided it was a pretty good deal. College credits, no homework, no term papers, no tests, all I had to do was help out in a second/third grade class at Hillside Elementary School. Besides helping out in a classroom, I also became the Noontime Supervisor, or "Louis the Yard Teacher" as I was known to the kids. It became my favorite college class, and a life changing experience.

Sachar graduated from UC Berkeley in 1976 with a degree in Economics, and began working on Sideways Stories From Wayside School, a children's book set at an elementary school with supernatural elements. Although the book's students were named after children from Hillside and there is a presumably autobiographical character named "Louis the Yard Teacher," Sachar has said that he draws very little from personal experience, explaining that ". ... my personal experiences are kind of boring. I have to make up what I put in my books."

Sachar wrote the book at night over the course of nine months, during which he worked during the day in a Connecticut sweater warehouse. After being fired from the warehouse, Sachar decided to go to law school, around which time Sideways Stories From Wayside School was accepted for publication. The book was released in 1978; though it was not widely distributed and subsequently did not sell very well, Sachar began to accumulate a fan base among young readers. Sachar graduated from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1980 and did part-time legal work while continuing to write children's books. By 1989, his books were selling well enough that Sachar was able to begin writing full-time.

Sachar married Carla Askew, an elementary school counselor, in 1985. They live in Austin, Texas, and have a daughter, Sherre, born January 19, 1987. Sachar has mentioned both his wife and daughter in his books; Carla was the inspiration for the counselor in There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (1988), and Stanley's lawyer in Holes.

When asked about whether he thought children have changed over the years, Sachar responded: "I've actually been writing since 1976, and my first book is still in print and doing very well."

On April 18, 2003, the Walt Disney film adaptation of Holes was released, which earned $71.4 million worldwide. Sachar himself wrote the film's screenplay. On November 19, 2005, the Wayside School series was adapted into a special, two years later becoming a TV show with two seasons.



Holes, Louis Sachar in World Reading Circle (June 2013)


This book is great for middle schoolers because it is a mystery novel that draws the reader into solving a mystery and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats as they follow along. It can even be used to talk about different concepts of math and why they are important to know, while still being entertaining.
madelinefames | 53 other reviews | Apr 3, 2024 |
Oh my lord, I loved how the book revolves around a card game. Trapp’s inclusion in the game definitely added to it however, it lost its sparkle after he died.

Overall, I hated the relationship between Toni and Alton on a romantic level. It just felt weird once they had Annabel and Trapp “talking” to them during the national game.

The whale symbol and summary inclusion definitely saved me from DNFing the book as Bridge talk would certainly bored me
HSDCAce | 56 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
What a fabulous book. An intricate story spanning decades. A likable protagonist who grows in a convincing way. Villains and danger and even buried treasure. What’s not to love?
cspiwak | 947 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |
This novel truly holds up through time. I loved this book as a kid but haven’t read it for YEARS, and was pleasantly surprised to see it was just as good as I remember. The writing, characters, story- all excellent and highly re-readable.
deborahee | 947 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |


1980s (1)
1990s (1)


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