Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnate’s family has really bad luck, it’s therefore not a surprise when he’s wrongly accused and ends up at a juvenile detention centre for boys called Camp Green Lake. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake is neither a lake, nor green, but rather a desert where the boys are put to dig holes. Each boy must dig a five foot deep and five foot across hole each day. The Warden says it’s to build character, but when Stanley finds something left behind by a well known bandit, he begins to think otherwise.

Holes is a fascinating tale, a mixture of adventure, coming of age and mystery. Readers will enjoy the witty dialogue and easy humour that is common in Sachar’s work. While I found the beginning of Stanley’s story a little dry I was captivated by the back story that is interwoven through the book. The narrative really picked up in the second half and Stanley and Zero’s escape was especially engaging. Overall, I thought the book was very original and well crafted with many layers, creating a sort of puzzle. I think this book has broad appeal, and even though it is marketed towards those a little younger, I think it will still appeal to YA readers, especially boys. 

You might enjoy Holes if you like books with: humor, adventure, an easy to read style, a slower moving plot.

Other books by Louis Sachar:  Small Steps, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School is Falling Down, Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

If you liked Holes you might also enjoy:  Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, Out of Patience by Brian Meehl, Going Bovine by Libba Bray and Carter Finally Get’s it by Brent Crawford

Also try: Stanley Yelnat’s survival guide to Camp Green Lake by Louis Sachar

Additional Info: was made into a movie in 2003 staring a young Shia LaBeouf. Holes has won several awards including 1998 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal. For a complete list of awards please check Sachar’s website.

Author website found here.

Rating: W3/4   C3/4   P3/4   O4/4   PP3/4(likely a 4/4 when it was released)   CR1.5/4

Grade:  M



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