Summary and book reviews of Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes

by Louis Sachar

Holes
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  • First Published:
    Sep 1998, 233 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2000, 233 pages

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Book Summary

Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. Ages 10+

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Stanley Yelnats was the only passenger on the bus, not counting the driver or the guard. The guard sat next to the driver with his seat turned around facing Stanley. A rifle lay across his lap.

Stanley was sitting about ten rows back, handcuffed to his armrest. His backpack lay on the seat next to him. It contained his toothbrush, toothpaste, and a box of stationary his mother had given him. He’d promised to write to her at least once a week.

He looked out the window, although there wasn’t much to see—mostly fields of hay and cotton. He was on a long bus ride to nowhere. The bus wasn’t air-conditioned, and the hot heavy air was almost as stifling as the handcuffs.

Stanley and his parents had tried to pretend that he was just going away to camp for a while, just like rich kids do. When Stanley was younger he ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
In this funny yet poignant story, a boy embarks on a personal journey that changes his life, as he spends the summer paying for a crime he didn't commit.

Stanley Yelnats, falsely arrested for stealing a pair of sneakers, is sentenced to serve time at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility in the middle of a Texas desert. Having never attended summer camp, Stanley naively believes this to be a new opportunity. He is soon faced with a group of unhappy, unaccepting campers (inmates) and an evil warden who uses the boys to dig holes in search of buried treasure.

As the summer ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Children's Literature - Katherine Karr

Sachar's earlier Wayside School stories always had a Pinkwaterish edge to them, but in Holes he comes fully, brilliantly into his own voice. This is a can't-put-it-down read.

VOYA - Mary Ann Capan

This delightfully clever story is well-crafted and thought-provoking, with a bit of a folklore thrown in for good measure. Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. A multitude of colorful characters, coupled with the skillful braiding of ethnic folklore, American legend, and contemporary issues is a brilliant achievement. There is no question, kids will love Holes.

Kirkus Reviews

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure.

Reader Reviews

Mich

me holes review!!
I think this is a great novel for children in grades 3 to 6.

Karli

5-Very Good
AWESOME BOOK!!!!! Once I started it I couldn't put it down! It ROCKED!!!!!

Eleanor

My Recommendation
Holes is one of the best books ever! If you haven't read it, go and do it NOW!!!

Jackson

My opinion
This book isn’t a classic cowboy story. It isn’t a teen age drama either. This is a detailed story of a boy who gets him self in a juvenile camp. This author gave this book great detail. All the characters are original and unlike other characters in ...   Read More

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