Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But its hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. Hell never be the same again.
In his first major novel since Holes, critically acclaimed novelist Louis Sachar uses his signature wit combined with a unique blend of adventure and deeply felt characters to explore issues of race, the nature of celebrity, the invisible connections that determine a persons life, and what it takes to stay on course. Doing the right thing is never a wrong choice but a small step in the right direction.
A rusted Honda Civic drove noisily down the street and parked across from the mayors house. Armpit had finished digging his trench and was attaching PVC pipe. The mayor had gone back inside.
The driver-side door had been bashed in, and it would have cost more to fix than the car was worth. The driver had to work his way over the stick shift and then exit on the passenger side.
The personalized license plate read: X RAY.
Armpit! X-Ray shouted as he crossed the street. Armpit!
The guys at work didnt know him by that name, but if he didnt say something X-Ray would just keep on shouting. Better to answer and shut him up.
Hey, he called back.
Man, youre really sweating, X-Ray said as he came near.
Yeah, well, youd sweat too if you were digging.
Ive already dug enough dirt to last one lifetime, said X-Ray.
They had met each other at Camp Green Lake.
If you're looking for a book for a 5th grader or older and he/she has not read Holes, we recommend it enthusiastically, especially for boys. If Holes has been read and enjoyed, go out and get Small Steps. Serious fans might also want to get their hands on a copy of Stanley Yelnat's Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake, which Sachar wrote shortly after Holes.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (307 words).
When asked why, of all the characters
from Holes, he chose to revisit
Armpit, Louis Sacher (pronounced loo-is sack-er) replies, "I tend to write
about underdogs. It seemed to me that
life would be tough for an
African-American teenager from a
low-income family with a criminal
record. Especially someone stuck with
the name, "Armpit."
He says, "I never talk about a book until it is finished. It took me a year and a half to write Holes, and I never told anyone anything about it during all that time. I do this for a variety of reasons, but ...
If you liked Small Steps, try these:
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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