Bulldog Library

Holes

on March 9, 2013

JF Sachar    •    AR Reading Level: 4.6    •    AR Points: 7.0    •    Quiz #28081

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When Stanley gets arrested for stealing a pair of shoes that dropped from the sky and fell on his head, Stanley knows just who to blame, his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather”, who cursed his whole family when he stole a pig from Madame Zeroni.

As punishment for stealing the shoes, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake. It hasn’t rained at Camp Green Lake in more than 100 years.  The lake dried up years ago.  Now the lake is nothing more than a scorching hot desert.  In order to build character, juvenile offenders sent to Camp Green Lake must dig one giant hole every day in the dry lakebed.

While at Camp Green Lake, Stanley meets a curious kid named Zero, and the two boys eventually become friends.  When Zero runs away from Camp, Stanley sets out to find and save his new friend.

Holes is an epic tale.  It weaves together three different stories that span across three eras and two continents.  The inclusion of the histories of Elya Yelnats (Stanley’s “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather”) and Kissin’ Kate Barlow, the notorious outlaw, allow readers to view the entire story of Stanley Yelnats in a way even the character cannot understand.  Readers will see cause and effect, and understand how his family’s past has shaped Stanley’s life and intertwined his fate with that of Zero and the Warden.

In Holes, Louise Sachar (who also authored the Wayside School and Marvin Redpost books) takes readers on a wonderful journey that is filled with memorable, unique characters and an inordinate amount of both humor and heart.  This is an excellent book!  It is highly recommended for all young readers.

Interest Level: grades 4-8

1999 Newbery Medal Winner

Sachar, L. (1998). Holes. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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