Monday, March 7, 2011


Author: Louis Sacher
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.

Plot Description:
            Stanley Yelnats IV is a good kid.  A good kid caught with a pair of stolen sneakers that fell from the sky into his hands.  When the law doesn’t believe that he is innocent, he gets sent to Camp Green Lake as his punishment.  Camp Green Lake isn’t green, and there hasn’t been a lake there in a long time.  What Camp Green Lake does have is holes, and deadly yellow-spotted lizards.  Every day, every boy at the camp has to dig a hole 5 feet deep and 5 feet round.  Every day, they have to look for something ‘interesting.’  What Stanley will find in his hole will change not only his life, but also those of all the boys at the camp.  But will he survive the warden’s plot to take what is rightfully his?

            Holes is a well written book which artfully weaves the past and the present history of both Stanley and his family.  Stanley’s family isn’t exactly poor, but they have been down on their luck for awhile.  Stanley himself is a very likeable kid who found himself in an unfortunate situation, but still is able to look on the bright side.  His attitude remains positive and hopeful even when he’s stuck in his hole longer than everyone else.  It’s an excellent book for tweens of both genders.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Reading level: 5th-6th Grade

Similar Books: Maniac Magee

Reader’s Advisory:
Personal thoughts- An excellent book for tweens who like adventures
Subjects/themes- Adventure, Treasure, Wild West,
Awards- 1999 Newbery Medal, 1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, 1999 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
Character names/descriptions-
            Stanley Yelnats IV- Nice kid who was caught up in a bad situation
            Zero- Stanley’s friend at the Camp who Stanley teaches to read
            Kissin’ Kate- Woman in the wild west who kissed the men she killed
            Stanley Yelnats I- Stanley IV’s great grandfather who Kissin Kate robbed
            Warden- The great granddaughter of Kissin Kate’s former beau, who wants
Kate’s treasure
Annotation: Sometimes it takes digging a hole to turn your bad luck around.

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