Holes

Holes

Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out is now available with a splashy new look.

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 Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

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. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Includes a double bonus: an excerpt from Small Steps, the follow-up to Holes, as well as an excerpt from Louis Sachar’s new middle-grade novel, Fuzzy Mud.

“A smart jigsaw puzzle of a novel.” —The New York Times 

WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK AWARD
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK
SELECTED FOR NUMEROUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND ALA HONORS 

Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (May 9, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440414806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440414803
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4,492 customer reviews)
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6 comments

  1. As an elementary school librarian, I have been disappointed with many of the recent Newbery Medal winning books, mainly because it seemed like adults were selecting books that they thought young people SHOULD read. Many recent Newbery winning books just sit on our shelves.Therefore, when I added “Holes” to our collection, simply because it had received the medal, I expected to see yet another title collecting dust. To my surprise, this book has been constantly checked out since we received it, and young people, especially boys, are always talking about this book.As some of the other reviews have suggested, this book is a bit quirky, but some of the mysterious features of the story propel the reader forward and Sachar does a nice job of filling in the holes by the time you reach the end.Stanley and “Zero” are two boys down on their luck, who become friends in a terrible place. As fate would have it, the misfortunes that brought them together turn out to be interrelated.”Holes” is another new book that gets young people to read, much like the Harry Potter phenomenon. Not only that, it gets them to think and talk about what they’ve been reading. Based on that, this book is recommended.

  2. Stanley Yelnats and his family have never had anything but bad luck, so it’s not really a surprise to him when he is falsely accused and convicted of theft. Given the choice of jail or Camp Green Lake, Stanley chooses Green Lake because he’s never been to camp before. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake doesn’t have a lake and it isn’t really a camp. It’s a juvenile detention facility. And to build character, the warden, who paints her fingernails with snake venom, has each “camper” dig a hole five feet deep by five feet wide by five feet long every day, even Saturdays and Sundays. What Stanley and the rest of the boys don’t know is that the warden isn’t just building character, she’s looking for the lost buried treasure of outlaw, Kissing Kate Barlow. So begins Holes, a terrific, action filled story, full of great characters with strong voices, exciting, funny scenes and enough twists and turns to keep your kids reading non-stop to the end of the book. Louis Sachar has written a masterpiece full of humor, insight, wisdom and the triumph of the human spirit and he deserves all the awards this book won. A must read for children aged 9 – 12 and a great addition to all home libraries.

  3. Holes is an excellent book.
    It is suspenseful, interesting,and not one chapter
    is even the slightest bit boring.
    You will find that you will want to read this book
    multiple times.
    Louis Sachar has done an amazing job with Holes.
    I hope that my review convinces you to read this
    wonderful award winning book.
    Thank You

  4. I initially wanted read Holes to see what all the fuss was about and to determine if I should buy it for some nieces and nephews for the holidays. Well, I read it in one sitting – just couldn’t put it down.
    The piece is very disturbing at first, demanding and bleak but realistic with a touch of the magic to come. The beginning can be a little hard to get through, almost depressing. But the rewards are ample and well worth the emotional journey.
    Stanley Yelnats is an unlikely yet likeable protagonist who’s evolution and growth is gradual and encouraging and totally believeable. I can imagine that many young adolescents will really relate to this “outsider”. He gives us all hope. Yet for all Stanley’s troubles and adventures, Sacher has given him a pair of loving and totally supportive parents. Yes, Stanley is the hero who comes to the rescue, but his parents are not fools and, in the end, do some growing of their own. How refreshing!
    I’ll not only give this book to various youngsters on my holiday list, but several adults will find it in their stockings as well.
    Grab an onion, a canteen of fresh water, put your shovel down and enjoy!

  5. SPOILER ALERT. Wow. Just finished reading this engrossing fairy tale. I was totally unprepared for the lynch mob killing of sweet Sam for kissing a white girl, and the gruesome death of Kate Barlow who was tortured “until her feet were black and blistered” and whacked with a shovel whenever she stopped walking. Although I enjoyed the characters, their development, and the creative intertwining story lines, the dark undertones of child enslavement and malicious adult oppressors (who don’t mind children dying) are very disturbing. I can’t believe I almost read this to my 3rd grader! Definitely not recommended for young children. A middle or high schooler or adult would better appreciate the dark humor of this story.

  6. Never judge a book by its cover. It was hard for me to look at Holes by Louis Sachar without wondering how the illustrious author of Sideways Stories from Wayside School and There’s a Boy in the Girls Bathroom managed to procure both a Newbery Medal and a National Book Award. I expected Holes to be yet another tale of juvenile delinquency and final redemption. I was however, pleasantly surprised at the depth of this book. I soon found myself caught up in the well-constructed
    plot, and finished it within twenty-four hours. Although I realized that what I was reading was definitely `pleasure reading’, I enjoyed piecing together the events in my mind and near the end of the book I was able to triumphantly say, “Ah-hah!” Even though most events fell together, I did not in the least appreciate the last chapter in which the author instructs the readers to `fill in the holes’ on their own. It led me to believe that the author himself couldn’t think of anything to tie events together and therefore, he simply thought of an eloquent way to tell us to use our imaginations. All things considered, Holes was an excellent book and I enjoyed it very much. Louis Sachar definitely made a contribution to children’s literature in the writing of Holes and deserves the honors he received for it.

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