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Gaten

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(Librarian's Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN 9780440414803) 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 d (Librarian's Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN 9780440414803) 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.


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(Librarian's Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN 9780440414803) 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 d (Librarian's Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN 9780440414803) 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.

30 review for Gaten

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catie

    I am very sad that I never read this as a young person, because I think that I would have loved it even more than I do now. I think that it probably would have blown my mind. I have to applaud Louis Sachar for being so courageous in a children’s novel. Effortlessly weaving together the past, present, and ancient history of these characters, Mr. Sachar examines the impact of our history and the nature of hope and human compassion, all while maintaining a light, humorous quality. This is a book for I am very sad that I never read this as a young person, because I think that I would have loved it even more than I do now. I think that it probably would have blown my mind. I have to applaud Louis Sachar for being so courageous in a children’s novel. Effortlessly weaving together the past, present, and ancient history of these characters, Mr. Sachar examines the impact of our history and the nature of hope and human compassion, all while maintaining a light, humorous quality. This is a book for children, but one that never speaks down to children. It is both mature and youthful. Stanley is tried and convicted for a crime that he didn’t commit, sent to a reform camp for boys, and forced to work day after day in the hot sun digging holes – without any hope of aid. He’s treated callously and unfairly, but he must learn to keep going, get along with the boys around him, and survive. This is not a book that promises (like so many other children’s books do) success and rewards for good behavior, for choosing all the right paths. That’s not what real living, real maturity is all about. It’s about learning to deal with adversity and tragedy and failure when they come – because they will. It’s about making the right choices even when there are no rewards, no promised successes, simply because they’re right. And more than that – it’s about choosing kindness and compassion, even when everything around you is hard and unfair. The only part of this novel that I don’t quite like is the ending, which seems to undermine the more realistic quality of the rest of the novel. I wish that Stanley and Hector could survive happily without a fairy tale ending, because after all of that, they know that they don’t need one to be happy. But I think that as a child, I would have enjoyed seeing them win the day. Perfect Musical Pairing Brett Dennen – Darlin’ Do Not Fear This is a very sweet song about growing up and holding onto hope during the hard times. Your confidence is faultless your faith etched in stone and neither could comfort you from the wild unknown So bury your burning hatred like a hatchet in the snow Darlin' do not fear what you don't really know Also seen on The Readventurer. Stop by for a comparison of this book to the movie version!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shayantani Das

    No wonder this book has got a Newberry Award. Its 200 something pages of pure awesomeness! By beautifully executing such an ingenious concept, Louis Sachar has made me his fan. Stanley Yelnats is an over sized preteen who is falsely accused of stealing. He is provided with the option to choose between jail and camp green lake. Stanley is not well of, and has never been to camp, so his choice is obvious. Unfortunately though, Camp green lake is not the usual camp. He gets his fair share of adventu No wonder this book has got a Newberry Award. Its 200 something pages of pure awesomeness! By beautifully executing such an ingenious concept, Louis Sachar has made me his fan. Stanley Yelnats is an over sized preteen who is falsely accused of stealing. He is provided with the option to choose between jail and camp green lake. Stanley is not well of, and has never been to camp, so his choice is obvious. Unfortunately though, Camp green lake is not the usual camp. He gets his fair share of adventure from the camp, only it comes in totally unexpected ways. What I liked best was the flow of the novel. Stanley is a narrator one can sympathize with. Him being not whinny comes as a welcome relief. Even in the face of grave danger, he remains his calm self with his dry sense of humor, blaming his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather" for almost everything. Zero and his friendship were also refreshing to read about. (The mutually beneficial and constructive kind) Then there are parts in the novel when, the story behind the Lake’s history, and its residents were elaborated. I think, they were my favorite parts as they reminded me of my grandmother and the times when she used to tell me stories. The tone of the story automatically gets you in this really relaxed mode and when you are done reading, you have this really satisfied smile on your face. Not exactly how I imagined it, but yeah! Something like that! A warning though: When you read the book, don’t bring along your microscopes and start pondering about why there are too many coincidences towards the end. Just enjoy this really awesome book, chill and get yourself a good mood. .4.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Holes, Louis Sachar Holes is a 1998 young adult mystery comedy novel written by Louis Sachar and first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". In 2012 it was ranked number 6 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal. عنوانها: آخرین گودال؛ نویسنده: لوئیس ساکر؛ راز گودالهای دریاچ Holes, Louis Sachar Holes is a 1998 young adult mystery comedy novel written by Louis Sachar and first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". In 2012 it was ranked number 6 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal. عنوانها: آخرین گودال؛ نویسنده: لوئیس ساکر؛ راز گودالهای دریاچه سبز مترجم مهدی باتقوا در 248 ص؛ گودالها با ترجمه فرزاد فربد در 186 ص و در 227 ص؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش:روز بیست و یکم ماه سپتامبر سال 2009 میلادی عنوان: آخرین گودال؛ نویسنده: لوئیس ساکر؛ مترجم: حسن ابراهیمی (الوند)؛ تهران، قدیانی، 1379؛ در 280 ص، مصور؛ شابک: ایکس - 964417335؛ چاپ دوم 1381؛ سوم 1382؛ چهارم 1388؛ شابک: 9789644173356؛ ششم و هفتم 1389؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م استنلی را به خاطر گناهی که مرتکب نشده است به اردوگاه گرین لیک میفرستند. او مانند بقیه نوجوانان ساکن اردوگاه مجبور است که هر روز زیر آفتاب داغ، گودالی به عمق و پهنای یک متر و نیم حفر کند. سرپرست اردوگاه معتقد است که حفر گودال باعث شکل گرفتن شخصیت نوجوانان بزهکار میشود. اما استنلی به زودی میفهمد که موضوع فراتر از «شکل گرفتن شخصیت» نوجوانان بزهکار است. او سعی میکند هرطور شده، از ماجرا سر در بیاورد. کتاب برنده ی جوایز نیوبری 1999 میلادی، و جایزه ادگار آلن پو سال 1999 میلادی، جایزه نشنال بوک در ادبیات کودک و نوجوان، بهترین کتاب سال به انتخاب اسکول لایبرری ژورنال، بهترین کتاب نوجوانان به انتخاب انجمن کتابداران آمریکا، بهترین کتاب سال به انتخاب پابلیشرز ویکلی، برنده پر فروشترین کتاب نوجوانان. ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    This book is so much fun! I used to take clippings from magazines with book reviews, found an old clipping about this book cleaning up the house recently and thought... mmm... let's read this one. Timing was impeccable. I went through an explosive challenging period of really hard work and high pressure in the office and this book made me look forward to reading if only a few pages when coming home. A quirky funny story about a boy called Stanley who is sent to 'Green Camp Lake', a boy's detenti This book is so much fun! I used to take clippings from magazines with book reviews, found an old clipping about this book cleaning up the house recently and thought... mmm... let's read this one. Timing was impeccable. I went through an explosive challenging period of really hard work and high pressure in the office and this book made me look forward to reading if only a few pages when coming home. A quirky funny story about a boy called Stanley who is sent to 'Green Camp Lake', a boy's detention center after supposedly having stolen a pair of sports shoes from a famous basketball player. Being innocent, he blaims his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather who ran into a curse which affected Stanley's family over years and years. Camp Green Lake is in the middle of the desert, a dried up lake, and every day a scary ward and guards, amongst who a 'Mr Sir', make the boys dig holes there. So, what's going on?....I had so much fun with this book, excellently written and the story... who can make it up? All factors combined, also the timing of this book in my life, right book at the right time, couldn't be better. A sympathetic enjoyable story, really quirky and just pure FUN. Recommended! ps: Curious about the movie too, never saw it (yet).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Funny story: I'm trying to shelve this book, and can't remember if it had been banned (but I thought it had - google confirmed). At the same time, my friend Allison and I are chatting on Google Chat, and she starts ranting about how ridiculous book banning is (an opinion with which I agree wholeheartedly). Anyway, the conversation went like this: me: Is Holes a banned book? I can't remember allison: dunno... the whole concept of banned books is stupid. I mean, you could find a reason to gripe abo Funny story: I'm trying to shelve this book, and can't remember if it had been banned (but I thought it had - google confirmed). At the same time, my friend Allison and I are chatting on Google Chat, and she starts ranting about how ridiculous book banning is (an opinion with which I agree wholeheartedly). Anyway, the conversation went like this: me: Is Holes a banned book? I can't remember allison: dunno... the whole concept of banned books is stupid. I mean, you could find a reason to gripe about any book me: yes, I agree allison: I think The Replacement should be banned because there is a scene talking about knives in the kitchen allison: VIOLENCE me: haha just wait allison: and he sits on his roof allison: DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR allison: RECKLESS me: He says the F word, and there are BOOBIES! allison: PORNOGRAPHY me: IMMORALITY! allison: lol allison: or you could go the other way and be totally ridiculous allison: Holes doesn't directly support a gay lifestyle allison: BAN IT me: But it does... allison: oh well then uh... me: all those boys are in and out of holes all day long Needless to say, there was laughter. Sometimes I crack myself up. Anyway, all witty repartee aside, I really liked this book. I have no idea why it would have been banned unless it was because a kid hits a jerk in the face with a shovel for being a complete ass to him day in and day out? That's probably it. ENCOURAGING VIOLENT BEHAVIOR AND DISRESPECT FOR AUTHORITY! BAN IT! I loved Stanley, but in all truth, I loved Zero more. He was the star of this show for me. I wanted everything to work out for him, and I was on pins and needles worrying about him when things started to go bad for him. I mean, these kids committed crimes, or at least they were accused of committing crimes, but they weren't BAD or EVIL. Punishment is one thing, but the kind of things that these kids were made to do is nothing short of abuse. And what's sad is that probably isn't a far stretch from what really happens - although probably for different reasons. I enjoyed how the three different storylines all came together in this one, and seeing the little bits of each one felt like discovering a gem. I'd have this, "OH!" moment each time something was revealed that linked something else... Really fun to read. I really enjoyed this one, and I look forward to seeing the movie soon, since I hear from Allison that it's fabulous. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    Love the story of the curse.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ranee

    I knew of a friend who lost everything when her father started digging holes. You see, her dad was a treasure hunter. And to be a treasure hunter, you are supposed to be well equipped and with good manpower. You must also be in possession of a reliable map and a lot of time. You also need a lot of money to be able to acquire all the above things. Unfortunately, my friend's father only acquired a fake map, swindlers for company and equipment worth nothing when you're digging the wrong hole. Littl I knew of a friend who lost everything when her father started digging holes. You see, her dad was a treasure hunter. And to be a treasure hunter, you are supposed to be well equipped and with good manpower. You must also be in possession of a reliable map and a lot of time. You also need a lot of money to be able to acquire all the above things. Unfortunately, my friend's father only acquired a fake map, swindlers for company and equipment worth nothing when you're digging the wrong hole. Little by little, my friend's dad used up all their savings and even lost his time for their family. My friend and her siblings grew up and away from their dad. All was lost, true. All that was left is a hole in my friend's heart. There was once a treasure there, I am sure but her father dug too deep it failed to see it sparkle. The Hole I've read however is not my friend's story. It did not have a treasure map but it has a great plot. It did talk of treasures, the more obvious would be the one buried. There's a treasure in the form of friendship, one covered in perseverance and another enclosed with hope. If you add a bit of dust of fate with these treasures, you will get the story of a boy named Stanley Yelnats, the main protagonist in this novel. I liked the presentation of the story- the interconnectedness of their experiences. It's an application of Newton's 3rd law of motion (which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). Just like how someone else's athlete's foot become the reason for another's sweet riches; how the despair of having been bullied be the same reason for his freedom; or how being the teacher, he actually got the better lesson, more than he has bargained for. Stanley did that and in the end he gained friends and respect. All in all, Holes is not about big excavations, it's about filling the gaps. It talked about racism, crossing beyond borders. It talked about family and camaraderie. It talked about keeping your promises and breaking barriers. It talked about being a better person. And yes, even added the perks of enjoying a big onion bulb. When someone digs a hole out there in the vast universe, there'd be a lot of soil/dirt displaced. Imagine them as stories unburdened from some remote keeper. So what do we do with these soil/dirt/story? We place them inside our own gaps, enriching us such that our hole becomes full, we come out as a whole person. PS. IF you wonder about my friend, last time I've heard, their parents are together again. He quit hunting for treasures and stuck with those that are far more precious, his own family.

  8. 4 out of 5

    KristenR

    I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but it seems I'm no longer absolutely cool in my daughter's eyes. I could understand if her particular issues with me were current fashion or "the" things to do while hanging out with friends, but books? BOOKS?!? Oh, the pain! I don't say anything about the girly girl preteen drivel she loves to read (after all, I occasionally read girly girl grownup drivel) and I recommend a wide range of books (while keeping in mind she doesn't have the same penchant for s I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but it seems I'm no longer absolutely cool in my daughter's eyes. I could understand if her particular issues with me were current fashion or "the" things to do while hanging out with friends, but books? BOOKS?!? Oh, the pain! I don't say anything about the girly girl preteen drivel she loves to read (after all, I occasionally read girly girl grownup drivel) and I recommend a wide range of books (while keeping in mind she doesn't have the same penchant for sf/fantasy as I do.) She is a voracious reader, will happily read things her teacher recommends, and liked the books that 'Santa' gave her. So why does she sneer every time I hand her a book? (well, she doesn't sneer *every* time, sometimes it's just a withering look or a "nah, I don't think so") I'm not sure how I acquired this book, and it was one I hadn't read as a kid. I suggested that Maya and I read it together since we've been enjoying reading aloud at bedtime. She read the blurb on the cover, handed it back to me and said "Nah." I said, "Let's give it a shot." "Oh, it's an award winner, isn't it...uh uh," she replied. I then said, "Uh huh, we're giving this a shot." Cue withering look. The book quickly won her over. The short chapters are perfect for bedtime reading...we never had to stop in the middle of a chapter, and most nights read several chapters. The author weaves together several plots. Each thread is connected, but he deftly gives us just the bits of information we need at any given point, and it all comes together at the end wonderfully. I loved when Maya would make a connection and exclaim, "Oh - those are Sam's onions!" or gasp, "Oh no! That's what really happened?!" Final verdict? She loved it, and so did I. Apparently I am capable of choosing good books. Not that she'll remember that when I hand her the next book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I was picking up some books at the resale shop and for some reason found myself browsing in the children’s books. It seemed like the usual fare at first, some Dr. Seuss, a mangy copy of a Clifford book, a few ratty Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks, Hugh Hefner’s autobiography, some smut called “The Very Virile Viking”, and “Pimp” by Iceberg Slim. Tucked amongst all this tawdry trash was something called “Holes”, which seemed to make sense sandwiched between “Pimp” and Hef’s life saga. I soon I was picking up some books at the resale shop and for some reason found myself browsing in the children’s books. It seemed like the usual fare at first, some Dr. Seuss, a mangy copy of a Clifford book, a few ratty Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks, Hugh Hefner’s autobiography, some smut called “The Very Virile Viking”, and “Pimp” by Iceberg Slim. Tucked amongst all this tawdry trash was something called “Holes”, which seemed to make sense sandwiched between “Pimp” and Hef’s life saga. I soon realized that there was a movie based on this book made a few years back, which I had never bothered with, but, to my shock and awe, “Holes” was the work of Louis “Sideways-Stories” Sachar. As a long-time fan of the preposterous “Wayside School” stories, I immediately picked this up (along with the other aforementioned books) and decided to bump it up on my to-read list. I had no idea Sachar had even done any other work, and I was interested to see what he’d bring to the table. I have to admit, I wasn’t nearly as impressed with “Holes” as I thought I might be. This might be due to the unrealistically high expectations I had based on my previous Sachar experience, or the fact that since they took the time and bankroll to make a movie based off this work, it obviously had to be incredible. The palindromically-named Stanley Yelnats is a good-spirited and festively plump little kid who is shipped off to a boy’s reform program at Camp Green Lake as punishment for stealing a pair of shoes being donated to charity by Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston. However, poor Stanley never stole the shoes, he’s been wrongfully accused, which is something he’s accustomed to, since his family is under the influence of a malevolent gypsy curse which began due to an oversight by his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. This evil hex has brought misery and financial ruin to the Yelnats clan since it was first laid, and each male heir to the Yelnats throne vainly hopes to be the one to break this vicious cycle. It isn’t looking too promising for Stanley to be the chosen one, as he’s shipped off to Camp Green Lake, which is the dusty basin of a once-flourishing lake which has since dried up under the scorching desert sun. His duty at the Camp is torturous; each day he must wake up at cock-crow and dig a hole five feet deep by five feet wide, while eluding the venomous yellow-spotted lizards which infest the area. Spitting in each completed hole is optional, and Stanley opts for this luxury at the insistence of his peers. The narrative of Stanley’s troubles at the camp are intertwined with the background of how this dread gypsy curse came about and also with the story of “Kissing” Katie Barlow, an outlaw that robbed his great-grandfather. While Stanley toils to dig hole after hole under the strict rule of the Warden and her lackeys (Mr. Pendanski and Mr. Sir), the tale of the curse unfolds, in which his great-great-grandfather Elya is vying for the hand of wealthy hottie Myra back in their motherland of Latvia. In order to win her hand, Myra’s father stipulates that the stud who presents the choicest pig as a gift will get the girl (which I hear is still a popular practice back in Riga), which leads Elya into cahoots with the gypsy, Madame Zeroni. Things take a turn for the worse for Elya, and he ends up not only forgetting to perform a favor for the gypsy, but he also gives away the hog as a wedding present to his rival. Even more spectacular is the downfall of the kind-hearted Katie Barlow, a benevolent teacher who begins an interracial relationship with an onionmonger named Sam in the Green Lake area. The ignorant townsfolk don’t cotton to this pairing and end up killing Sam (and his onion-chomping mule, Mary Lou), which leads the once-peaceful teacher to life as an outlaw. Barlow also happened to rob Stanley’s great-grandfather, and before kicking the bucket, she ended up burying all her ill-gotten gains somewhere in the parched and dry bowl of the former lake, a treasure yet to be unearthed that the Warden presumably is trying to locate with all this absurd hole-digging. The story is pretty enjoyable, for the most part it follows in the silly tradition of the Sachar work I am familiar with, however, the fact that he had to throw a ‘message’ in there pretty much turned me off. Stanley and his fellow detainees at the Camp are a motley bunch, a mixed-race group of transgressors who are coming to terms with their own cultural identities. When Stanley makes an arrangement with black camper Zero to teach him to read in exchange for his labor, the others drop some ‘slave’ references. The saga of Katie Barlow and Sam, however, far eclipses this childish prattle, and firmly beats the reader of the head with the ‘love-your-brother’-stick. At one point, Sachar even states that god himself punished the intolerant populous of Green Lake using the 100 year drought that turned a thriving lake into a dust bowl. The whole race relations bit was generally annoying, and perhaps what might have bothered me most was that in his preaching, Sachar makes it clear how wrong it is to consider someone of color illiterate, stupid, or treacherous, but it’s fully acceptable to include the stereotype of a curse-casting gypsy thrown into the storyline. Overall, the story comes together predictably and nicely, but the insistence with which Sachar clubbed me over the head with his ‘message’ bothered me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Taitt

    Holes, by Louis Sachar, 5/5. It was really good; I loved it. It's a young adult novel from which a movie was made. I have not seen the movie, but I hope to. The book is a Newberry Award Winner. Stanley Yelnats is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers and set to Camp Green Lake, for criminal boys. To build character, the boys get up at 4:30 every morning and dig holes--big holes. If they find anything unusual, they are supposed to report it. But the warden isn't looking for fossils or pre Holes, by Louis Sachar, 5/5. It was really good; I loved it. It's a young adult novel from which a movie was made. I have not seen the movie, but I hope to. The book is a Newberry Award Winner. Stanley Yelnats is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers and set to Camp Green Lake, for criminal boys. To build character, the boys get up at 4:30 every morning and dig holes--big holes. If they find anything unusual, they are supposed to report it. But the warden isn't looking for fossils or pretty rocks. Something is going on other than character building, and Stanley wonders what they are looking for. The story is at once whimsical and dark, horrifying and funny, heartrending and heart-warming. There are rattlesnakes (one boy was been bitten and rushed to the hospital. He never comes back.) and many highly poisonous eleven-spotted yellow lizards with red eyes, black teeth and white tongues. We also learn about Stanley's no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great grandfather and the curse put on his family by the gypsy woman who was missing one pig, his grandfather who found refuge on God's thumb after being robbed by Kissing Kate Barlow, Kissing Kate herself and her handyman, Sam the onion man and how history does and doesn't affect the lives of living people. This many generational multiple story-lines slowly merge in unpredictable but delightful ways. We, the readers, meet a famous basketball player and an inventor and, of course, learn that bad boys are human, just like the rest of us, and sometimes even better than those not so confined. And we encounter inspiring courage fortitude and strength. 2/4/08

  11. 4 out of 5

    emily

    "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake." Quick backstory: this is one of my thirteen year old brother's favourite books. He was the one who recommended it to me. And I'm glad he did, because this book is one heck of a gripping, entertaining and intelligent story. This is the book all the cool kids in middle school were reading with their popped collars, Livestrong bands and wannabe-Justin-Bieber hairstyles. This book is just on this whole new level of awesomeness. and, keep in mind that I say thi "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake." Quick backstory: this is one of my thirteen year old brother's favourite books. He was the one who recommended it to me. And I'm glad he did, because this book is one heck of a gripping, entertaining and intelligent story. This is the book all the cool kids in middle school were reading with their popped collars, Livestrong bands and wannabe-Justin-Bieber hairstyles. This book is just on this whole new level of awesomeness. and, keep in mind that I say this without sarcasm - this book is timeless and, what I'd even consider, a middle-grade classic. "When you spend your whole life living in a hole, the only way you can go is up." The story basically revolves around this kid, called Stanley, who is accused of theft and gets sent to this juvenile camp found in some wasteland desert in the middle of nowhere, called - ironically - Camp Green Lake. Things go a little askew and nothing is as it seems, secrets are revealed, friends and enemies are made, adventures are at stake... lot's of good stuff. "'Now you be careful in the real world,' said Armpit. 'Not everyone is as nice as us.'" This book is technically "middle-grade" and that is definitely noticeable when reading, but I think anyone, at any age can read it, empathize with the characters, and just simply get totally drawn into their complex stories. The writing is notable, quirky, detailed and "crisp" - if that makes sense; the atmosphere generated is phenomenal - the sun glaring down at you in sweaty films of heat, the dust shading the air, this seemingly endless desolate wasteland. Sachar is the kind of writer that isn't preachy - he won't shove some wisdom or moral code down your throat, but he'll make you think and reflect and enjoy yourself while doing so. "Rattlesnakes would be a lot more dangerous if they didn't have the rattle." This story dives in and out of the present, chipping in stories from Stanley's ancestors, which intertwine with the present. Themes, such as fate, friendship, punishment, and the way history impacts our present are all very prominent in the story - paired with fleshed-out, intriguing characters, yellow spotted lizards, lots (and I mean - LOTS) of holes, sunflower seeds, angry wardens, baseball player shoes and treasure. Highly recommend! "If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs, "The bark on the tree was just a little bit softer." While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely, He cries to the moo-oo-oon, "If only, if only."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    One of the best books ever. Gets better every time, too! Read it aloud to my kids aged 7, 10, & 14, & they couldn't get enough!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kaya

    Thoughtful and studious read. I can't say anything bad about the book since every chapter made perfect sense. It just didn't bring out any emotion in me. Also, I found myself a bit bored throughout the flashbacks. Mostly, I think the biggest problem is that I'm too old for this book, even though I know it sounds a little pretentious. Stanley's family was cursed by a gypsy because of his great great great Pig-stealing-Grandpa. His dad tries to make a formula to get rid of the smell of old worn-ou Thoughtful and studious read. I can't say anything bad about the book since every chapter made perfect sense. It just didn't bring out any emotion in me. Also, I found myself a bit bored throughout the flashbacks. Mostly, I think the biggest problem is that I'm too old for this book, even though I know it sounds a little pretentious. Stanley's family was cursed by a gypsy because of his great great great Pig-stealing-Grandpa. His dad tries to make a formula to get rid of the smell of old worn-out sneakers. Unfortunately, he's unsuccessful. Their family is poor and they can't afford to hire a good attorney for Stanley when he gets in trouble. Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake as a punishment for a crime he didn't commit. He meets Zero there and a platonic bond is formed between the boys. Zero runs away from the camp and Stanley goes after him. Before that, we've shown what a cruel place it really is when Stanley annoyed a guard. All the boys aligned in the hot sun to get their canteens filled with water and the guard hands Stanley's canteen back empty. Stanley even says "thank you" for it. The boys at the Camp are coming to terms with accepting their own identities and there is always underdeveloped tension between them. When Stanley makes an arrangement with Zero to teach him how to read in exchange for Zero's help in digging his hole, the others aren't particularly happy about it. What makes the story realistic is that nothing magical was going to help any of them escape, no adult was going to get Stanley and explain everything was a big mistake. I would have liked more details on the other boys. Stanley and Zero are given the most thorough characterization, but the other ones we know very little about. Warden is also very lightly shown and arguably she was the most interesting character. Usually I don’t care whether the book is intended for younger readers or not, but in this case, I can’t help the feeling I’d like the book better if I was at least 7 years younger. The book is about choosing kindness and compassion without ulterior motive, even when everything around you is hard and unfair. It is about doing your best to be happy even when there isn't much to be satisfied with. The story gave me contradicted feelings because of so many latent messages that actually made me think about what society was back then and how exactly it has changed till today. Stanley is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit and forced to work day after day in the hot sun, pointlessly digging holes without being told what it's for. While losing the sense of empathy and humanity day after day, he has to learn to keep going, get along with the other boys and survive long enough to get out. I wish I'd been in Zero's head rather than Stanley's. I've got nothing against Stanley, he's an excellent narrator, but Zero was so silent all the time and I wished to know what was he thinking about when he was blankly staring at everyone around him. He had so much potential and I wonder if he could've given the story a fresh angle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brigid ✩

    Holes is one of my favorite books of all time. The whole thing is just so clever. The writing style is simple, but not boring. Every character is amazingly developed and believable. I like how the story of the present and the story of the past connect to each other perfectly in the end. And the movie version is really good, too! I highly suggest this book to everyone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I thought this author did an especially clever job on the way he set up the story. He flipped back-and-forth between generations, never getting confusing, never giving information too soon, never giving information too late. This was very fun to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shoa Khan

    "If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs, "The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies." While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely, Crying to the moo-oo-oon, "If only, If only.” OH. MY. GOD! 5 FREAKING STARS are simply not enough to do justice to this little gem of a book! My first fulll-length read of 2016, and I couldn't have asked for a better book! And I just happened to pick it up by chance. It so happened that I was looking for an audiobook for my daily commute, and that bumped this dese "If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs, "The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies." While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely, Crying to the moo-oo-oon, "If only, If only.” OH. MY. GOD! 5 FREAKING STARS are simply not enough to do justice to this little gem of a book! My first fulll-length read of 2016, and I couldn't have asked for a better book! And I just happened to pick it up by chance. It so happened that I was looking for an audiobook for my daily commute, and that bumped this deserving Newberry Medal winner up to the top of my TBR pile. This is the story of Stanley Yelnats (yes, that's a palindrome! :D ), whose family unfortunately always ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And they believe it's all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Due to rather unfortunate circumstances, Stanley is sent away to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility. The name is a cruel joke, as there is nothing green about the place, and there isn't even a lake there any longer. The camp makes boys dig holes in the dried lake bed day after day after day, under the scorching sun, in a bid to build character apparently. But Stanley soon starts suspecting that there's a lot more going on at the camp than meets the eye. Louis Sachar is a phenomenal storyteller, and over the course of the entire book, the pieces fit together so marvelously, and with the perfection of a jigsaw puzzle! The audiobook version was so good that it made me fall in love with the main characters, with the author and with the narrator too! It filled my dull commute with so much life, as it made me laugh out loud, made me gasp in shock and also made me mutter frantic prayers for the characters in times of danger! And whenever I'd think about the story in moments of solitude, it would make my eyes moist. This is a beautiful tale of friendship, hope, courage and character, and with a wonderful fable-like quality to it. I practically lived the story while listening to it and it's going to be with me for a very long time! Though this book lies somewhere on the cusp of Middlegrade and YA fiction, I'd like to drag it back entirely into the Middlegrade territory, as that's my most favourite genre in the whole wide world! (^.^) Even coming from the greatest genre in the world, this is a fantabulous book! :D When I was left with just the final leg of the story, I actually kept putting it off for an entire week, as I just did not want the book to end! And it was then that I stumbled upon a hardcopy of this book in a second-hand bookstore! I literally squealed with joy, and it turned out it was available for just 50 bucks!! Wheeeeee! I hope to read it again some years down the line, and I cannot recommend this book enough. In fact, I feel it should certainly be taught in schools too!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Everybody knows who this man is, right? I mean, I'm looking over the reviews for this book on the front page and I can find no mention. There's not a whisper of the author's previous successes. I'm absolutely flabbergasted that the word "Wayside" is not coming up in any of my "control+F" searches. Absolutely nothing. "Sideways Stories from Wayside School"?! Really?! The absolute greatest story about an elementary school ever told? The one built sideways accidentally, with no 13th floor? Mrs. Gorf? Everybody knows who this man is, right? I mean, I'm looking over the reviews for this book on the front page and I can find no mention. There's not a whisper of the author's previous successes. I'm absolutely flabbergasted that the word "Wayside" is not coming up in any of my "control+F" searches. Absolutely nothing. "Sideways Stories from Wayside School"?! Really?! The absolute greatest story about an elementary school ever told? The one built sideways accidentally, with no 13th floor? Mrs. Gorf? Ice cream flavors that taste like people? Am I the only person on goodreads who can't do third grade long division but remembers the last names of the three Erics' in Mrs. Jewl's class?!?!?!?! (Eric Bacon, Eric Fry, and Eric Ovens) ANYBODY!!?! I am slightly confused and afraid. My universe is shifting. I thought everybody skipped their fourth boring field trip in a year to the National History Museum and read this book in the girl's bathroom. Or anywhere really. It never gets old. "But Erin", you might say, "This is a review of Holes. Past books shouldn't matter. As you have said before, an author is only as good as his last book. Except for Christopher Moore, who can-do-no-wrong-for- the-rest-of-eternity-forever-and-ever-amen." Well, normally you'd be right. But Louis Sachar's debut of Holes, I think, is much more significant for what came before it. You see, millions of little children like me had giggled and gasped through Sachar's series on a curious school with absurdly crazy characters. He was one of the first authors, like Shel Silverstein and Laura Ingalls Wilder, to have his name, and not just the title of his book, implanted in my memory. For hundreds of little children around the world, I know he was one of their first! favorite authors. And so, when we discovered the dog eared and dirty copy of Holes on our library shelves a couple years later, a bit older (third grade) and a bit more mature (I gave up wearing kraft cheese singles with holes bitten out of them as masks at the cafeteria table) we dove right in without a second thought. And oh, were we surprised. Holes is not the light fare I, or I think any of my friends, were expecting. I think if you try hard enough, you'll remember the first story you read in which justice was not promptly served, or the assurance of a happy ending was not guaranteed. I may have read darker tales before this one, but "Holes" was a defining moment in my childhood. Stanley went to hell on Earth and he was innocent. Nothing magical was going to help him escape, no convenient story twist was going to come along and assure you everything was a dream. Above all, no adult was gonna come get Stanley and explain that everything a big huge mistake, and he was safe and fine and protected. ADULTS knew that something horrible was happening at Camp Green Lake, and nothing was as it seemed, and no one tried to stop it. Stanley was so alone. And you were alone right there with him. Here was something much more grown up, we realized. Here is something that has the risk of death and the threat of capture and the hope of treasure and it all feels so real! Here is something that is tricky in the way it is written, not front to back like so many other simple, dumb children's authors, but has many stories all tied up together in a way that makes us think, and figure things out, and if this character and that character were with his character, could it be that---gasp! And I don't mean to keep speaking for the rest of the universe's little children. But I know there must have been more than just my third grade self that closed the last page of Holes and sat very very still, mouth open, staring at nothing, for a second, and realized that reading was never really going to be the same.

  18. 5 out of 5

    HP Saucerer

    This was heading for the full five stars right up until the ending, which for me, just felt rushed and anti-climactic. It was as if the author simply ran out of steam and wanted to quickly wrap everything up, which is a great shame, because up until then the book had been pretty much perfect. Sachar gets so much right here. The writing is top-drawer: the intersecting stories and flashback tales about Stanley's family history are woven through the plot quite brilliantly, creating an entirely comp This was heading for the full five stars right up until the ending, which for me, just felt rushed and anti-climactic. It was as if the author simply ran out of steam and wanted to quickly wrap everything up, which is a great shame, because up until then the book had been pretty much perfect. Sachar gets so much right here. The writing is top-drawer: the intersecting stories and flashback tales about Stanley's family history are woven through the plot quite brilliantly, creating an entirely compelling and (un)believable tale in which themes of fate and destiny and friendship and justice are explored. The characters are compelling and all have great depth. Stanley is a character you can't help but root for. Wrongly accused, he is entirely accepting of his sentence: a torturous ordeal digging holes in a desert. He takes it on the chin, he doesn't grumble. Instead, he sees the experience for what it is: an opportunity to change himself and maybe the path his life was following. Overall, Holes is a great read: it's inventive, compelling and quirky and it's easy to see why it has received so many plaudits.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna Aguirre

    Love, love, love! Kids love it, too. A great novel about inner strength and persistence.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Holes is the first installment in Louis Sachar's middle grade/young adult series titled: Holes. Again, I'm so happy to say I've found joy in reading along with my 5th grade son. This academic year has been full of fun required reading and that makes me so happy for him. It's hard to be excited about required reading but it helps so much when the content is entertaining. I watched the film adaptation of Holes prior to reading the book, but I'm happy to say the two are almost exactly the same. Wel Holes is the first installment in Louis Sachar's middle grade/young adult series titled: Holes. Again, I'm so happy to say I've found joy in reading along with my 5th grade son. This academic year has been full of fun required reading and that makes me so happy for him. It's hard to be excited about required reading but it helps so much when the content is entertaining. I watched the film adaptation of Holes prior to reading the book, but I'm happy to say the two are almost exactly the same. Well done Hollywood! ...and well done Mr. Sachar for writing a great story to begin with. Full of adventure, mystery, history; it's just fun to read (and watch). If you didn't read this during your academic years, it's not too late to check it out. Enjoy! My favorite quote: “You may have done some bad things, but that doesn't mean you're a bad kid.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Toph

    I loved how the multiple storylines in this book tied together so nicely! Now onions are going to give me a different reason to cry...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I have been wanting to read this book for years, but I never seemed to get around to it! Well, this year I made a pact with myself to read more of the stories I want to read, so this book made it to the top of my TBR list finally! OMG! I loved this story! I wish I hadn't waited so long! Stanley Yelnats believes he lives under a curse that finally ran him afoul with the law. He's innocent of the petty crime he is convicted of, but there is no sense arguing with the curse. So, he gets sentenced to I have been wanting to read this book for years, but I never seemed to get around to it! Well, this year I made a pact with myself to read more of the stories I want to read, so this book made it to the top of my TBR list finally! OMG! I loved this story! I wish I hadn't waited so long! Stanley Yelnats believes he lives under a curse that finally ran him afoul with the law. He's innocent of the petty crime he is convicted of, but there is no sense arguing with the curse. So, he gets sentenced to Camp Green Lake. The camp is a detention center for boys. They spend all day digging holes in the desert. Stanley is told the work is to build character, but as the story unfolds it seems there is more going on at Camp Green Lake. Stanley learns so many lessons about friendship and self esteem during his stay at Camp Green Lake. I laughed every time he ranted about his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather who brought the curse down on his head that makes his life miserable. :) Great story! Great characters! Great life lessons! Holes was made into a movie by Disney in 2003. I can finally watch the movie without breaking my rule about reading the book first! Only took me almost 16 years! Better late than never! I'm hoping Disney stuck close to the book. The story is perfect as it is. I hope the film doesn't disappoint me. Luckily, it's streaming this month on a television channel in our package....I'm watching it tonight! Even at 50 years old, I love reading children's books. This story was just the feel-good adventure story I needed on a rainy, winter Saturday afternoon. I loved it! I listened to the audio book version of this story (Penguin Random House Audio). Narrated by Kerry Beyer, the audio is just under 4.5 hours long. Beyer has a nice voice and gave a great performance! I have partial hearing loss but was easily able to hear and understand the entire audio book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    LET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT I ABSOLUTELY HATED EVERY PAGE OF THIS BOOK THAT I READ. THE REPETITION WAS STARTING TO ANNOY ME JUST BECAUSE THE BOOK WAS ALWAYS LIKE, STANLEY THIS STANLEY THAT. OKAY I GET IT THE MAIM CHARACTER IS STANLEY BUT CAN WE AT LEAST GO 2 LINES WITHOUT MENTIONING THE MAIN CHARACTERS FREAKING NAME, LIKE FOR REAL AFTER A WHILE THE NAME STANLEY YELNATS STARTS TO GET ON YOUR NERVES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ANNOY ME THE MOST WAS WHEN THE AUTHOR MENTIONED THAT AT CAMP GREEN LAKE LET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT I ABSOLUTELY HATED EVERY PAGE OF THIS BOOK THAT I READ. THE REPETITION WAS STARTING TO ANNOY ME JUST BECAUSE THE BOOK WAS ALWAYS LIKE, STANLEY THIS STANLEY THAT. OKAY I GET IT THE MAIM CHARACTER IS STANLEY BUT CAN WE AT LEAST GO 2 LINES WITHOUT MENTIONING THE MAIN CHARACTERS FREAKING NAME, LIKE FOR REAL AFTER A WHILE THE NAME STANLEY YELNATS STARTS TO GET ON YOUR NERVES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ANNOY ME THE MOST WAS WHEN THE AUTHOR MENTIONED THAT AT CAMP GREEN LAKE THERE WAS NO LAKE AT LEAST 10 TIMES IN THE FIRST 5 PAGES. HONESTLY I FELT LIKE THE WHOLE TIME I WAS READING THIS I THOUGHT THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN BY A 5 YEAR OLD. NOT MANY CHARACTERS WERE INTRODUCED IN THE 28 PAGES THAT I READ. AND IM GLAD I DIDNT MEET ALL OF THOSE CHARACTERS BECAUSE STANLEY WAS JUST SO ANNOYING. STOP BLAMING SOME RANDOM CURSE AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST DONE SOME RESEARCH BEFORE STEALING THOSE SHOES. I HONESTLY DONT CARE ONE BIT ABOUT THIS BOOK AND IT FEELS GOOD TO LET EVERYBODY KNOW ABOUT HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS BOOK. RATING: DNF

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leah Jay

    I was so touched by this book. All the characters were amazing! The plot kept me on my toes! The writing was superb! This one is definitely going in my list of books everyone should read. That means you need to read it, too!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    This book really surprised me and surpassed all of my expectations for it. I loved the characters and thought the story itself was clever and nicely laid out. I never got the feeling that the author was talking down to his audience because this is a young adult novel, which is a big pet peeve of mine. Stanley and Zero were a great pair, though Zero was my favorite, and I was kept in constant suspense waiting for the next bad shoe to drop.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    “It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather!” I can't believe I didn't read this when I was younger! Thankfully, I finally picked it up and gave it a shot. Holes is about Stanley, an overweight young boy who after accidentally stealing a shoe (yes, accidently!) goes to trial for theft. He is then forced by the judge to pick between jail time or go to Camp Green Lake. Stanley, of course, chooses the camp option thinking it will be fun and games and at l “It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather!” I can't believe I didn't read this when I was younger! Thankfully, I finally picked it up and gave it a shot. Holes is about Stanley, an overweight young boy who after accidentally stealing a shoe (yes, accidently!) goes to trial for theft. He is then forced by the judge to pick between jail time or go to Camp Green Lake. Stanley, of course, chooses the camp option thinking it will be fun and games and at least he will get to swim, hence the lake. However, when Stanley gets to the camp he sees it is nothing but dirt - no lake, no fun, just dirt. The owner is looking for something in the dirt and making all the boys at the camp dig holes all day long and giving them very little water. They have to dig holes that are exactly five feet long and five feet deep before they can rest for the day. Stanley is determined to find out what the owner wants them to find so badly. This book is such a gem. Stanley is perfect as the protagonist/narrator, he is sympathetic but never really complains that much about his situation, even though he knows that he isn't being treated fairly. I would've complained the whole time, so he's a better person than me! The book also features some great side characters, my favorite being the illiterate boy named Zero. His main goal is that he just wants to learn to read. His character feels very genuine and really easy to relate to. Maybe you know how to read but we all have things that we fall short on and might be embarrassed to tell others about. I, for one, am terrible at math and science but, unlike Zero I didn't fix that situation. What I really love about this book is that it's not sappy in its message, it's just good storytelling. I actually have no complaints about this one. I read it in one evening, so it's a very fast read and I think this can be loved by children and adults equally. I was shocked to learn that this book has banned in the past due to parents finding the morals questionable. It just boggles my mind, it never occurred to me that there could be anything the slightest bit offensive to anyone. I guess people always have to find something to freak out about. I don't understand the banning, but then again I can say that with a lot of banned books. However, this book is perfectly appropriate for young children. I would guess seven or eight years old is about the right time to start in on this one. Younger, depending on your child's reading level. Five stars from me and highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary JL

    I know this book won the Newberry Medal--and other awards. But I must review my books for me--I rate it a very good, strong 3 stars but no higher. Defintely worth reading for anyone, however. I also freely admit--had I read this at age 12, I WOULD have rated it four stars. First, tops marks to the author for interlinking two stories--Stanley's incarceration at Camp Green Lake and the earlier tale of Kate Barlow. The matching and interweaving of the two plot lines is well done. I would have liked a I know this book won the Newberry Medal--and other awards. But I must review my books for me--I rate it a very good, strong 3 stars but no higher. Defintely worth reading for anyone, however. I also freely admit--had I read this at age 12, I WOULD have rated it four stars. First, tops marks to the author for interlinking two stories--Stanley's incarceration at Camp Green Lake and the earlier tale of Kate Barlow. The matching and interweaving of the two plot lines is well done. I would have liked a bit more details on the other boys. Stanley and Zero are given the most detailed characterization; the other five we know little about. The Warden and the staff are also very lightly drawn. Admittedly, the author no doubt wanted to keep the book fairly short as it is intended for younger readers. Admittedly, a really neat scene showing cruelty without overt violence is when Stanley has annoyed a "counselor" (guard!) called Mr. Sir. They line up in the hot sun to get their canteens filled; and Mr. Sir hands Stanley's canteen back empty. Chilling--and Stanley can do nothing. ****************spoilers below this line**************** The 'happy everafter' ending I did not like. Stanley and Zero each get almost a million dollars. Stanley's Dad markets his invention. Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston comes for dinner with Stanley's family. And so on. It is just too much for me. More realistic would be if Stanley's parents had to take out a huge loan to pay for the lawyer who rescues Stanley. That is my biggest quibble with this book. Also, everybody makes the point that Stanley was "innocent". Even if he had been guilty, should he have been treated like he was by the Warden and the guards? Something to think about. Despiste my dislike of the ending, well worth reading for older children--say age 11 on up. worth reading for adults as well. Edited 8-25-13 to fix a few typos.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liza Fireman

    Wow wow wow. 5 stars. A curse, and a great-great grandfather that stole a pig and broke a promise to Madame Zeroni, a one-legged Gypsy, a kind person that tried to help him, and ended up putting a curse on him and all his descendants. Stanley Yelnats is in trouble, he stole a pair of shoes (or didn't steal them, but was accused of doing so). And was sent to detention center, Camp Green Lake, where he needs to dig a hole every day. A hole that is 5 feet deep, wide and long. And for a bit over weig Wow wow wow. 5 stars. A curse, and a great-great grandfather that stole a pig and broke a promise to Madame Zeroni, a one-legged Gypsy, a kind person that tried to help him, and ended up putting a curse on him and all his descendants. Stanley Yelnats is in trouble, he stole a pair of shoes (or didn't steal them, but was accused of doing so). And was sent to detention center, Camp Green Lake, where he needs to dig a hole every day. A hole that is 5 feet deep, wide and long. And for a bit over weight and not in shape Stanley, this is tough. Why do they even need to do this? To build character? Or maybe there is some other shady reason behind it? “You’re not looking for anything. You’re digging to build character. It’s just if you find anything, the Warden would like to know about it.” Each kid in this camp has a nick name, Magnet, Armpit, X-Ray and Zigzag are some of the kids he meets. Even the supervisor Mr. Pendanski is called Mom. Stanley becomes Caveman, and is the slowest digger. Digging for hours after everybody else left, in the hot sun. The first hole leaves his hands with blisters. The second hole is the hardest. No, the third hole is the hardest. Maybe all of them are the hardest. With resemblance to unforgettable Roald Dahl's books and characters, Louis Sachar has here a masterpiece. You can't stop reading it. It has mystery, friendship, nasty mean adults, revenge, and a curse that affects people. Everything a good story needs and a bit more. 5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alissa Patrick

    This book was so great. I am a sucker for books about friendship, especially when it's about childhood or adolescent friendship. The interactions between Stanley and Zero are amazing, and I felt as though I was right there with them. Two boys who can't trust anyone who have to learn to trust one another. On a surface, this does seem like a silly middle-school age type of book. Overweight, unpopular Stanley gets accused of a crime he didn't commit. The judge tells him he has two choices- go to jai This book was so great. I am a sucker for books about friendship, especially when it's about childhood or adolescent friendship. The interactions between Stanley and Zero are amazing, and I felt as though I was right there with them. Two boys who can't trust anyone who have to learn to trust one another. On a surface, this does seem like a silly middle-school age type of book. Overweight, unpopular Stanley gets accused of a crime he didn't commit. The judge tells him he has two choices- go to jail or go to a special camp for troubled boys. Stanley gets to the camp, and realizes it's not what it seems. It's basically a child labor camp, and the boys are forced to dig holes in the Texas heat. They are told it's to "build character", but as the book progresses the reader finds out there's way more to it. And this is where the book shines, because it gets dark quickly, and then you realize this isn't some silly book for kids. There's discussion about equality, race, poverty, crime etc and while some of the notions are subtle, overall you get a great novel about being who you are and learning what kind of a person you are, or have the potential to be.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Janet (on small hiatus)

    Zero wasn't worried. "When you spend your whole life living in a hole," he said, "the only way you can go is up." Holes is so brilliant and so original! Literally no other book in the universe is quite like it. And we can all take a brief moment and appreciate how the movie is one of the best adaptations of this story ever. Like, nearly everything is parallel with the book to the movie. For once, it actually feels like you can watch the book instead of the movie adaptation, you know what I mean? Th Zero wasn't worried. "When you spend your whole life living in a hole," he said, "the only way you can go is up." Holes is so brilliant and so original! Literally no other book in the universe is quite like it. And we can all take a brief moment and appreciate how the movie is one of the best adaptations of this story ever. Like, nearly everything is parallel with the book to the movie. For once, it actually feels like you can watch the book instead of the movie adaptation, you know what I mean? This review will be super short, because I don't think I can sum up how amazing this story is. You'll just have to read it if you're interested! It's incredible. Feelin' down? Feeling stuck in a riff of books that seem endlessly like the other?

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