Author: Lousi Sachar
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Holes is the 1999 Newbery Medal winner and joins the ranks of classic children's literature. The story begins on a negative note because Stanley is arrested. Soon Holes becomes a story of friendship, family loyalty and yes, love. The Yelnats family has always had bad luck or at least Stanley has been told to believe it until he unknowingly conquers a family curse. I caught myself laughing out loud a few times as well. The reader can also learn a thing or too about onions.
Stanley Yelnats was wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of sneakers belonging to a famous basketball player who donated them to charity. Stanley claimed they fell from the sky and hit him on the head. He also blamed his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather. " The judge gave Stanley the choice of going to jail or Camp Green Lake. It was an easy choice for Stanley because his family was poor and he had never been to camp. Unfortunately Camp Green Lake was not the kind of camp young innocent kids would go to. There was no lake at Camp Green Lake. It was a juvenile detention facility.
Holes is full of humor and irony. “If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy. " Thus goes the philosophy of Camp Green Lake. Stanley soon figures out that he and the other boys are not digging holes in the largest dry lake in Texas to build character. They are digging holes to find a treasure the Warden believes was lost by one of her ancestors. The dual yet parallel plots from the past to the future and back again involve ancestors of Stanley Yelnats, the Warden, Mr. Sir and Zero Zeroni. Sachar writes a masterpiece and when all the pieces come together, the reader says “Wow. "
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