I loved the movie version of Holes so I decided to include Holes onto my booklist. Holes is about Stanley Yelnats, a teenager who is sent to Camp Green Lake after being found guilty of stealing. Stanley didn’t do it, he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was walking along the street when a pair of shoes fell from the sky. Unfortunately for Stanley, the shoes belonged to Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player who donated the shoes to charity.
Camp Green Lake is a camp for bad boys. 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 (Sachar, 1998, p.5). At first, Stanley struggles to dig his holes, as they have to be as wide and long as his shovel. He never previously exercised and he was overweight. He was also weary of the other delinquent boys until he got to know them. Although he is innocent, Stanley accepts being at camp as the Yelnats believe that their family is cursed.
Intertwined in the story is the history of Green Lake and the Yelnats family history. As the months progress, Stanley grows stronger and confident. He also begins to suspect that they are digging to look for something rather than just for character building.
I thought the book was wonderful. My book edition has very short chapters which were about three to four pages long. I suspect the publishers did that so that children could think that they were progressing well and be eager to continue reading. I liked all the interwoven stories which were alternated throughout the book and which came together at the end to give a good conclusion. As I had watched the movie version of Holes, I knew what was going to happen in the story so some of the clever turns was lost on me. The movie is pretty faithful to the book so if you don’t want to read the book, watch the movie. The movie stars a young Shia LaBeouf.