Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Holes by Louis Sachar

One of my favorite Middle Grade books for boys!

"There is no lake at Camp Green Lake." 

The judge told Stanley Yelnats he had a choice:  he could go to a juvenile correction facility or he could go to Camp Green Lake.  He chose camp Green Lake where he was to dig a hole each day, because, "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."  Stanley learns that the holes have purpose, and Green Lake has a past. 

There really are two stories in this book - the story of Stanley at his time at Camp Green Lake, and the friendships he forms with the boys in his group; and the story of people like Kissing Kate Barlow, who lived at Green Lake when there actually was a lake there.  The two stories come together in the end in one of the most clever, interesting Middle Grade books I have ever read.

The 9 Year Old noticed the movie was coming on television and asked to see it.  Well, you should all know by now of the rule in our house - you MUST read the book BEFORE you see the movie! (Movie review coming!)

Both of us flew through HOLES, and agreed that it's one of our favorites!  We spent a lot of time laughing about and talking about HOLES.  The two stories, and the way they come together is exciting and imaginative, but we spent most of our time talking about the cast of characters.  The boys in Stanley's group at Camp Green Lake are diverse, interesting, and hilariously funny.  What else would you expect when you put twelve boys in the desert all day? 

As funny and clever as this book is, HOLES is also a thoughtful tale of family, greed, selflessness, and friendship. 

I highly recommend HOLES!! 

*I have also recently learned that Louis Sachar wrote two more HOLES books:  Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake and Small Steps, a spin off book featuring Armpit.

Book Extras:
Louis Sachar's HOLES page

1999 Newbery Medal
1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
A Christopher Award for Juvenile Fiction
An ALA Notable Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Notable Children's Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A Horn Book Fanfare Title
A Riverbank Review 1999 Children's Book of Distinction
A New York Public Library Children's Book of 1998-100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
A Texas Lone Star Award Nominee
A NECBA Fall List Title

About the Book:
  • Reading level: Ages 10 and up
  • Paperback: 272 pages 
  • Publisher: Yearling (May 9, 2000) 
  • Language: English 
  • ISBN-10: 0440414806 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440414803
  • About the Author:
    Full bio HERE.

    Born in East Meadow, New York, Louis Sachar is probably best known for his Sideways Stories from Wayside School book series and his novel, Holes, for which he won the 1999 Newberry Award and 1998 National Book Award.

    *Disclosure:  We borrowed a copy of Holes from our local library - GO LIBRARY!!


    Zibilee said...

    I have never read this book, and am wondering if my son would like it. I am not sure if he has read it or not though, so I will have to check. It does sound like a great mother/son read!

    bermudaonion said...

    I remember my son reading, and loving, this book when he was in elementary school. I should grab a copy.

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