Holes by Louis Sachar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Holes, by Louis Sachar
★★★★★ and a ♥
Synopsis: Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-goo-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. 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.
In A Sentence: One of my favorite tales that I never get tired of.
My Thoughts: What an excellent read! This is one of those books I started when I was little, but didn’t get a chance to finish until much later. Back in 6th grade, my class spent a week at a camp called Nature’s Classroom. It was an awesome experience, but one of my favorite parts was when the parent counselor would read aloud to us right before bed. The whole week, she read a bit of the story Holes, and I loved it. I wanted her to finish, but then the week was over and we had to go back home. For some reason, I didn’t get a chance to read the whole book until I was an adult.
I love this book. I’ve read it multiple times (at least 5 times), and I have both the audiobook version and the paperback version. This story is like Harry Potter for me: I could read it over and over again and never get tired of it.
There are so many awesome things about this story that I could say (the writing, the characters, etc.), but I think the thing about this story that I loved most, that set it a notch above all other stories, is the metaphorical and literal holes throughout this story. The story is titled “Holes”, and that’s pretty much what this story is all about. You start the story with a whole bunch of questions; symbolically, you’ve dug a bunch of holes into the story. As the story progresses, more “holes” are dug and even more get filled in as the questions are answered. I was very much impressed with the whole layout of this novel, using digging holes both as part of the plot, and as part of the symbolism.
The plot itself is fantastic and so creative. The tie-ins with Kate Barlow, Sam the Onion Man, Elya Yelnats, and Madame Zeroni is absolutely genius, and I never get tired of uncovering the connections between each story. There is so much that can be taken out from this story, I’m sure every reader has found something in this book that speaks to them. For me, it was the story about Kate Barlow and Sam the onion man, and how they were punished by the town, and the town was in turn punished. I also really loved reading about how Hector’s supreme intelligence was uncovered through his friendship with Stanley.
Overall, this book is absolutely wonderful. It deserves the Gold Newberry Award and it deserves its spot on my bookshelf. I would recommend it to adults and kids alike, and I think it should be part of the required reading for all grade schools (I wish it was for me, but it was still a new book at the time). It’s one of my favorites and I hope it will be yours too. Enjoy!
View all my reviews