Holes by Louis Sachar, starts off with a very unfortunate event. Stanley Yelnats, a standard but rather unlucky American boy, is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit! Because of his youth, he is sent to a juvenile detention camp called Camp Green Lake. Here, Stanley and the other juvenile delinquents are forced to dig deep holes in the ground in the sweltering sun! It becomes evident that the Warden is looking for something and throughout the narrative we find out what exactly is being looked for and this ties in perfectly with an explanation as to why Stanley has such bad luck!
The ever present danger of digging these holes come in the form of scorpions who nest in them, and the deadly yellow spotted lizards who, if they bite or sting you, could kill you instantly. These two creatures are key to some of the excitement that occurs throughout the book, but not in the way you might imagine!
You know Holes is a good book because they made it into a film a few years ago! The characters are so diverse and lovable that you feel like you’re with them inside the book! Stanley, for example, is overweight and often bullied at school, however still has the ability to look on the bright side when his luck is down – and that is pretty much all the time!! In Camp Green Lake you see his self-confidence grow immensely and there are certain points when you feel like cheering “Go Stanley!” at the book.
As great as Stanley is, my undisputed favourite of the book is a character named Zero. Zero is one of the boys at Camp Green Lake, though he is actually called Hector Zeroni and his story merges into the explanation of the Yelnats’ curse! Zero’s mother abandoned him when he was small and so he spent most of his life prior to the Camp homeless. He hasn’t been educated so he can’t read or write and he rarely speaks and walks around scowling. However, Zero is really a very kind and generous character and he and Stanley become very great friends.
This book is, without a doubt, a great read for both boys and girls of all ages! Many of the friends I have now cite this book as their favourite childhood read so it’s definitely worth a try. I haven’t given much about this book away because I don’t want to spoil it for you but take my word that there are some rather amazing adventures to be had and mysteries to uncover within its pages! Lastly, if you enjoy this book, Louis Sachar has written a whole host of other children’s books, just as funny and interesting as this one! Enjoy!