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Holes Hardcover – Sep 2 2008


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 10 Anv edition (Sept. 2 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374332665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374332662
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.5 x 22 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,663 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

"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." Such is the reigning philosophy at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, and there are no happy campers. In place of what used to be "the largest lake in Texas" is now a dry, flat, sunburned wasteland, pocked with countless identical holes dug by boys improving their character. Stanley Yelnats, of palindromic name and ill-fated pedigree, has landed at Camp Green Lake because it seemed a better option than jail. No matter that his conviction was all a case of mistaken identity, the Yelnats family has become accustomed to a long history of bad luck, thanks to their "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!" Despite his innocence, Stanley is quickly enmeshed in the Camp Green Lake routine: rising before dawn to dig a hole five feet deep and five feet in diameter; learning how to get along with the Lord of the Flies-styled pack of boys in Group D; and fearing the warden, who paints her fingernails with rattlesnake venom. But when Stanley realizes that the boys may not just be digging to build character--that in fact the warden is seeking something specific--the plot gets as thick as the irony.

It's a strange story, but strangely compelling and lovely too. Louis Sachar uses poker-faced understatement to create a bizarre but believable landscape--a place where Major Major Major Major of Catch-22 would feel right at home. But while there is humor and absurdity here, there is also a deep understanding of friendship and a searing compassion for society's underdogs. As Stanley unknowingly begins to fulfill his destiny--the dual plots coming together to reveal that fate has big plans in store--we can't help but cheer for the good guys, and all the Yelnats everywhere. (Ages 10 and older) --Brangien Davis --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

PW's starred review of the 1999 Newbery Medal winner described it as a "dazzling blend of social commentary, tall tale and magic realism." Ages 10-up. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on Oct. 7 2009
Format: Hardcover
HOLES was first released over a decade ago, so I have no excuse for not joining the masses in reading it before now. But, I kept telling myself, it's about boys digging holes. What's interesting about that?

So years passed.

When the anniversary edition, complete with its Newbery-medal-bearing jacket, caught my eye, I decided it was time to see what all the hype was about. After all, clearly the book was good enough to be made into a movie starring some of my favorite actors (Jon Voigt, Henry Winkler, Sigourney Weaver, and a young Shia LaBeouf), so it had to be good, right?

Thankfully, this (admittedly flawed) line of reasoning didn't fail me. The book met and exceeded my expectations.

A weak but loveable main character named Stanley Yelnats (a clever anagram, no?) leads readers through the main plot. The story is about an adolescent boy sent to a reform camp, where he must dig one grave-sized hole each day as punishment for a crime we're led to believe he did not commit.

As I suspected, this plot is no fun. But don't let that fool you! The book itself is chalk full of fun...and it doesn't take long for it to enter the story.

A master at suspending disbelief, Sachar weaves together several storylines as he takes us back through Yelnats family history and ties it to the history of Kissin' Kate Barlow, one of the most notorious outlaws in the West. Without revealing too much, and yet dropping enough clues for readers to piece the puzzle together as they go, Sachar unveils each story as a stand-alone piece while keeping firm footing in the main story.

One character after another dances through the book and wins over readers with a sympathetic story of his or her own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mareike on July 14 2004
Format: Paperback
The novel is about a boy called Stanley who was arrested for a crime he didn`t do. So he was sent to Camp Green Lake. Once there was a Lake but during the years it changed into a dry wasteland with dangerous animals. There the boys have to dig a hole every day under inhuman conditions to build their character. Stanley finds a good friend and together they have to survive dangerous adventures...
The main characters are Stanley, Zero and the Warden. Stanley was an outsider at school, Zero was an outsider at the camp, because everybody thinks that he is stupid and the Warden is the big boss, very strict and only nice when she wants something.
Other characters are X-Ray, Squid, Magnet, Armpit and Zigzag.
The basic conflict is about the friedship between the two boys.
We like the story, because it is easy to read and there are also interesting views into the past ot the characters. But at the end some aspects weren't very realistic and a little bit like a fairy tale.
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By Dave Redding on Oct. 11 2007
Format: Paperback
Holes is a story,within a story,within a story,within a story.Sachar's style makes you think of many ideas and wonders.He wrote all different stories which had holes for you to fill and find out for yourself.His style made me stay focused in the book because you are dealing with all these thoughts and ideas that you would never know what would happen next.But in the book there are good points and there are bad points.The good points are when the book gets really exciting and your just have to know what happens next.The bad points are like at the end when he keeps you hanging and you want to know what happend to everybody else which kind of surprised me.He just wants you to fill in holes yourself.Overall, Sachar's style is my style because it's not those kind of books that stick to the same boring subject, it is the kind of wonders that all come together in the end when you finished filling your hole. If you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterful novel--The Fates, I'd highly recommend reading it. Truly an enjoyable read.
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By kobekc on March 16 2007
Format: Paperback
Holes book review

Do you like digging holes? Well you won't after reading this book.

Holes is a great book about a boy named Stanley who gets blamed for stealing a famous soccer players cleats. These cleats were supposed to be donated to a homeless shelter. Instead of being sent to a juvenile detention centre, they send him to a camp, 18 hours from home called CAMP GREEN LAKE. In the blazing hot sun they make the kids dig holes 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide, everyday from 5:00 in the morning until they finish their hole late in the after noon. It's all about Stanley's friends and their adventures at Camp Green Lake.

Holes has many different and interesting characters, these are a few of them. The main character is about 12 years old named Stanley Yelnats. Stanley is a warm hearted caring friend. He gets teased at school about his weight (even by his teacher). There are also many others. One of the first people Stanley met was Mr. Sir he is one of the main leaders of Camp Green Lake. He also is a stubborn, mean and bossy person. Mr. Pendanski is the tent leader and he helps them all out with what they were going to do with themselves after they get out of Camp Green Lake. Zero is one of the people that Stanley meets and learns to trust. They gave Zero that nickname because he never talked and they thought that he had nothing inside of his head. There are many different characters that I can explain but you'll just have to read the book and find out.

Holes is set in a place that I bet you've never heard of. A place in Texas called Camp Green Lake. You might think there is a beautiful green lake, but to tell you the truth there's not even a lake in sight, not a drop of water either!
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