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"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.
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.
Do you believe in curses?
Stanley Yelnats sure does. In fact, his great-great-grandfather betrayed a witch and since then bad luck seems to follow him around. Read more
IT IS A FANTASTIC BOOK, ABOUT FRIENDSHIP !! FOR TEENAGERS AND EVEN ADULTS ( I READ IT 3 TIMES, SO TO SAY THAT I LIKE IT)
I OFFERED IT TO MY GRAND-CHILDREN!
Simply written, yet deeply satisfying story of a boy wrongfully accused of stealing, a curse and a hunt for buried treasure. Read morePublished 23 months ago by P. Zolantra
I got recommended this book at school and read it and I absolutkey loved it!!!!! I think i have read this book at least 5 times now and each time I love it more and more!!!! Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lewis
Random House Children's Books | May 9, 2000 | Trade Paperback
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. Read more
This audiobook is well executed but the setting of the story is grim. My listeners are 7 and 9 year old boys, and they were ready to abnandon this audiobook somewhere in disc 2 (of... Read morePublished on June 16 2010 by Amazon Customer
Stanley got sent to Camp Green Lake, where the juvenile criminals lived to dig holes in the middle of the desert. However, I suppose he learned a whole bunch of things, esp. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2009 by edrm