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Holes [Hardcover]

Louis Sachar
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,662 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 2 2008
10th Anniversary Edition
Louis Sachar received great recognition for his groundbreaking story of Stanley Yelnats – a boy with a history of bad luck. As School Library Journal predicted in their starred review of the book when it was first published, “Kids will love Holes.” A decade later, the book is still quenching young readers’ thirst for a gripping story about a far-reaching family curse, friendship, adventure, endurance, and, finally, a generous helping of good karma.
Celebrate with this special 10th Anniversary Edition, which includes portraits of the author as a little brother (by his big brother), as a husband (by his wife), and as a father (by his daughter), along with photos and Louis Sachar’s 1999 Newbery acceptance speech. Vladimir Radunsky, who created the original iconoclastic cover illustration, has made new art from the familiar images. Wrapped in an acetate jacket, this edition is an appealing package that will be equally welcome in public, school, or home libraries.
Holes is a 1998 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and the winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the 1999 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Fiction and the 1999 Newbery Medal.

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"I'm not going to run away," Stanley said. "Good thinking, " said Mr Sir. "Nobody runs away from here. We don't need a fence. Know why? Because we've got the only water for a hundred miles. You want to run away? You'll be buzzard food in three days." Stanley could see some kids dressed in orange and carrying shovels dragging themselves towards the tents. "You thirsty?" asked Mr Sir. "Yes, Mr Sir," Stanley said gratefully. "Well, you better get used to it. You're going to be thirsty for the next eighteen months."

If you are looking for a truly remarkable novel, something to get your teeth into, something to make you think, and something to make you feel that you have just touched real class, then look no further than Louis Sachar's extraordinary, award-winning novel Holes.

Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: "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." When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn't think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb--a mountain so entwined in Stanley's own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.

A complex story, riddled with the harsh imagery and barren despair, Holes is a perceptive and intricate homage to family and friendship which never shies away from the harshest of realities yet injects the story of a seemingly hopeless boy with a sly, sideways humour that crackles against the backdrop of the arid wastelands of the desert. A must for anyone, young or old, who relishes an intelligent, courageous and dynamic read. (Age 11 and over) --Susan Harrison --This text refers to the Paperback 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book! July 14 2004
By mareike
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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4.0 out of 5 stars This book was good Oct. 11 2007
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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5.0 out of 5 stars holes book review March 16 2007
By kobekc
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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4.0 out of 5 stars My Holes Book Review March 13 2007
Holes Book Review

Have you ever dug a hole, five-feet deep and five-feet wide? If you think that is easy, do that everyday! You will find out how it feels if you read the book "Holes". This book is written by Louis Sachar, and he wrote this book especially for someone who likes adventures, suspense and mystery. This book can be read by people who are 10 years old or older.


Stanley Yelnats goes to a camp called "Camp Green Lake." It is a camp for bad boys, if they either stole something, killed someone or anything like that. Stanley didn't do anything wrong; it must have been a curse. Anyways, when Stanley is at Camp Green Lake, he made a lot of friends. Every morning the boys at Camp Green Lake have to wake up at four o'clock, get dressed, eat breakfast and at 5:00, they start digging holes that have to be 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide. Exhausting you must think.

This book takes place in Texas, on a dried up lake. Now that the lake is dried up, they turned it into a camp for nasty boys. There is no water there, or anywhere near, so they got thirsty really easily. It is also very sunny there in fact, it is so hot there, there hasn't been a drizzle in ages!

"Holes", has a lot of themes throughout the book, such as friendship. Now that's a big one. Stanley, one of the characters, goes to a camp and makes many friends there. He gets to know more about others, and just tags along with the gang. Another theme is bravery. Stanley was very brave when he went to look for his friend in the wilderness. He didn't have to go, he had a choice, but he's a good friend, so he did.

Louis Sachar wrote this book as an adventure and a suspenseful novel. At the end of many chapters, he leaves you on a cliffhanger and makes you want to read on.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't really connect with Stanley
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
Published 1 month ago by Book Cupid
5.0 out of 5 stars HOLES
Published 7 months ago by Helena Novak
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic.
Simply written, yet deeply satisfying story of a boy wrongfully accused of stealing, a curse and a hunt for buried treasure. Read more
Published 13 months ago by P. Zolantra
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever!!!!!!
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 more
Published 13 months ago by Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous!
Story Description:

Random House Children's Books | May 9, 2000 | Trade Paperback

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. Read more
Published on April 4 2012 by Louise Jolly
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for older listeners
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 more
Published on June 16 2010 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
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. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2009 by TeensReadToo
5.0 out of 5 stars What Stanley Learned in Camp Green Lake
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 more
Published on Feb. 25 2009 by edrm
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake after being convicted of a crime he did not commit. At Green Lake, the inmates must dig a 5ft (in every direction) hole each and every... Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2008 by Nicola Mansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Holes
I saw the movie and loved it so much that I wished that I had read the book. I watched the movie, Holes, with my sister and two nephews. We all thought that Holes was wonderful. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2006 by Brian A.
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