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Holes [Paperback]

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

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Book Description

March 11 2003
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-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 warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. 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. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

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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 an alternate 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 an alternate Paperback edition.

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There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. Read the first page
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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 Dig It up Them Holes April 3 2006
By Nicole
Holes is a book by Louis Sachar, this book is a fiction book. The setting takes place at Camp Green Lake in present day. The two main characters in Holes are Stanley Yelnats and Hector Zeroni. Stanley is a very curious, brave and suspicious. Everyone has a nick name for each other and his is Caveman. The second main character is Hector Zeroni. His nickname is Zero because they say he's nothing. Hector is very quiet, doesn't talk, and does what he has to do. He's also very poor and has been separated from his mother. Hector and Stanley become best friends at first it's the only friends they get. The conflict begins when Stanley is blamed stealing a pair of shoes he didn't steal. The shoes fell out of no where. The judge sends him to a boys digging camp; where he thought he would have fun. Although when he arrives; there a many surprises coming his way. If you want to find out what happened read the book.
I really liked this book because it's entertaining and I didn't once want to put it down. The characters make this book breath taking. I would recommend Holes to both boys and girls for ages 8-13.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book review: Holes by Louis Sachar June 29 2004
By A Customer
I. Plot:
Once a pair of sneakers of Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player were thrown
over a boy's head and he was sent to a juvenile correctional facility named "Camp Green Lake", because the judge thought that the boy, Stanley Yelnats had really stolen the sneakers.
When he arrived he saw that Camp Green Lake is not a normal camp - there is no green, no lake, there is only a hot dry landscape and the boys are forced to dig holes. Stanley realizes quickly that it is not a girls scout camp.
II. Setting:
There are only 5 settings in the whole book: the camp, the desert, Gods thumb (a big mountain near the camp at the edge of the desert), Stanley's home and the town Green Lake - 110 years ago.
Three different parts of the story run parallelly, especially Stanleys home, Camp Green Lake and the town Green Lake.
III. Characters:
There are three main characters named Stanley Yelnats, Zero (later Hector Zeroni) and the Warden (the authority of the camp). Stanley and Zero become good friends in the camp; they are like brothers. The Warden is a woman and the headmaster of the facility.
The minor characters are Mr.Pendanski and Mr.Sir, who are both guards in the camp.
IV. Conflict:
In Holes there is a conflict between the kids and the Warden. Every time the Warden comes to the scene the kids stand together. The Warden makes the kids dig holes all the day because she wants them to find the treasure of Kissin' Kate Barlow from 110 years ago. But the diggers don't know that they dig to find the treasure, they think they have to dig the holes because of their punishment.
A second conflict is between Stanley and the other guys of tent D.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars splendid!!!!!!! June 15 2004
By A Customer
this story is about stanley yelnats and his amazing journey. stanley is the average kid who likes to do regular things. one day stankye was walking when a pair of famous shoes hit him in the head. the cops where looking for those shoes and they saw him with them so they thought he had stole them. stankey was sent him to a detention camp called camp green lake. once stankey rives he realizes there isnt a lake, just alot of holes. they have to dig hole 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide. they are told there digging to biuld character but stanley knows there looking for something nore. i think this is a exciting addicting story. every chapter leaves you wanting to read the next. its full of suspence with many wierd twist and turns. i also think this is a good story becuase its telling to storys at once. it tell about stanleys great great great grandfather and history of camp green lake. i recomend this book to anyone who loves to feel like there part of the story trying to find out the mystery themselves. this is a great book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Holes by Luis Sachar June 8 2004
Have you ever been blamed for something you didn't do but every body else thinks you did? I know it has happened to me. It has also happened to the main character in Holes, Stanley Yelnats. Holes is the best book I have ever read. It was so hard to put down. Stanley was accused of stealing Sweet Feet's shoes that he donated to the homeless shelter for an auction. (Sweet feet were the best baseball player ever in the book). They found Stanley guilty even though the shoes fell out of the sky and hit him in the head. The court didn't believe this story. If I were the court I wouldn't believe that either. He was sentenced for twelve months at Camp Green Lake. " I've never been to camp," he said. He thought it was going to be fun. But boy was he wrong. When he got to Camp Green Lake he didn't exactly have the best welcome. He asked where the lake was and everybody started laughing. He didn't know that there wasn't a lake. I felt sorry for him. Stanley was then shocked by the fact that you have to dig a hole five feet round and five feet deep everyday. Then he figured out he had to get up at five in the morning and showers could only be two minutes long. His hands were completely covered with blisters by the end of the first day. Every body at Camp Green Lake had a nickname for different reasons. X-Ray got his nickname because of his glasses. Armpit got his nickname because he has B.O. Stanley got his nickname because he kept finding things in his hole. Zero got his nickname because he doesn't talk. Zero only talks to Stanley. Zero wouldn't talk to Mr. Sir, the guy who gives water to the boys when they are digging, so Mr. Sir started making fun of Zero. So Zero hits him across the face with a shovel and ran away from the camp. Three days later Stanley took Mr. Sir's water truck and crashed it into a hole. Then he ran away too to meet up with Zero. The ending surprised me. You need to read this book. NO matter what kind of books you like you should read this book. Holes.
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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 23 days 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 This book was good
Holes is a story,within a story,within a story,within a story.Sachar's style makes you think of many ideas and wonders. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2007 by Dave Redding
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