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Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar

holes louis sachar review


Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar


Book Summary:

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 Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

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. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

You can purchase Holes by Louis Sachar on Amazon (Kindle, Paperback, Audio CD):

Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar 1  Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar 2

*possible spoilers ahead*

What I like about the book:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the magical backdrop of the story. I grew up in a small provincial town so my childhood was filled with similar myths and stories of olden-days magic. The book just felt wonderfully familiar and comforting and I loved it.
  • Stanley’s mother is the best. With a husband caught up in such a ‘smelly’ business and a son like Stanley, I would have probably lost my mind. I think it’s her positive disposition which held that family together.
  • Stanley is an excellent main character. He is far from perfect but there is this inherent goodness in him that you can’t deny. I also think these ‘weaknesses’ made him all the more endearing and relatable to kids and adults.
  • The friendship between Stanley and Zero is more mature than almost all adult friendships I know.
  • The scene with the giraffe toy was both beautiful and heartbreaking.
  • One of the scenes which made the most impression on me was when Stanley tried to get out of the hole amidst the group of yellow dotted lizards trapped in the hole with him. I mean, he just did it. He knew the risks, he counted his options and took action. No big showy words. Just silent, honest, and earnest courage.

What I don’t like about the book:

  • Too short! I want more Stanley and Zero adventures.

Rating: 8.5/10


Favorite Quote:

“When you spend your whole life living in a hole, the only way you can go is up.”

“You’re responsible for yourself. You messed up your life, and it’s up to you to fix it. No one else is going to do it for you — for any of you.”

“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Nothing in life is easy. But that’s no reason to give up. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. After all, you only have one life, so you should try to make the most of it.”


Other books in the series :

Louis Sachar Small Steps  Small Steps Audio






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