Holes by Louis Sachar

 

ChildrenCozy Mystery

Holes HolesLouis Sachar; Yearling 2000WorldCatLouis Sachar’s Holes shows that friends can be found in the oddest places. Stanley Yelnats never would guess he’d find a close friend at a detention camp.

Stanley has bad luck due to a family curse. This day he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A pair of shoes fell out of the air onto him. After his surprise, he decided to take them home to his inventor father. But the shoes were worth $5,000. They were stolen from a charity benefit. He’s convicted of stealing the shoes. The judge says he can go to jail or go to Camp Green Lake.

Camp Green Lake is a huge piece of dried up flat land in the middle of nowhere. It’s a detention camp. There aren’t any fences. If a boy runs away, he’d die of thirst. It takes nine hours to reach the camp. It would take days to get out of there on foot. To “build character” each boy has to dig a hole in the dried out land. He has to dig a 5 foot by 5 foot hole – every day. If he finds something interesting, he is to turn it in.

Stanley lies to his parents in his letters home. He tells them it’s like a regular summer camp. They don’t know the real conditions the boys live in at Camp Green Lake. He earns the nickname Caveman. That makes him feel good about himself for the first time in his life. He starts teaching his new friend Zero how to read and write.

It seems the boys are searching for treasure but don’t know it. Holes also tells the story about Green Lake when it was still a lake. Kate’s and Sam’s story in the past is told in bits and pieces. Finally there was an outlaw who hid a treasure underground somewhere. What the warden wants is the treasure. The juvenile detention punishment is the perfect way to look.

Holes is a wonderful book. Louis Sachar uses the right tone to keep the reader involved, whether the reader is 10 or 60. Story lines twine together. Although Holes appears to be a simple book, it isn’t. It’s a good mystery, a good growing up book, and a good “get the bad guy” book. At the end, the reader cheers for Stanley and Zero. They deserve it.

Kids of any age will like Holes.

More books by Louis Sachar

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