Hooked On Books – Holes


Farrar, Straus and Giroux

DARK TIMES. Holes is a fun, if occasionally dark, tale for young adults.

Caroline Miller, Staff Writer

The Story

The novel  “Holes” by Louis Sachar takes readers on an exciting journey into the life of Stanley Yelnats. In the book, Stanley’s family was supposedly cursed with bad luck. One day, Stanley is accused of stealing is sent to Camp Green Lake in Texas as punishment.

The camp was once a lake, but it had dried up years ago. All the campers are forced to dig holes five feet deep and five feet wide. There are also many dangers in Camp Green Lake, including the venomous, yellow-spotted lizard.  Will Stanley be able to unravel the mystery of why he has to dig these holes while avoiding the yellow-spotted lizard?

The Good

The book “Holes” is very intriguing. It has a lot of cliffhangers at the end of chapters, which leads to the readers wanting to know what happens next. This makes the book feel fast-paced and exciting.

The story is funny, mysterious and even slightly dark. For example, in the book, Stanley is forced to dig holes because of crimes he didn’t even commit. Still, the author finds a lot of humor in Stanley’s situation.

The author also describes the characters’ feelings and thoughts well. “Holes” provides details about the setting, including the history of the setting. For example, the novel explains the history of the lake and the people who lived there at the time.

Some of the characters include the protagonist, Stanley, the warden, who is the leader of the camp, and Zero, who is one of Stanley’s friends but doesn’t talk very much. Most of the characters feel realistic, but some are a little one-dimensional.

The Bad

The novel contains some dark subjects, like racism. For example, when the novel takes the readers back in time, it does show a time when the color of your skin reflected how people treated you. There was a rule were “white” people and  “black” people couldn’t interact in the town where the story takes place. The story does a good job reflecting that part of history, but it feels a little out of place from the rest of the story.

The Bottom Line

The novel “Holes” by Louis Sachar is a great novel for kids. It may contain some dark subjects, but it deals with this darkness well. That may be a reason why so many people adore this novel. This book deserves a 7 out of 10.