REVIEW: Holes by Louis Sachar

REVIEW: Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis Sachar

Publication Date: September 2, 2000

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. –Goodreads

I remember reading this book in junior high (2001 people!) and I loved it so much. I remember trying to tell my friends, but no one really cared-reading wasn’t really a “cool” thing to talk about, apparently, although it should be!

I give this book a FIVE STAR rating because of the character development and plot.

holesWhat I Loved:

  • Flashbacks to another story in the past, which had a historical fiction feel to it (which is my favorite genre).
  • The themes of inequality and friendship
  • The fear it instilled in me that if I got into trouble, I could be sent to a camp to dig holes all day.
  • The characters! Their nicknames!
  • The best book friendship ever: Zero and Stanley
  • How everything came full circle and “clicked” at the end (one major “aha moment!”)
  • Stanley-such a caring character. Here is my favorite quote showing he thought of others (most of the time. He did have his selfish times, but don’t we all?) “What worried him the most was the thought of his parents not knowing what happened to him, not knowing whether he was dead or alive. He hated to imagine what it would be like for his mother and father, day after day, month after month, not knowing, living on false hope. For him, at least it would be over. For his parents, the pain would never end.”


I recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure, historical fiction, and friendship. There is also some mystery and it is nice that everything comes full circle at the end.


I am a middle school teacher who loves to read. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew and a creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit.

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