Friday, January 10, 2014
"Holes" by Louis Sachar
Author: Louis Sachar
Have I Read it Before: Yes
I decided to start off the year with one of my all time favorite Newbery winners, Holes. This book is absolutely brilliant. The basic premise for the story begins when Stanley Yelnats gets sent to Camp Green Lake all thanks to his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. The boys at camp Green Lake are required to dig a hole every day, five feet wide and five feet deep. Stanley soon comes to realize that they are not digging to build character like they have been told, but they are digging because the Warden is looking for something. The cast at Camp Green Lake includes Mr. Sir, Mr. Pendanski, and the other boys in D-tent; Armpit, Squid, X-Ray, Zigzag, Magnet, and Zero. The book also has several other plots set outside of Camp Green Lake. They include the stories of Elya Yelnats and Madame Zeroni, Katherine Barlow and Sam. I read this book for the first time soon after it's publication. As soon as I finished reading it, I immediately started it again. This was the first book I had read that dropped so many clues and hints about the final outcome and I just loved how all of the plots tied together so I had to go back and see what things I had missed.
As much as I love books, there aren't that many that I feel every person should read. I know that not every book will appeal to every person so I don't try to push books on people just because I liked them (I think this comes from the fact that I start to get sick of receiving book recommendations from people. So many people assume I like all books so they sometimes take it personally if I'm not fond of their favorite). However, this is one of those books that I can't help but gush about and do think that everyone should try. Though it's target readers are probably late elementary/middle school boys, there really is something in it for everyone. Sachar has done an amazing job creating this world and these characters (and I was very impressed when I saw the movie to discover that it was the first time that I loved every element of the transition from book to film as everything felt true to the book). This is one of the books that I simply must pick up and re-read every few years. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?
In addition, while the sequel Small Steps isn't good in the same way as Holes, it is also excellent.