This book has an effect on kids. I’ve had countless kids tell me that it’s a great book. I have one student that stood up and hugged me when I gave him a donated copy to keep. I knew it was his favorite book in our library. It’s also one of my son’s favorites, so I think I have a soft spot for this book.
Stanley Yelnats (read it backwards) is an unlucky child that comes from an unlucky family that is said to be cursed. When a star basketball player’s pair of sneakers falls on Stanley’s head from above, Stanley is accused of stealing the shoes. Stanley goes to court, is found guilty and is sent to Camp Green Lake, a youth detention center in the middle of a dried up lake in Texas. There Stanley and the other children are forced to dig holes every day for the warden, with little water and bad food. You might think this book is too dark and might even want to give up on reading the book at this point. Don’t. If you do, you’ll miss an amazing book.
Sacher cleverly weaves Stanley’s story with that of Stanley’s great, great grandfather, Elya, an old Egyptian woman named Madame Zeroni, a woman named Kate, a man named Sam, his donkey, Mary Lou, and Sam’s incredibly powerful onions. Woven together, Louis Sacher creates a powerful story of friendship and of good overcoming evil that you won’t forget.
Highly recommended for tweens and middle schoolers. Holes is a Newbery and National Book Award winning book.