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Holes by Louis Sachar

July 27, 2011

This is a young adult book that I somehow never read as a young adult.

In Holes by Louis Sacher we meet Stanley Yelnats, an overweight kid who is picked on at school. Bad luck runs in Stanley’s family – ever since his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.”  It’s bad luck that brings Stanley to Camp Green Lake, a camp for troubled boys where he and the other boys are forced to dig huge holes every day. It soon becomes apparent that they are not just digging holes to “build character” but are definitely looking for something that the Warden wants.

The story of Stanley and his friends at camp – Zero, Armpit, Zigzag, and X-Ray – becomes intertwined with the story of Stanley’s great grandfather and the infamous outlaw, Kate Barlow. During his time at the camp, Stanley grows up a bit, perseveres, and learns a lot about himself, but not in a silly or cheesy way – in a “we knew you were awesome and now you know you’re awesome too” kind of way, which I really liked.

What was great about Holes is that Stanley doesn’t do many of the things you’d expect him to do and the other boys at the camp aren’t the typical characters you’d expect Sachar to place at the camp. The story is unusual enough and interesting enough to keep any reader engrossed. I’m so glad I caught up on this great YA book – now to see the movie!

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