Holes

By Louis Sachar

Published: 1998

AR level: 4.6

AR points: 7.0

Word count: 47,079

I suggest: 3rd grade+

9780440414803_p0_v6_s600x595Here is a book that is well known in the publishing industry, but happened to come out at a time when other big blockbuster books were also hitting the market. However, this gem stands on its own two feet, and it does have a movie version that’s fun to watch too.

Whether you have had the experience of reading Holes, or you’re not sure you’ve heard of it, now is the time to pick this one up. It may be 20 years old, but it not only entertains and excites, but corresponds to some of the issues of racism we are still working to overcome. Also, its a great story for boys, and sometimes those are hard to come by. This is a book that you can also read with your kids and spark plenty of great conversations.

Here is the description of this Newbery and National Book award-winning, exceptional story:

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.

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