No wonder this book has got a Newberry Award Its 200 something pages of pure awesomeness By beautifully executing such an ingenious concept, Louis Sachar has made me his fan.Stanley Yelnats is an over sized preteen who is falsely accused of stealing He is provided with the option to choose between jail and camp green lake Stanley is not well of, and has never been to camp, so his choice is obvious Unfortunately though, Camp green lake is not the usual camp He gets his fair share of adventure from the camp, only it comes in totally unexpected ways.What I liked best was the flow of the novel Stanley is a narrator one can sympathize with Him being not whinny comes as a welcome relief Even in the face of grave danger, he remains his calm self with his dry sense of humor, blaming his no good dirty rotten pig stealing great great grandfather for almost everything Zero and his friendship were also refreshing to read about The mutually beneficial and constructive kind Then there are parts in the novel when, the story behind the Lake s history, and its residents were elaborated I think, they were my favorite parts as they reminded me of my grandmother and the times when she used to tell me stories The tone of the story automatically gets you in this really relaxed mode and when you are done reading, you have this really satisfied smile on your face Not exactly how I imagined it, but yeah Something like that A warning though When you read the book, don t bring along your microscopes and start pondering about why there are too many coincidences towards the end Just enjoy this really awesome book, chill and get yourself a good mood..4.5 stars Funny story I m trying to shelve this book, and can t remember if it had been banned but I thought it had google confirmed At the same time, my friend Allison and I are chatting on Google Chat, and she starts ranting about how ridiculous book banning is an opinion with which I agree wholeheartedly Anyway, the conversation went like this me Is Holes a banned book I can t rememberallison dunno the whole concept of banned books is stupid I mean, you could find a reason to gripe about any bookme yes, I agreeallison I think The Replacement should be banned because there is a scene talking about knives in the kitchenallison VIOLENCEme haha just waitallison and he sits on his roofallison DANGEROUS BEHAVIORallison RECKLESSme He says the F word, and there are BOOBIES allison PORNOGRAPHYme IMMORALITY allison lolallison or you could go the other way and be totally ridiculousallison Holes doesn t directly support a gay lifestyleallison BAN ITme But it doesallison oh well then uhme all those boys are in and out of holes all day longNeedless to say, there was laughter Sometimes I crack myself up Anyway, all witty repartee aside, I really liked this book I have no idea why it would have been banned unless it was because a kid hits a jerk in the face with a shovel for being a complete ass to him day in and day out That s probably it ENCOURAGING VIOLENT BEHAVIOR AND DISRESPECT FOR AUTHORITY BAN IT I loved Stanley, but in all truth, I loved Zero He was the star of this show for me I wanted everything to work out for him, and I was on pins and needles worrying about him when things started to go bad for him I mean, these kids committed crimes, or at least they were accused of committing crimes, but they weren t BAD or EVIL Punishment is one thing, but the kind of things that these kids were made to do is nothing short of abuse And what s sad is that probably isn t a far stretch from what really happens although probably for different reasons I enjoyed how the three different storylines all came together in this one, and seeing the little bits of each one felt like discovering a gem I d have this, OH moment each time something was revealed that linked something else Really fun to read I really enjoyed this one, and I look forward to seeing the movie soon, since I hear from Allison that it s fabulous. Holes, Louis Sachar Holes is a 1998 young adult mystery comedy novel written by Louis Sachar and first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux It won the 1998 U.S National Book Award for Young People s Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year s most distinguished contribution to American literature for children In 2012 it was ranked number 6 among all time children s novels in a survey published by School Library Journal 248 186 227 2009 1379 280 964417335 1381 1382 1388 9789644173356 1389 20 1999 1999 This book is so much fun I used to take clippings from magazines with book reviews, found an old clipping about this book cleaning up the house recently and thought mmm let s read this one Timing was impeccable I went through an explosive challenging period of really hard work and high pressure in the office and this book made me look forward to reading if only a few pages when coming home A quirky funny story about a boy called Stanley who is sent to Green Camp Lake , a boy s detention center after supposedly having stolen a pair of sports shoes from a famous basketball player Being innocent, he blaims his no good dirty rotten pig stealing great great grandfather who ran into a curse which affected Stanley s family over years and years Camp Green Lake is in the middle of the desert, a dried up lake, and every day a scary ward and guards, amongst who a Mr Sir , make the boys dig holes there So, what s going on.I had so much fun with this book, excellently written and the story who can make it up All factors combined, also the timing of this book in my life, right book at the right time, couldn t be better A sympathetic enjoyable story, really quirky and just pure FUN Recommended ps Curious about the movie too, never saw it yet. Stanley Tries To Dig Up The Truth In This Inventive And Darkly Humorous Tale Of Crime And Punishment And Redemption 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 Yelnats Now Stanley Has Been Unjustly Sent To A Boys Detention Center, Camp Green Lake, Where The Warden Makes The Boys Build Character By Spending All Day, Every Day, Digging Holes Five Feet Wide And Five Feet Deep It Doesn T Take Long For Stanley To Realize There S Than Character Improvement Going On At Camp Green Lake The Boys Are Digging Holes Because The Warden Is Looking For Something Stanley Tries To Dig Up The Truth In This Inventive And Darkly Humorous Tale Of Crime And Punishment And Redemption Love the story of the curse. 3.75 I knew of a friend who lost everything when her father started digging holes You see, her dad was a treasure hunter And to be a treasure hunter, you are supposed to be well equipped and with good manpower You must also be in possession of a reliable map and a lot of time You also need a lot of money to be able to acquire all the above things Unfortunately, my friend s father only acquired a fake map, swindlers for company and equipment worth nothing when you re digging the wrong hole Little by little, my friend s dad used up all their savings and even lost his time for their family My friend and her siblings grew up and away from their dad All was lost, true All that was left is a hole in my friend s heart There was once a treasure there, I am sure but her father dug too deep it failed to see it sparkle.The Hole I ve read however is not my friend s story It did not have a treasure map but it has a great plot It did talk of treasures, the obvious would be the one buried There s a treasure in the form of friendship, one covered in perseverance and another enclosed with hope If you add a bit of dust of fate with these treasures, you will get the story of a boy named Stanley Yelnats, the main protagonist in this novel I liked the presentation of the story the interconnectedness of their experiences It s an application of Newton s 3rd law of motion which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction Just like how someone else s athlete s foot become the reason for another s sweet riches how the despair of having been bullied be the same reason for his freedom or how being the teacher, he actually got the better lesson, than he has bargained for Stanley did that and in the end he gained friends and respect All in all, Holes is not about big excavations, it s about filling the gaps It talked about racism, crossing beyond borders It talked about family and camaraderie It talked about keeping your promises and breaking barriers It talked about being a better person And yes, even added the perks of enjoying a big onion bulb When someone digs a hole out there in the vast universe, there d be a lot of soil dirt displaced Imagine them as stories unburdened from some remote keeper So what do we do with these soil dirt story We place them inside our own gaps, enriching us such that our hole becomes full, we come out as a whole person.PS.IF you wonder about my friend, last time I ve heard, their parents are together again He quit hunting for treasures and stuck with those that are far precious, his own family. I m not sure exactly when it happened, but it seems I m no longer absolutely cool in my daughter s eyes I could understand if her particular issues with me were current fashion or the things to do while hanging out with friends, but books BOOKS Oh, the pain I don t say anything about the girly girl preteen drivel she loves to read after all, I occasionally read girly girl grownup drivel and I recommend a wide range of books while keeping in mind she doesn t have the same penchant for sf fantasy as I do She is a voracious reader, will happily read things her teacher recommends, and liked the books that Santa gave her.So why does she sneer every time I hand her a book well, she doesn t sneer every time, sometimes it s just a withering look or a nah, I don t think so I m not sure how I acquired this book, and it was one I hadn t read as a kid I suggested that Maya and I read it together since we ve been enjoying reading aloud at bedtime She read the blurb on the cover, handed it back to me and said Nah I said, Let s give it a shot Oh, it s an award winner, isn t ituh uh, she replied.I then said, Uh huh, we re giving this a shot Cue withering look.The book quickly won her over The short chapters are perfect for bedtime readingwe never had to stop in the middle of a chapter, and most nights read several chapters The author weaves together several plots Each thread is connected, but he deftly gives us just the bits of information we need at any given point, and it all comes together at the end wonderfully I loved when Maya would make a connection and exclaim, Oh those are Sam s onions or gasp, Oh no That s what really happened Final verdict She loved it, and so did I.Apparently I am capable of choosing good books.Not that she ll remember that when I hand her the next book. I was picking up some books at the resale shop and for some reason found myself browsing in the children s books It seemed like the usual fare at first, some Dr Seuss, a mangy copy of a Clifford book, a few ratty Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks, Hugh Hefner s autobiography, some smut called The Very Virile Viking , and Pimp by Iceberg Slim Tucked amongst all this tawdry trash was something called Holes , which seemed to make sense sandwiched between Pimp and Hef s life saga I soon realized that there was a movie based on this book made a few years back, which I had never bothered with, but, to my shock and awe, Holes was the work of Louis Sideways Stories Sachar As a long time fan of the preposterous Wayside School stories, I immediately picked this up along with the other aforementioned books and decided to bump it up on my to read list I had no idea Sachar had even done any other work, and I was interested to see what he d bring to the table I have to admit, I wasn t nearly as impressed with Holes as I thought I might be This might be due to the unrealistically high expectations I had based on my previous Sachar experience, or the fact that since they took the time and bankroll to make a movie based off this work, it obviously had to be incredible The palindromically named Stanley Yelnats is a good spirited and festively plump little kid who is shipped off to a boy s reform program at Camp Green Lake as punishment for stealing a pair of shoes being donated to charity by Clyde Sweet Feet Livingston However, poor Stanley never stole the shoes, he s been wrongfully accused, which is something he s accustomed to, since his family is under the influence of a malevolent gypsy curse which began due to an oversight by his no good dirty rotten pig stealing great great grandfather This evil hex has brought misery and financial ruin to the Yelnats clan since it was first laid, and each male heir to the Yelnats throne vainly hopes to be the one to break this vicious cycle It isn t looking too promising for Stanley to be the chosen one, as he s shipped off to Camp Green Lake, which is the dusty basin of a once flourishing lake which has since dried up under the scorching desert sun His duty at the Camp is torturous each day he must wake up at cock crow and dig a hole five feet deep by five feet wide, while eluding the venomous yellow spotted lizards which infest the area Spitting in each completed hole is optional, and Stanley opts for this luxury at the insistence of his peers The narrative of Stanley s troubles at the camp are intertwined with the background of how this dread gypsy curse came about and also with the story of Kissing Katie Barlow, an outlaw that robbed his great grandfather While Stanley toils to dig hole after hole under the strict rule of the Warden and her lackeys Mr Pendanski and Mr Sir , the tale of the curse unfolds, in which his great great grandfather Elya is vying for the hand of wealthy hottie Myra back in their motherland of Latvia In order to win her hand, Myra s father stipulates that the stud who presents the choicest pig as a gift will get the girl which I hear is still a popular practice back in Riga , which leads Elya into cahoots with the gypsy, Madame Zeroni Things take a turn for the worse for Elya, and he ends up not only forgetting to perform a favor for the gypsy, but he also gives away the hog as a wedding present to his rival Even spectacular is the downfall of the kind hearted Katie Barlow, a benevolent teacher who begins an interracial relationship with an onionmonger named Sam in the Green Lake area The ignorant townsfolk don t cotton to this pairing and end up killing Sam and his onion chomping mule, Mary Lou , which leads the once peaceful teacher to life as an outlaw Barlow also happened to rob Stanley s great grandfather, and before kicking the bucket, she ended up burying all her ill gotten gains somewhere in the parched and dry bowl of the former lake, a treasure yet to be unearthed that the Warden presumably is trying to locate with all this absurd hole digging The story is pretty enjoyable, for the most part it follows in the silly tradition of the Sachar work I am familiar with, however, the fact that he had to throw a message in there pretty much turned me off Stanley and his fellow detainees at the Camp are a motley bunch, a mixed race group of transgressors who are coming to terms with their own cultural identities When Stanley makes an arrangement with black camper Zero to teach him to read in exchange for his labor, the others drop some slave references The saga of Katie Barlow and Sam, however, far eclipses this childish prattle, and firmly beats the reader of the head with the love your brother stick At one point, Sachar even states that god himself punished the intolerant populous of Green Lake using the 100 year drought that turned a thriving lake into a dust bowl The whole race relations bit was generally annoying, and perhaps what might have bothered me most was that in his preaching, Sachar makes it clear how wrong it is to consider someone of color illiterate, stupid, or treacherous, but it s fully acceptable to include the stereotype of a curse casting gypsy thrown into the storyline Overall, the story comes together predictably and nicely, but the insistence with which Sachar clubbed me over the head with his message bothered me.