Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Louis Sachar
Yearling Books 1998

My very favorite book published in the 1990's has to be Holes by Louis Sachar.

There is no doubt that Stanley Yelnats is a very unlucky boy. Framed for stealing a valuable pair of shoes owned by a baseball superstar, he takes the option of serving out his sentence at Camp Green Lake. Turns out, there is no lake. Not any more. At this juvenile detention facility, the warden makes every boy dig a five-foot-deep, five-foot around hole in the dry lake bed every day. If that weren't bad enough, there's the deadly yellow spotted lizards you have to watch out for.

Stanley's family has always had bad luck, ever since his great-great-grandfather stole a pig from an old gypsy named Madame Zeroni back in Latvia. Stanley's mother doesn't believe in the family curse, but then again Stanley's grandfather's fortune was stolen by the infamous outlaw, Kissing Kate Barlow, and Stanley's father is an inventor who can't seem to invent anything.

And no rain has fallen on Green Lake, Texas since Kissing Kate left the town and turned to a life of crime.

Louis Sachar brings all these story elements together, twisting and weaving a marvelously complex plot that comes down to an absolutely satisfying ending. A great read for ages 9 and up.

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