The novel, Holes, by Louis Sachar, is perfect for boys who don’t like to read. Girls will like it, too, as will boys who enjoy reading. The book illustrates the power of friendship as well as the ability of an individual to grow strong in an oppressive situation. Stanley is falsely accused of a crime, convicted, and sent to a detention facility where the warden works the boys all day in the desert sun for her own mysterious purposes.

As is usual in these types of books, at first Stanley doesn’t fit in. He doesn’t belong there, and feels out of place with society’s castoff children. He makes friends with Zero, one of the least capable boys, and they are both picked on by the bigger boys.

Later in the story, Stanley and Zero uncover an old mystery that ties the two of them together in other ways. The twists and turns of the plot keep readers flipping the page. Most students I have talked to gush that they read this one in a single sitting because it is just impossible to put down.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that the adults aren’t idiots. Stanley is the hero, but his parents are supportive and loving for a change.


by Jessica and Cathleen for Novel Madness 2013

You walk through a library, trying to find the perfect book. It’s the book Holes written by Louis Sachar. Some people might think the book The Red Pyramid is better than Holes; however, most people know that there are much more reasons that the book Holes is a better book. The story is full of friendship, have a well-written beginning, middle, and end, and it has a wide amount of descriptions.

Some people might feel that The Red Pyramid is a good book; however, many people know that Holes is full of friendship. Stanley Yelnats makes friends with X-Ray, Armpit, Zigzag, Squid, and Magnet. Later on he made friends with Zero. They taught him to not trust a lot of people. He and Zero become really close, when they escaped Camp Greenlake and tried to survive the desert. Stanley protected and cared for Zero when he became sick. They show the reader the true meaning of friendship, trust, and cooperation.

Although some people may possibly think that The Red Pyramid has a well- developed story, Holes has a great beginning middle and end. In the beginning, the book tells you about what happened to Stanley and how he ended in jail. The book describes with details, but not too much that makes the reader bored. The middle is long, and a little complicated, but the way it’s described is very enjoyable. The story is in sequence, and very easy to follow. While The Red Pyramid, is a bit boring in the middle. The ending is straightforward and actually tells you what happens, while in The Red Pyramid, you have to wait until the sequel and it’s a complicated.

Some people may feel that The Red Pyramid has good details, but in Holes, the scenes are described so well that the readers can actually see what’s happening. The way that they described the camp made my throat dry. Also, when the story described Mr. Sir screaming, the vivid description made me feel that I was in the scene. This is what it said, “Suddenly, Mr. Sir screamed and clutched his face with both hands. He let himself fall over, rolling off the hearth and onto the rug.” And this was the scene after Mr. Sir fell to the floor. “Stanley could see the muscles on his face jump and twitch. His body writhed in pain.” Just reading it could make a reader flinch.

Just then, you finally found the book that you longed for so long. Holes. The story Holes is full of friendship, have a well-written beginning middle and end, and has a huge amount of sensory details. Now all you have to do is to vote for Holes when the teacher asks you to.

For the rest of the Novel Madness 2013 titles and links to student essays, click here.

For the results of this matchup, click here.

23 thoughts on “Holes”

  1. Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:07 am

    The book,Holes, by Louis Sachar is different to the movie, stanley was described as a fat boy. I love this book, it makes you want to read more and more. I love the parts when the author uses description for how hot it was. I feel like i was feeling it too. Overall this boo is great and enjoyable for many people.

  2. Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:24 am

    I agree with you, this book was really good. I was one of those kids who couldn’t put it down once I got to the climactic point. I actually wasn’t supposed to finish the book so fast because the class was reading it together, but I did. (Don’t tell anyone!) Also, I disagree with you about the adults not being idiots because Stanley’s dad couldn’t make that invention in the begining, remember?

    1. Submitted on 2011/09/27 at 8:27 am | In reply to Anaisha.

      Stanley’s dad couldn’t the invention only because they were only cursed, remember?

  3. Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:26 am

    When Zero abandons camp green lake and Stanley runs after him, it’s very interesting that the curse created by Stanley’s great great grandpa is broken when Stanley carries Zero up a mountain to find water and food in the middle of a desert. Somehow, Stanley’s Great Grandpa was stuck in the middle of nowhere for sixteen days and found him alive. People say he found God’s Thumb and it had water and food. I wonder why Zero’s mom left Zero in the park and never came back. Maybe she lost him. I actually thought the adults at camp green lake were idiots because the warden just wanted them to find gold barried by a very famous robber named Kate Barlow. She robbed every bank and kept all the money in a box hidden in the ground.

  4. Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:37 am

    The review is right. I can relate how Stanley got accused of a crime (mine wasn’t illegal or anything though). The book is really interesting to, and I had to resist from reading it al in one day. Zero doesn’t say anything at first, which makes him a very mysterious person, i was confused with him at first, but then you start to understand him.

  5. Submitted on 2012/05/09 at 12:36 pm

    I love this book, anyone would. This book is easy to relate to. People get picked on by people. This is the best book I have ever read.

  6. Submitted on 2012/05/09 at 7:20 pm

    From Raymond and Anthony:

    Holes, by Lois Sachar, is one of the best books that we know. It is about a boy, Stanley Yelnats, who wants to live a regular life, but a curse was laid on his no good, dirty, rotten, pig stealing, great great grandfather making him and his family have bad luck for eternity. Stanley was always at the wrong place at the wrong time, so he was sent to boot camp for being accused of a crime he didn’t do. Then, Stanley and his friend, Hector Zeroni ran away from the horrible camp.
    This book is basically like three stories in one because it tells what happens back when Stanley’s great great grandfather was alive, and also about how Kate Barlow robbed Stanley’s great grandfather. All of those stories were stated very well by the author. The plot of the book is original, not like other books that are retold in a different way. Being set in present time, the book won’t confuse the reader, so he will understand more of what’s happening. Also, the genre of this book is realistic meaning everything in the story could actually happen to someone. Some fantasy books can drain the reader’s interest because fantasy books can be very complex with magical powers and things like that.
    Holes made the top 16 in our class’s novel madness debate. Holes has a Newberry award, which means that it’s a great book. It was even made into a movie, and only good books are usually made into movies. Some books that have been out longer were never even made into movies. If you like books with a magical twist in them, and at the same time believable, this book is perfect.

  7. My fourth grade teacher read this to us. I like how the author shows friendship between Zero and Stanley.

  8. This is a great and fantastic book. I love how the relationship of Stanley and Zero got them to come together.

  9. I think this book is awesome. I couldn’t put the book down. I loved how they described the curse of the family. I also liked the end when Zero and Stanley come back to the camp.

  10. Some times in life i fell like i don’t belong anywhere. Even when i’m around my friends and family it just fells like i don’t fit in like Stanley. But some days i remember , maybe different is good. Maybe even though i don’t fit in i do in my own world. I think Stanley should know this in the book because even though he’s fatish he fits in in his own world.

    1. It’s a wonderful concept that you fit into your own world! I like that, Grace. You are absolutely right that you belong there and in your world you’re wonderful! I happen to think you’re pretty wonderful in my world, too. 🙂

  11. The book, Holes, is amazing! I love the part when Zero and Stanley try to climb up a tall mountain that looked like it had a hand holding a thumbs up. it was so intense for me! In fourth grade, my teacher gave my class this book to read together. So every time my fourth grade teacher said to open up our Holes book, I was always pumped to continue reading the book until the end, but when my teacher says it’s time to stop reading, I feel a little bit sad because I wanted to continue to read the book until the end no mater how long it will take for me to finish reading it if I could.

  12. It’s so cool how hard Stanley and Zero both survive on a desert with not water and food and still manage to climb up Big Thumb. I still can’t believe they can survive with just water and onions. I loved Holes. One of my favorite books all time. I recommend this book to everybody.

  13. I loved how Stanley and Zero’s “crime” were connected and how they found out about it. I liked, at one point, how Stanley taught Zero how to read, but unfortunately the warden made a stop to it. I really feel bad for him because he didn’t have the skills that a normal kid his age would have. Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone!

  14. Sometimes i get accused for no reason. My parents don’t get me. Once, my brother took my dad’s stuff and hid it. My dad blamed it on me because I love hiding stuff. Also, because I was older. I’m the one who has to suffer not them. Zero got accused for stealing shoes from a homeless shelter. He got the blame and the other person didn’t until later on. I noticed though that even know you get the blame you learn from it. You know that you wouldn’t steal shoes or hide my dad’s stuff.
    Over all, I really like this book.! I feel bad for Zero because he had to take the blame. But he met some friends along the way. Even the guy who stole the shoes who didn’t take the blame until later.

  15. The curse of the family is like the curse the curse of Akhenaton in The Kane Chronicles. Why do Zero and Stanley escape the camp if they’re going to come back anyway?

  16. This is a great adventurous book. It starts off when Stanley goes to camp green lake and does not like it. His friend Zero later escapes and finds a way to survive. Then, Stanley finds him and they survive together. Stanley has been under a curse from his great great grandfather.ever since. But at last, Zero and Stanley solve the solution with something extraordinary. This book is great.

  17. When I first read this outstanding book, I found that this wasn’t any ordinary boring book. It shows how a boy, Stanley is mistakenly accused of a crime and gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a boot camp in a desert with harsh treatments. He makes new friends and the book also tells how the lake turned into a desert back in the 1800s. Although Stanley is always at the wrong place at the wrong time, the author puts it in a great way that everyone who reads this book will enjoy.

  18. Holes was a great adventure book with lots of action at camp green lake and Stanley and Zero had a great adventure finding the treasure. this book was one of the best books i’ve read.

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