Holes by Louis Sachar

March 9, 2012
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If you ever visit Camp Green Lake sometime in your life, you won’t find a lake, but you will find holes. In the novel, Holes, by Louis Sachar, a young teenager by the name of Stanley Yelnats is cursed. This curse has been running through his family for generations and has now caught up to him. As a result, Stanley is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and is sent to Camp Green Lake: an alternative to prison. Here, he is forced to dig holes to “build character”; however, Stanley soon realizes that there is something suspicious going on around at Camp Green Lake, and he is determined to find out what it is. Is there really more to digging these holes than just character development?

After reading this novel, I was truly amazed at how well written this story was. The entire reason that Stanley’s family is cursed is because his great, great grandfather broke a promise with a woman in a wheelchair known as Madam Zeroni. Stanley’s great, great grandfather was supposed to carry her to the top of the mountain so that she could take a drink while he sang to her. Nevertheless, this promise slips his mind when he travels to London after his heart is broken by a woman he fell in love with. When Stanley and his new friend, Hector Zeroni, or Zero, run away from Camp Green Lake, they wander the desert, searching for food and shelter to survive. Coincidentally, they stumble upon a huge mountain that seems to form the shape of a thumb. After climbing a good distance, Stanley discovers water underneath the Earth, which he feeds to Zero as he sings to Zero. At that moment, Stanley’s curse is completely broken since he is a descendant of his great, great grandfather and Zero is a descendant of Madam Zeroni. I specifically chose this scene to represent the author because it shows his complete style of writing in a scene of redemption. In just this scene alone, I was completely amazed at how well the author writes. What I find truly intriguing about the author’s writing is the fact that he forces the character to really think about what they have read and forces them to interpret their reading.

In addition, the author includes remarkably unique characters that play a huge role in the plot and just basically keeps the reader glued to the book. Like I have shown before, Hector Zeroni (Zero) plays a huge role in the plot because he is the whole reason Stanley broke his curse. There are also many more characters, such as Armpit and Zigzag, who have helped Stanley survive his stay at Camp Green Lake. They have been his friend since the beginning and will still be his friend even after he is released. The author gives them a huge part in the story, along with unique characteristics that show how they got into Camp Green Lake, but also shows who they truly are. For example, a new convict shows up to Camp Green Lake by the name of Twitch. He is in the facility for stealing cars and hotwiring them, and every time he got near one, he would twitch. Overall, these characters are what keep the story flowing smoothly and are the missing factors of a great story.
In summation, this is a one-of-a-kind book that nobody should skip out on. If you have not read this book yet, I suggest you drop whatever you’re doing and pick up this book because I guarantee that you will not regret any second of it.

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