Every child dreams of digging a hole of prodigious size, but only a choice few, including Stanley Yelnats in Louis Sachar’s Holes, are privileged enough to carry out this dream. Stricken with bad luck from his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather,” Stanley is wrongfully convicted of a crime and is sentenced to dig holes on a dried up lakebed as his punishment. Despite being a social misfit in that environment, he still finds companionship with the other boys on the lakebed. However, conflict does occur and causes rifts between these friends and the adults. Fortunately, they are able to overcome these and eventually escape from their prison in the desert.
A significant and interesting aspect of Holes is its plot. The plot is crafted in such a way that it connects the past to the main storyline in the present. In these flashbacks, the story of Stanley’s “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather” and how he caused the family to be cursed with bad luck as well as how the lake came to be is explained. Towards the conclusion of events, the reader learns that one of the past inhabitants of the lake began to dig holes in an attempt to find treasure. As the book progresses, the combination of the past and present become more clear and maintain the intrigue of the reader.
Louis Sachar also allows Stanley to be viewed as a real person. As the reader gets to know and comprehend who Stanley is, it is evident that he is comparable to a real human. Not everything is perfect in his life as he faces problems, worry, and pain. Nobody is exempt from predicaments in life, which creates a truly believable character. As a result of the relatable qualities and the immaculately written plot, Holes would be a great choice for almost anyone. However, specific appeal would be especially to those who crave developing relationships with fictional characters as well as getting hopelessly enraptured by a beautifully written storyline.