Holes
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Holes

Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre (which isn’t green and doesn’t have a lake) he is not surprised. Every day he and the other inmates are told to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, reporting anything they find. The evil warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth.

This multi-million bestseller is wonderfully inventive, compelling and hilarious, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece. 

Review

In the 20 years since its first publication, Louis Sachar’s Holes has won innumerable awards and became a set text in schools. It tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy who has loads of luck – all of it terrible – and his unjust incarceration at Camp Greenlake, a place with no green and no lake, and a warden so mean she uses rattlesnake venom for nail polish. When he arrives, Stanley gets two sets of orange overalls, a shovel and a nickname. By the end of his second day he’ll have dug his first ‘character building’ hole. While he’s there, he’ll dig 45 more, make the best friend he’s ever had, solve the mystery of his wrongful arrest, and fulfil his family destiny. He’ll smell pretty bad, but he’ll be happy. A prison-break drama, a fairy tale, a love story, a comedy – Holes is all these things and much more. Funny, clever, moving and thrilling, even after repeated readings, it is a true classic.


Mark Luffman works as a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.

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