Jan 7, 2011

Nostalgic Friday: Holes

Welcome back to Nostalgic Friday! Since I love all things historical (culturally, physically, and personally) I do a post on Fridays honoring some awesome book that is a bit older. Many of them are books I enjoyed in my teens and others are books that I discovered as an adult that I think are relevant to YA readers.

This week I am happy to be featuring Holes by Louis Sachar. I remember being 17 and hearing about this movie plot about a boy sent to a work camp to build character, immediately I thought of this book & it turned out I was right! This was a great book to begin with & Louis Sachar is a phenomenal writer. He just really gets teens & knows how to write for them. In my opinion, this book has been his greatest hit... so far.

Stanley Yelnats isn't really a trouble-maker. Sure he gets caught doing something he shouldn't be doing every once in a while, but the court was just wrong to sentence him to either jail or Camp Green Lake. No really, mistaken identity is to blame for the theft Stanley is convicted of. Unfortunately no one else sees it that way so, mal-contentedly, Stanley chooses Camp Green Lake & begins the daily grind of rising before dawn to dig holes in the hot sun to build character.

Unfortunately that's not all they're digging. The venomous warden is as evil as they come and she has something else in mind for those holes. The truth is rarely as nice as the reality.

This is a funny, action-packed book that many kids will love. It's great for both boys & girls because of the story's accessibility. We've all been the victim of mistaken identity, but hopefully nothing to this extreme! Stanley is a likable character with just enough gumption & tenacity to get to the bottom of a mystery, but the quirkiness to appeal to the non-mainstream kids.

Holes is a story of layers. There are layers to each character, each situation, and each resolution. Some of them overlap & intertwine creating complex conflicts that anyone can comprehend. The resulting story is one of profoundness with a snarky side. If you like good books then this is one that you definitely can't miss!


Anne Bennett said...

Louis Sachar's newest book, Cardturner, is a wonderful book and he says it is his best book. Better than Holes? I don't know, but I really like it. check it out.

loreleimarsh said...

That one has been on my TBR for a while & I'm looking forward to reading it. Glad to hear it praised!