Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis Sachar is a fast and very entertaining read. Although it appears simplistic, it does in fact conceal an incredibly clever structure that is full of surprises. The story is about the oddly named Stanley Yelnats, who finds himself arrested for stealing a pair of sandshoes and then being sent to Camp Green Lake which as it turns out is not a camp and is not a lake either. It is actually a juvenile detention and correction facility where wayward boys are sent to dig endless holes, five feet deep and five feet wide, in the expansive dried terrain under the scorching sun and the ever-watchful Warden. As the story progresses, Stanley realises there is a reason to this seemingly pointless labour. His survival, his friendships and his eventual salvation provide the impetus of the narrative as many secrets buried in the past surface in unexpected ways. Zero, who becomes close to Stanley, is a very endearing character who has a great deal more to offer than his peers give him credit for. Stanley always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and as a consequence takes the blame for many deeds he hasn't done. Interestingly enough, the book was originally to be called Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Kid. However, with Zero at his side, things start to take a turn for the better.  It was adapted into a film by Walt Disney in 2003 of which I have a copy which students could borrow ater reading the novel. Students could also listen to this audio of the novel as the read along in the book. 

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