Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Holes USA cover Holes (1998)
1999 Newbery Medal winner
1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Dell Yearling USA paperback
233 pages
cover art by Vladimir Radunsky (left)

Collins Educational UK
240 pages (right)
Holes UK cover

From the back cover of the paperback:
       Stanley Yelnats is under a curse.  A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats.  Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day, digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep.  There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.  But there are an awful lot of holes.
       It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake.  The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something.  But what could be buried under a dried-up lake?  Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment -- and redemption.

Read for group discussion on February 22, 2006

Holes DVD cover Holes (2003) - the movie
A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason.

Directed by Andrew Davis. Screenplay by Louis Sachar.

Starring: Sigourney Weaver (Warden Walker); Jon Voight (Marion 'Mr. Sir' Sevillo); Tim Blake Nelson (Dr. Pendanski); Shia LaBeouf (Stanley Yelnats, Caveman); Khleo Thomas (Hector 'Zero' Zeroni); Jake M. Smith (Squid); Byron Cotton (Armpit); Brenden Jefferson (X-Ray); Miguel Castro (Josť/Magnet); Max Kasch (Zigzag); Noah Poletiek (Twitch); Zane Holtz (Barfbag).

How we each rated these books
Dan - Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri - Barb -
Aaron 7 Cynthia 9
Jackie 9 Ron 9.5
Christine - Deb 7
Mike 7 Stephanie 7
Gary - Patty -
Andres - Catherine 8
Ken - Shannon 7

Louis Sachar (1954- ) (pronunciation: SACK er) is an US author of children's and young adults books.

Awards for Holes (selected list, there are more)
1999 Newbery Medal
1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Notable Children's Book of the Year

Holes, and related books
Holes (1998)
Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake (2003), companion book to Holes
Small Steps (2006), a sequel to Holes

Wayside School series
Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978)
Wayside School Is Falling Down (1989)
Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger (1995)
--Brain teasers and math puzzles
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (1989)
More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (1994)

Marvin Redpost series, ages 5-8
1 - Kidnapped at Birth? (1992)
2 - Why Pick on Me? (1993)
3 - Is He a Girl? (1993)
4 - Alone in His Teacher's House (1994)
5 - Class President (1999)
6 - A Flying Birthday Cake? (1999)
7 - Super Fast, Out of Control! (2000)
8 - A Magic Crystal? (2000)

Other books
Johnny's in the Basement (1981)
Someday, Angeline (1983)
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (1987)
Sixth Grade Secrets (1987)
The Boy Who Lost His Face (1989)
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes (1991)
Monkey Soup (1992), picture book

Jackie's book review of Sachar's Holes on Fantastic Reviews
Louis Sachar - Children's Author - Official site
Louis Sachar - Wikipedia - Louis Sachar
The Hole Truth - A Unit Study Based on Louis Sachar's Book "Holes"

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This page was last updated December 12, 2008