Holes by Louis Sachar

82%

37 Critic Reviews

Readers (especially boys) will likely delight in the larger-than-life (truly Texas-style) manner in which Sachar fills in all the holes, as he ties together seemingly disparate story threads to dispel ghosts from the past and give everyone their just deserts.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out is now available with a splashy new look.

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 Yelnatses. 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.

Includes a double bonus: an excerpt from Small Steps, the follow-up to Holes, as well as an excerpt from Louis Sachar’s new middle-grade novel, Fuzzy Mud.

"A smart jigsaw puzzle of a novel." --The New York Times 

WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK AWARD
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
SELECTED FOR NUMEROUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND ALA HONORS 




From the Paperback edition.
 

About Louis Sachar

See more books from this Author
Louis Sachar is the author of the award-winning Small Steps and the New York Times number one bestseller Holes, as well as Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake. He is an avid bridge player. His books for younger readers include There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, The Boy Who Lost His Face, Dogs Don't Tell Jokes, and the Marvin Redpost series, among many others.
 
Published June 1, 2011 by Yearling. 241 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Holes
All: 37 | Positive: 34 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 03 1998

Readers (especially boys) will likely delight in the larger-than-life (truly Texas-style) manner in which Sachar fills in all the holes, as he ties together seemingly disparate story threads to dispel ghosts from the past and give everyone their just deserts.

Read Full Review of Holes | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by 2Kool4Skool on Mar 08 2014

This book is inspiring to myself and hopefully many others, because it teaches you about loyalty, true friendship and not judging others by their looks - or their unfortunate mistakes in life... couldn't put this book down, it has a great personality (if any a book might have one!).

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Amazed Earthling on Dec 26 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are extremely well drawn and it reads like an adventure with folk tale twists and mysteries to detect. It really keeps the reader on their toes and is hard to put down, yet sometimes its impact is so strong that you want to stop for breath as you take in all that is unfolding.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Felixreads on Nov 07 2013

This book is about a boy who goes to a correction school for something he actually didn't do. There he has to dig holes every day to find a treasure. It's in a desert where this boy doesn't get a lot of water a day. I like this book because it is full of adventure (and lizards!).

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by googleyeyes on Oct 05 2013

I would give this book 9/10 and strongly recommend it for anyone who's looking for something a little different. It's full of adventure and questions and had me up reading for most of the night, desperate to find out what happens. So please, please read this book!

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Jill Murphy on Mar 01 2001

The more cynical of adults may perhaps be left very slightly unfulfilled by the unashamed happy ending, but those of us who like to be touched will join with the children - who always like to see justice served - and not mind at all. It's a joyous two hundred and thirty three pages, and you should read it.

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KidsReads

Good
Reviewed by Dana Schwartz on Aug 20 1998

You can't help but get sucked into this inventive and compelling novel --- it is at once extremely serious and outrageously funny.

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Lancaster Online

Good
Reviewed by MOLLY STIEBER on Jul 31 2008

So whether you believe in only reading books or only seeing the movies about those books, read "Holes." You will not be disappointed.

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UTexas

Good
on Feb 26 2015

A folktale about Kissin'Kate Barlow and the town of Green Lake is masterfully threaded throughout this novel. This is a novel that you can't put down, one with a fun plot, engaging characters, and a happy ending.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by leahcim on Nov 01 2014

If you have not read this book yet, I suggest you drop whatever you’re doing and pick up this book because I guarantee that you will not regret any second of it.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Thuster84 on Jan 28 2014

It is one of my favorite books because of its creative writing, humor, and adventure. I would recommend this book for young teenagers. Personally, I think boys would prefer it more than girls because of its small bits of action and humor.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Jan 28 2014

My opinion is that it is a great book and who ever you are you will enjoy this. It is full of suspense and also laughter that you will not be able to put down.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 28 2014

This book is wonderfully bizarre. The plot and setting are strange, but then the author throws a barrel of peculiar characters into the mix.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Jeff I. on Jan 28 2014

Holes will take you on a roller-coaster adventure with its amazingly complex plot...I dare you to start Holes and see if you can put it down.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Tommy B. on Jan 28 2014

This book is one of my favorite books. I have read it multiple times and I enjoy it book each and every time I read it. Overall I think that this book should be read by everybody at least once. That's how good it is.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by wolverines on Feb 14 2013

The book holes has a terrify ending because at the end of something happens to Stanley’s family. And in the book Stanley’s has to have courage to climb the mountain

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EzineArticles

Excellent
Reviewed by Carma Dutra on Aug 19 2008

The dual yet parallel plots from the past to the future and back again involve ancestors of Stanley Yelnats, the Warden, Mr. Sir and Zero Zeroni. Sachar writes a masterpiece and when all the pieces come together, the reader says "Wow."

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Gather Books

Above average
Reviewed by Tony Peters on Jun 10 2011

I enjoyed this Disney movie, but the book just doesn’t cut it in comparison. I found this book to be a little slow and was looking for something interesting to happen. That being said the characters were very well done, and the storyline was just interesting enough to keep you reading...

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Curled Up

Good
Reviewed by Amanda Cuda on Feb 27 2015

It’s no wonder that Holes has been embraced by kids and adults alike. It’s smart, funny, thrilling and moving – a treat for all ages.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Oct 01 2001

...I didn't like it all that much. If there's anything sillier than the idea that existence consists of mere drudgery...it would be that the drudgery is followed, arbitrarily, by a balancing of the cosmic scales.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Jan 04 2014

It is clever, heart-warming, full of good messages, and definitely worth all the accolades. It will delight middle graders on up. Despite its serious themes, it is full of fun, and features a sort of loser-ish kid who turns into a hero, just by being himself.

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Shannon on Oct 30 2010

Holes is a great book for boys and girls. Even though the book had mostly boy characters, I am a girl and all my friends and I LOVED the book.

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Book Addiction

Good
on Sep 10 2008

The characters are very likable, especially to a younger audience, and the story moves along very quickly. I think this book would be especially good for non-readers, boys in particular, because it is very entertaining for all ages.

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https://suite101.com

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Scott on Jan 28 2014

Though Holes is written for children, it is a great read for adults and kids alike. Stanley Yelnats is a tremendously likeable and relatable character, and the reader cannot help but to hope for the best for him.

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Reading In Winter

Good
Reviewed by Kristilyn on Nov 29 2011

It’s a story about camaraderie and not judging people by the colour of their skin. The characters have great development and it’s hard not to cheer for Stanley and his pals in the end.

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http://blogs.slj.com

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bird on Jun 20 2012

The combination of kid-friendly storytelling that children go gaga for and writing so good that it makes adult critics practically pant is rare.

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Good
on Jan 28 2014

I think you will really enjoy this book. It's an adventure and a mystery, with moments of high suspense, all neatly tied-off with a happy ending.

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Shelf Awareness

Excellent
on Feb 27 2015

Louis Sachar threads together high adventure, eccentric characters—both from the past and in the present—and coming-of-age themes that will keep your youngsters riveted.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by BookBagLady on Apr 04 2012

This was a cute story for kids...What they find might surprise you. All round cute story that was darkly humorous.

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Books And Movies

Excellent
Reviewed by CarrieK on Feb 11 2011

There is a tragic tale of forbidden love and vengeance, and there is a terrific ending. Holes will go down as one of our favorite read-aloud experiences.

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Bianca Pellet

Good
Reviewed by Bianca Pellet on Jul 05 2011

Expectations are therefore high, and yet Sachar manages to fulfil them through the story of the possibly the unluckiest literary hero in history.

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https://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com

Above average
on Jan 04 2012

Definitely recommended for the mid-grade readers in your life, and as a fun diversion for grown-ups as well.

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Miss Print

Good
Reviewed by missprint on Apr 12 2010

Sachar takes what could potentially be a bleak, mirthless story and instead delivers a darkly funny, intensely exciting one.

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Fantastic Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jackie Sachen Turner on Nov 04 2008

Holes is an unusually sweet book considering the content, but that's probably because Stanley's kind and simple personally shines through.

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Jessica's Musings

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica on Jan 12 2014

The story leaves me uplifted as Stanley, and ultimately the reader, learn about friendship, kindness (and its effect, not only on those we show it to, but on us as we show it), and perseverance. On the flip side, we see the effects of greed and hatred.

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Children's Book Cellar

Good
on Aug 08 2011

...it’s funny as well as clever. It doesn’t just try to be funny. It doesn’t just think it’s funny. It is funny.

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Reader Rating for Holes
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5883 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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