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Summary: Stanley Yelnats IV, an overweight boy, is unlucky due to a family "curse." He is wrongly convicted of stealing baseball player Clyde Livingston’s shoes from a charity auction and is sentenced to 18 months at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility. Inmates are forced to dig holes to “build character." In his hole, Stanley finds a lipstick tube inscribed with the initials "KB," and the origins of the family curse. But does he have the knowledge and courage to break it? This fast-paced story combines mystery, friendship, and life lessons.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: Holes was thoroughly entertaining as it moved at a quick pace and really kept the reader confused till the climax. Sachar found a way to weave three separate stories into the same book: one with the Yelnats and their curse, another with Zero and his history, as well as the most begging question, “Why are we really digging these holes?” A quick read for any age, young boys will especially enjoy this book due to its kids friendly nature as well as the strong moral compass guiding it.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Young readers will love the fast pace and action that underlie the story. The reading level makes it an excellent choice for struggling or dormant readers in middle and high school, too.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a great book and one teens can come back to, especially if they read other stories in the collection.