Excellent, Intermediate, Young Adult, Juvenile Detention, Family, Friendship, Treasure, Character Building
Stanley Yelnats lives a life filled with bad luck due to the family curse. He winds up heading to a juvenile detention camp where he meets several new “friends.” They don’t accept Stanley right away, but soon most of the camp warms up to him. Stanley and Zero become close friends and teach each other life lessons. Between avoiding the camp directors, escaping the camp, and finding treasure, this book will leave you wondering what will happen next, even on the last page! The theme of Holes by Louis Sachar is that certain friendships can stand the tests of time. Stanley Yelnats and Zero become great friends. Zero is a diligent worker and likes to dig holes, but struggles with his illiteracy. Zero helps Stanley and offers to dig his hole with him. In return, Stanley offers to teach Zero how to read and write. Stanley goes after Zero when he leaves camp and ultimately saves his life. They work together to survive and the stories of their families connect. The character development throughout the book is gradual and always leaves the reader with something to wonder about.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Children's Book and Media Review: Vol. 38:
5, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cbmr/vol38/iss5/11