The first time I read Holes, I came away thinking that it was a great story. The second time I read it, I started to understand the complexity of the novel. Now, I am finally beginning to understand how intricately woven it is.
From first glance, it is a novel about juvenile delinquents, one wrongly accused and sentenced to an odd camp to serve out his punishment. Interspersed with tidbits from the past, the reader begins to understand just how the camp, Stanley Yelnats, and his campmates are closely connected. This novel has it all. To start off, it is has history. Stanley’s family history is slowly revealed and we begin to understand him even more. It has geography, as the layout of the camp is described and the full effects of the terrifically-long drought are emphasized. It addresses racism and general discrimination, even if in subtle ways. And it has Stanley as the main character, the most likable protagonist you might ever meet.
by Louis Sachar
Originally published in 1998