Melanie Soble's Reviews > Holes

Holes by Louis Sachar
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-for-libs-642
Read in September, 2011

1. This book would fall under the category of a junior book, contemporary realism.
2. How unlucky can one family get? This book follows the path of Stanley Yelnats while he gets punished for a crime he did not commit. Posed with the choice between jail and camp, Stanley takes the latter and finds his camp experience to be nothing like it is in storybooks. He spends each day in the scorching sun digging holes. Will his luck ever change?
3. critique
a. As a Newberry winner, this book excels in the artful construction of the plotlines. It definitely is not a stroke of luck that the author constructs each aspect of the story in a way that they all converge at the center for the climax. Careful planning and thorough thinking allow the four sub-stories to converge together at just the right time.
b. There are four major story lines in this book that all end up coming together. When the back-stories are introduced, the reader just thinks that they are getting some additional information or a daydream. When the stories are revisited, the reader begins to realize that these stories are more important than originally thought and begin to question the placement and the inclusion of the stories. This allows the reader to think more about things and how actions have consequences.
c. Stanley Yelnats is undoubtedly the most unlucky individual. His story line (the main story) is what brings the whole story together. Readers are not sure what to do with the information when Stanley mentions his luck being the result of his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather” (Sachar). His great great grandfather was an important character in this story as it did provide the source of bad luck. My bad luck is that this story ended too quickly; I wish some more holes were dug for me to continue my enjoyment of this story!
4. a curriculum connection
This book is a great book regardless of it curriculum connections. However, it could be connected to the science curriculum based on the fossils found (what could you find if you dug a hole). It could also be related to measurement – how deep would a hole 5 feet by 5 feet be? Research could be done on the animals found in Texas to determine what animals were real and if onions could really prevent them from biting you. You could also discuss words that are spelled the same backwards and forwards – palindromes.

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