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Small Steps

(Holes #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  15,181 ratings  ·  1,546 reviews
Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it’s hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ra ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 10th 2006 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2006)
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Popular Answered Questions
Stargirl 1st of all, THIS ISN'T A QUESTION!!! 2nd of all, THIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK!!! you're probably just too blind to see it!!!!
Emily M. Yes, there will be a few new topics, but they explain it. The only part you might not understand is the last part, where he has stinky feet. If you…moreYes, there will be a few new topics, but they explain it. The only part you might not understand is the last part, where he has stinky feet. If you don't get what I mean, read small steps! If you still don't, search up "Holes, Sploosh"(less)

Community Reviews

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3.71  · 
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 ·  15,181 ratings  ·  1,546 reviews


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Jennifer Wardrip
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Christian C. for TeensReadToo.com

Remember Armpit, from HOLES? It's been two years since he was released from Camp Green Lake Juvenile Correctional Facility, and ever since, he's been trying to stay clean. In order to stay clean, he's established for himself five small steps:

1. Graduate from high school.
2. Get a job.
3. Save his money.
4. Avoid situations that might turn violent.
5. Lose the name Armpit.

(By the way, this is not a sequel to HOLES; you don't need to read HOLES to enj
...more
Annet
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun sequel to the renowned 'Holes'!
Easy entertaining read, just what I needed right now after all the 'dark' books... :-)
A heartwarming book and funny too.

Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it's hard when you have a record and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in Armpit is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they're learning to take small steps.
Armpit seems to
...more
Shoa Khan
Small steps,
’Cause I don’t know where I’m goin’.
Small steps,
I just take it day to day.
Small steps,
Somehow get myself together,
Then maybe I’ll discover
Who I am along the way...


I think it's rather silly to label this book a sequel to Holes, when it simply takes two non-prominent characters from Holes and takes their story forward. And that's about the only thing connecting the 2 books, as they couldn't possibly have been more different.
I know a lot of people have had an issue with this book as t
...more
Susanne
Dec 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
I can't tell if this was supposed to be a young adult book or not. Small Steps is a sequel to the book Holes, which was fun to read. In this second book, Sachar follows Armpit as he transitions back into society after his stint at Camp Green Lake. I thought the premise had potential, but in my opinion, it was a fairly transparent story about puppy love and cliche rehabilitation. The book ends with a startling act of violence which doesn't fit with the rest of the story, and then leaves the two m ...more
Lucy
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middlegrade
Last we saw Armpit, he was digging holes at Camp Green Lake. Now, Armpit (nicknamed for a wasp bite on his armpit) is still digging holes, but now he's getting paid for it, working for a landscaper in his hometown of Austin, TX. Armpit (or Theodore, as he prefers to be called) is trying to straighten his life out after two years of juvie, while everyone is expecting the worst of him. The only person who believes in him is his feisty ten-year-old neighbor Ginny, who has cerebral palsy. He is earn ...more
Janet
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What's easy about being the sequel to Holes is that any implausibilities of plot are irreproachable, 'cause you can't hardly get more implausible than Holes and it was awesome. What's hard is simply that you're the sequel to Holes. Because it was awesome. High bar. I'm embarrassed to admit it took me 5 years to get around to actually reading Small Steps, the story of Armpit's X-Ray-influenced adventures back home in Austin, trying to get his life turned around after his time at Camp Green Lake. ...more
Robert Tabb
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sachar fans, Older readers
I was reluctant to read Small Steps since Holes is my all-time favorite book and I had heard several negative things from readers concerning how Armpit and X-Ray were handled.
After reading the book, I can see where some people might be disappointed (it's not Holes). However, I found Sachar's ability to weave several stories together to be captivating. His strength of creating "acting true to who they are characters" is on display as Theodore finds himself interacting with diverse characters.
...more
Dane Cobain
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is essentially the sequel to Holes, except instead of following Stanley Yelnats, it follows Armpit. He’s been keeping busy (digging holes of all things) and squirreling away some money, but then his friend X-Ray comes up with an idea about how to make a little money: ticket touting.

Of course, the plan backfires in several fairly spectacular ways, and it also has unexpected consequences for Armpit. At the same time, it’s a coming-of-age story that deals with everything from racism to pushy p
...more
Jinky
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
(3.5)
I enjoyed Holes so I thought I'd read another from this author. I was not disappointed. This was a surprisingly gripping story. An off-shoot from a couple of the characters in Holes, Armpit and X-ray return in this novel. Armpit putting to work what his counselor had advised him to do ..take small steps, hence he set 5 goals for himself: graduate from high school, get a job, save his money, avoid situations that might turn violent, and lose the name Armpit. X-ray of course had to jiggle tho
...more
Parkhurstjordan
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought that this book was sorta weird compared to holes it was less exciting I didn't really get the same feeling as I did in holes I got hooked to holes but I am not saying I hated it I am just saying that the book had no connection to holes. There are 4 main characters in the story Armpit, X-Ray, Ginny, and Kaira Deleon. The book has a way of wanting me to keep reading even though I thought it was boring I think it's because the characters that are form holes ( Armpit X-Ray) you want to kno ...more
Tha .H
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book “ Small Steps” is about two boy that was out of Camp Green Lake and their name was Armpit and X-Ray it all begin with Armpit being at school and have nice job that he does and earn some money for himself. But then after X-Ray show up that was where his happiness like started to get messing again.
The part that I like about the book was that Armpit work really hard to reach his goal after he was out of Camp Green Lake. The other one that I like was it make me want to read more because I
...more
Sheila
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Take Armpit, X-Ray, a teen star and a little girl called Ginny. Add a well-meaning mayor, parents who don’t understand, other parents who do, and one who doesn’t even want to. Mix in some ticket scalpers for the teen star’s concert; plus some impossible coincidences that just have to be the way they are because that’s how the magic of Sachar’s stories works. And rest assured it does work, beautifully, un-put-down-ably and, just like Holes, delightfully memorably too.
Kathy Davie
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
Second in the Holes realistic fiction series and revolving around Theodore Johnson — we knew him as Armpit. It's been two years since Holes , 1.

In 2007, Small Steps won the Schneider Family Book Award for Teen Book.

My Take
This'll get your dander up when you read how Armpit was railroaded! Where the heck is justice in this world!!

I will say Sachar went off in an unexpected direction, and I'm loving it. It's so positive and upbeat, in spite of the setbacks. Instead it's an opportunity for Theodor
...more
Janette
I loved Holes so I was happy to find this book with some of the same characters. And I have to say right off that Louis Sachar should write song lyrics. The ones in his book were really good. Maybe Lady Gaga could hire him because whoever she has doing that job keeps coming up with stuff like, "Tonight, yeah baby, tonight".

But I digress.

Anyway, I liked the book. In a couple of places I wanted to yell out instructions to the main character.

My only complaint was the ending. I wanted more of a roma
...more
jaroda
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'll admit, I was well over halfway through this book and wasn't sure I was I was going to like it at all. I felt like I was missing the point. But then I read the last fifty or so pages today, and felt glad that even though more than ten years had gone by since its release, I finally read SMALL STEPS, and it was worth it.
Sophia Luo
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Uhhh 4.5/5? I dunno. This book is like really good and the ending was like waaayyy too sudden and it was like WOOOOAAAHH. And the ending was really sweet but not sweet enough to make me cry. I love how the main character changed and it's all about Armpit now instead of that other guy. Uuuhh yea. You should read this book, I guess. I recommend to 5-9
Ariel Jensen
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not the absolute worst, but not good at all. Who asked for a sequel about Armpit? “Small Steps” lacks all the whimsy, comedy, & depth (no pun intended) that made “Holes” so great. It introduces certain topics like race, social class, & disability—but gives no take-away and teaches basically nothing about these issues. Sorry Sachar, but you should have stopped after “Holes”.
Bella
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nurhayati Ramlan
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 stars
Merrill
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Good....but nowhere near as good as Holes was.
sam wood
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book a bit boring and the insta love was too much at time
Read Between The Vines
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this, I read Holes this year for the first time and thought I may as well give this a go.

I was really concerned when I got to 80% and not too much had happened, then BAM, a plan was said and I was shook.

The ending was superb, I had great disdain for certain characters who I was meant to and I really felt connected and invested in every character in this story. Everyone felt vital and relevant to the story (can I also get an amen to parents being around!)

If you liked Holes,
...more
Hufflepuff Book Reviewer
I think it took two readings for this book to really “click” with me. I mean, I certainly liked Small Steps on my initial reading, having still given it a solid four stars, but I don’t think I really appreciated it as deeply as I do now—nor did I understand what the book was really trying to accomplish. Whereas Holes tells the story of Stanley and Zero, two juvenile delinquents who were simply at the wrong place in the wrong time, Small Steps takes a step back and examines the lives of Camp Gree ...more
Amber


When I added this book to my TBR, I looked no further than "WHAT THERE IS A SEQUEL TO HOLES WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS" which, honestly, is not great criteria to go by when you are deciding to read a book. Besides, Small Steps is not so much a sequel as it is a companion novel... the two exist very well on their own.

And this book? It was great.

Seven Things I Loved About Small Steps

1. The racial prejudice is real here - Sachar doesn't shy away form letting you see how people treat Armpit because o
...more
Fox
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
One problem with writing a followup to a classic like Holes or The Giver is that inevitably the followup will be compared to the first one. It's impossible to really recapture the feeling of the first reading of Holes. There's a playful magic to that book, and no followup could really reinvigorate the reader in quite that way. Nor should it. Small Steps, as the title implies, is about what happens after you dig your way into a fairly deep hole. How do you start climbing out? What do you do i ...more
Maura
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aidan
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
At the end of Holes, the Camp Green Lake place shuts down and all the troubled kids are released. After living in a split house for months, Theodore (nicknamed Armpit) is working very hard to make his life better. He has a job, is going back to high school and taking extra classes, and is saving money instead of spending it on drugs and such. But X-Ray shows up with almost a pyramid scheme that involves selling movie tickets at a really high price for a concert to Kaira DeLeon, the latest pop ar ...more
Eimear
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
"She said his life would be like walking upstream in a rushing river. The secret was to take small steps and just keep moving forward."

This book is a good sequel to Holes and shows life after Camp Green Lake. It's an easy read but the ending was a bit anti climactic compared to only a few chapters earlier.
It's like Sachar set some goals for himself writing this book.
1. Have a cute friendship
2. Keep them digging
3. Lose the name Armpit
Elizabeth
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Holes has a sequel!
This was the story of one of the boys from Camp Green Lake and him trying to get his life back in order in Austin, Texas.
This was a good story and I love how LS ties stuff together, but this one had a lot more mature elements than Holes. The Austin elements were fun. There was a lot about race that could lead to good discussions. It quickly morphed from a story about a teen and friendship and choices to a love story to a mystery and then leaves a nice open ending.
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Book Review 1 3 Feb 25, 2015 01:57PM  
theodore 12 55 Sep 10, 2013 06:22AM  

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Louis Sachar (pronounced Sacker), born March 20, 1954, is an American author of children's books.

Louis was born in East Meadow, New York, in 1954. When he was nine, he moved to Tustin, California. He went to college at the University of California at Berkeley and graduated in 1976, as an economics major. The next year, he wrote his first book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School .

He was working
...more

Other books in the series

Holes (2 books)
  • Holes (Holes, #1)
“But I'm taking small steps
'Cause I don't know where I'm going
I'm taking small steps
And I don't know what to say.
Small steps,
Trying to pull myself together
And maybe I'll discover
A clue along the way!”
36 likes
“There was something special about being in a strange place, all alone in a mass of people even if you had just screwed up your life, or perhaps especially if you had just screwed up your life.” 18 likes
More quotes…