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A great book without any thrills!
Holes - Louis Sachar
Member Name: SimonCook
Holes - Louis Sachar
Date: 23/06/01, updated on 23/06/01 (812 review reads)
Advantages: Well written, Excellent character
Holes, by Louis Sachar won the 1999 Newbery Medal. Each year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. It has been awarded many other prestigious award.
The real question is ‘Does Holes deserve to win this prestigious award?’
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Holes is perhaps most deserving of this award because it doesn’t use any ‘magic’, cult-music, mega-morphing or any other hokery-pokery to capture the reader and to get you addicted. In its subtle quiet way it builds the characters and tells a tangled tale as you find yourself being drawn into ‘Holes’.
The plot jumps between past and present very easily and never loses you; it takes you on a fearful but nostalgic journey as you start to feel for the main characters in the book.
The book tells the story of Stanley Yelnats who is wrongly accused and convicted for stealing a celebrities baseball shoes; in a case of wrong place at the wrong time, Stanley has no choice tbut to accept the punishment.
Rather than facing a jail sentence Stanley is sent to a dry lake to dig holes to build character. A demanding Warden who seems to have an ulterior motive for digging the holes runs the Camp Green Lake. She is a very tough and mean character who thinks nothing of working the youngsters to the edge of exhaustion.
As we progress through the book we are taken on a journey through time as we find out how Stanley’s forefathers are co-incidentally linked to Camp Green Lake. We deal with complex issues such as racism, and how it wasn’t accepted to have mixed ‘love’.
As we watch Stanley transform from a weak, over weight boy into a fit man, we also see a transformation of character as he ga
ins an immense confidence in his own abilities and his own social standing. We see elements of friendship, bullying, racism, hatred and a desire to succeed all within this book.
I won’t say much more about the story, suffice to say that it builds to a very good and satisfying ending.
On the face of it there really isn’t much story, however, the book is more about the interaction of the characters and how they develop over time.
The story is full of excitement and intrigue culminating in an excellent ending that is gripping. The characters are all well thought out although it isn’t always clear where some of the hatred has come from. I am sure there are numerous stories that could be written about each of the characters within the book that would fill in a lot of ‘Holes’.
Overall myself, my wife and my children loved the book. We enjoyed trying to guess what would happen next and enjoyed the excitement of finding out that we had actually solved some of the clues within the book.
I look forward to many more great books from Louis Sachar.