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Holes Paperback – 2 Oct 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,028 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (2 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074754459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747544593
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,028 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

"I'm not going to run away," Stanley said. "Good thinking, " said Mr Sir. "Nobody runs away from here. We don't need a fence. Know why? Because we've got the only water for a hundred miles. You want to run away? You'll be buzzard food in three days." Stanley could see some kids dressed in orange and carrying shovels dragging themselves towards the tents. "You thirsty?" asked Mr Sir. "Yes, Mr Sir," Stanley said gratefully. "Well, you better get used to it. You're going to be thirsty for the next eighteen months."

If you are looking for a truly remarkable novel, something to get your teeth into, something to make you think, and something to make you feel that you have just touched real class, then look no further than Louis Sachar's extraordinary, award-winning novel Holes.

Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: "if you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn't think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb--a mountain so entwined in Stanley's own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.

A complex story, riddled with the harsh imagery and barren despair, Holes is a perceptive and intricate homage to family and friendship which never shies away from the harshest of realities yet injects the story of a seemingly hopeless boy with a sly, sideways humour that crackles against the backdrop of the arid wastelands of the desert. A must for anyone, young or old, who relishes an intelligent, courageous and dynamic read. (Age 11 and over) --Susan Harrison

Review

'A miracle of a book - a fast, involving read that conceals an incredibly clever structure packed with surprises' -- TBK magazine, Spring 2009, Issue 24

`A truly life-affecting read, I get everyone I know to read it'
-- Waterstone's Guide to Kid's Books, February 2009

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this for school use - just wanted a teachers copy.
Great novel to study and read for teenagers with a range of themes applicable to their lives. Might be a bit awkward with the flashback narrative style but i found this kept the students on their toes and they had to keep using their brains to understand the plot and divide the past narrative and the present one.
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My year six class loved having this read to them, especially with the accents which I somehow couldn't help giving each of the characters. After we had finished reading it, we watched the film as a treat - much better that way round - every time!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived on my shelves in that roundabout way that can sometimes yield such excellent results. I noticed that there was a film called 'Holes'. I saw a book called 'Holes' appearing in countdowns of favourite novels, and even on the BBC Big Read list. A few years later, I happened to see the film. Another year or two later and I suddenly thought 'Hey, I want to read that book!' So I ordered it and voila! There it was, on my shelves. And thank heavens this wonderful process went without a hitch, because I'd have missed a treat...

Stanley Yelnats is on his way to Camp Green Lake, a remote correctional facility which runs on the basis that young offenders will become better people by digging holes across the vast empty lake bed. One hole every day, five feet across and five feet deep - and for heaven's sake, if you come across a yellow-spotted lizard, run for your life, because you do not want to be bitten by one of those. In between the narrative of Stanley's stay twist the old tales that have become Yelnat family myth: that of his great-great-grandfather Elya, whose broken promise led to an elderly Egyptian woman cursing him and his descendents, and of his great-grandfather, the first Stanley Yelnats, who was robbed by the notorious outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow and left on the desert plain to die. As the novel progresses these tales begin to echo down the years, whispering clues and engineering coincidences, until Stanley begins to suspect there's more to the increasingly sinister Camp Green Lake than meets the eye...

This book has everything. A wicked sense of humour and a divine sense of the bizarre. A haunting backdrop and a weepie moment or three. A motley crew of heroes and villains sweeping across the generations. Rattlesnakes and magic mountains, onions and sneakers - oh, and LOTS of holes. Look, just take my word for it, okay? Read it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son is reading this at school. He came home and we watched the film together and then he bugged me to buy him his own copy !!!! Same day delivery was a bonus so he could start reading it that evening !!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, I enjoyed it and my 11 year old son absolutely loved it. The book was so well written and creates great opportunities for discussion both in and around the actual story and also the social story and history that happened in real life. So glad we stumbled across "holes". The story all links together and cleverly jumps between the past and present with humour and sadness alike. Once you start reading you can't stop!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book so that I could help my daughter write her first analytical report rather than a 'story' book review.
It was a great read suited to both kids and adults, I'd finished it in 2 sessions!
A story about a boy who when faced with adversity becomes stronger and remains a good boy.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Daughter who is 10 has just finished reading and she really enjoyed it. She has also seen the film and said the book is better as there is added bits to the book and more detail. Would recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book, I was reading some reviews about this book and everyone who reviewed it was so passionate about it. After reading it I can understand why. Its a book that should be put on every child's reading list. A big five star from me.
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