More books by Louis Sachar
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing Plc
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Publication date2nd October 2000
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Julia Eccleshare's comment:
October 2011 Guest Editor Roddy Doyle: "Boys in jail – a great idea. The jail has no roof and they have to dig huge holes in the baking sun all day – it’s getting even better. I read Holes in hospital a few years ago. I wasn’t ill, and was only there for the day. I actually forgot I was in hospital, the book was so good. I had about ten pages left when a nurse told me I could go home. I was half-hoping she’d tell me I’d have to stay longer, so I could finish the book."
Wholly original and brilliantly plotted, Holes is a funny and poignant story about surviving. When Stanley Yelnats is falsely accused of stealing a pair of trainers, he is sent off to Camp Green Lake which is not a camp, not green and not near a lake but a boys’ detention centre in the middle of the desert. Every day every boy has to dig a hole five foot deep and five foot across because, the Warden says, it’s good for them. How Stanley survives and proves that the Warden has a different and far more sinister motive for wanting so many holes to be dug unravels in unexpected and wholly satisfying ways.
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SynopsisHoles by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour is to dig a hole and report anything that he finds inside.
Reviews'Holes is one of those instant classics that adults, as well as children over eight, will thoroughly enjoy. Sachar has created something quite different from JK Rowling or Philip Pullman, but no less enchanting'
Independent on Sunday
'If you want a witty, moving read that grabs you and never lets up, look no further than Holes'
The Daily Telegraph
'Forget the fame and glamour of Holes, the movie and the rest. Just remember Camp Green Lake and that story that gave us one of the best books of the last ten years'
Books for Keeps
This is essentially a story about the finer emotions in life flourishing in the most bleak of environments: a tale of friendship in adversity, of kindness over cruelty, of debts of honour paid in full. Stanley Yelnats suffers a miscarriage of justice and is sent to a boys
juvenile detention centre where he and the other boys must dig a hole five feet deep and five feet across in the dried
-up lake bed, every single day. Escape is not possible as there is no water outside the camp's electric fence for miles and miles. Within the boundaries it is survival of the fittest. The barren and desolate camp is run by a sadistic warden who claims that they are digging to build character, but a chance find one day makes Stanley realize that this is not the truth. Stanley's family has been dogged by bad luck ever since his great-great-grandfather arrived in America, but when Stanley helps fellow inmate Zero learn to read he unwittingly sets in motion again the wheels of destiny which had ground to a halt over a broken promise. Holes is beautifully written. Sachar's clear and simple style belies a tightly constructed mystery spanning four generations; the story flips from the past to the present with great skill. The menacing atmosphere and the feelings of hopelessness are tangible and will stay with the reader for a long time. This is a classic. It should be a set text for schoolchildren aged 13 and upwards and adults needs to catch up too. (Kirkus UK)
About The Author
Julia Eccleshare, our very own editorial expert as well as Children's Books Editor of the Guardian says of Louis:
Best-selling author Louis Sachar took the world by storm with Holes, his remarkable story about a group of boys in a reform camp. But he deserves to be just as famous and popular for his many other books which display his hallmark qualities of warmth, empathy and understanding of all kinds of young readers but especially those whose lives have gone a bit awry. Young readers are immediately attracted to Louis Sachar’s novels for his great and unusual stories and for his exceptional understanding of some of the challenges of growing up.
Louis Sachar was born on 20 March 1954, in East Meadow, New York. In 1976, he went to the University of California, where he studied economics. While at university he became a teacher’s aide to gain extra credit; it turned out to be his favourite class and inspired him to write children's books. After graduation he worked in a sweater warehouse in Connecticut and wrote at night. After he was fired from that job he moved on to law school. In his first week of study, Sideways Stories from Wayside was published. After completing his studies in 1980 he became a part-time lawyer but was compelled to concentrate on his writing full-time.
Louis now lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes and plays quite a lot of bridge. His novel Holes has sold over 8 million copies worldwide and has been made into a major motion picture of the same name by Disney. Louis is the recipient of many of the world's most prestigious book prizes, including the National Book Award and the Newbery Award. Holes was also selected as the first Liverpool City Read title and won the Sheffield Book Award in the UK. The Cardturner, published by Bloomsbury in June 2010, is a truly original romance, coming of age and mystery novel.
Author photo credit © Perry Hagopian
Check out the great Q&A with teachers and students and some handy writing tips on Louis' website - click here.
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