Holes by Louis Sachar


Written by Louis Sachar

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The Lovereading4Kids 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.

Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.


Holes 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.


'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'

'If you want a witty, moving read that grabs you and never lets up, look no further than Holes'

About the Author

Louis Sachar

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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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Louis Sachar
More books by Louis Sachar

Author's Website



Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Publication date

2nd October 2000




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