Louis Sachar+Holes+Essays

Critical discussions of Holes, like critical discussions of most young adult novels, are relatively infrequent and tend to fall into certain predictable categories: reviews of the book, interviews with the author, and articles on how to teach the book. However, in all discussions of Holes, certain themes repeat time and again, and all critics praise the author for the same reasons. The first of these is the emotional reality of the book—its institutional setting, the sense of injustice, the importance of peers, and so on. Second is the setting itself, meaning both Camp Green Lake itself and the surrounding desert. More than one critic commented on its intensity.

Third is what Jennifer Matteson called the fairy tale element of the book. This refers to both the potentially literal magic of the gypsy curse and to the structure of the story in which two kids whose ancestors were intimately connected run into one another. Such coincidences are common in fairy tales or fables.

A fourth area that many commentators mention is the book’s complex plot structure. Sacher’s story is markedly more complex than most young adult novels, so much so that Tamra Orr referred to it as a puzzle. Not only do multiple story lines and settings intersect, but Sacher is willing to leave some questions open-ended. That decision multiplies the novel’s complexity, as does the brevity with which he mentions certain key details, like the Warden’s identity. Sacher manages all of these points so well that Les Edgerton holds up Holes as an example for would-be writers, using it as a model of efficiency and powerful dramatic tension.

This dramatic intensity is balanced by the final element critics single out for attention in Sacher’s work: its sense of humor. From the boys’ nicknames to the jokes that they and the Yelnats family tell throughout the novel, humor is praised as a welcome and effective relief. Sacher’s success at blending these factors is witnessed most strongly by the awards the novel has won: Holes received both a National Book Award and the 1999 Newbery Award.

"Holes" By Louis Sachar Essay

Plot:The story “Holes” is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats. His whole family (except forhis mother) believes that the Yelnats family is under a curse. They always have bad luck.

One day after Stanley is walking home from school, a pair of shoes fell from an overpassand hit him on the head. They were the shoes of a famous baseball player, ClydeLivingston. Stanley did not know, so he kept them and got arrested because hesupposedly stole them. He ends up going to a juvenile camp, Camp Green Lake. Hispunishment is that every day he must dig a hole five feet deep and five feet in diameter.

The people who owned the camp were looking for a treasure. That’s why they had theinmates dig holes. Later he found a lipstick container with the initials KB. The sameinitials as the outlaw Kate Barlow who buried the treasure. Stanley later decides to runaway from camp, but he doesn’t have any water. He found his friend, Zero, who had runaway from camp earlier that week. He tries to steal the water truck away but he drove itright into a hole. So, Stanley started running and he eventually found Zero. They bothwalk about 15 miles to get to a refuge where they found water and onions to eat.

Eventually they go back to camp and dig in Stanley’s old hole and find the treasure chestthat the warden had been looking for. Stanley’s lawyer had come by the day before to gethim out. He was innocent. When Stanley did end up leaving the next day, he left with thetreasure and Zero. Stanley’s family bought a big house and had a huge party and invitedClyde Livingston.

Book Report #1:HolesCharacters:Stanley Yelnats-The main character who gets sent to a boys juvenile camp for beingaccused of stealing a famous baseball players shoes.

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