Thursday, 9 September 2010

Book #59


Holes by Louis Sachar


Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth.


I really enjoy reading light, young adult novels from time to time, and this was a particularly good one. There wasn't much at all that I didn't like about it, and I finished the book with a lovely little feeling coursing through me.

It's an inspiring wee story. Our protagonist - the palindromically named Stanley Yelnats - is convicted to a juvenile detention centre for a crime he did not commit. His punishment, along with the other young offenders, is to dig holes in the desert

Sachar's writing style here is fairly simple, but he jumps between past and present with such ease that you're barely aware it's happened. The young characters were extremely developed, and felt incredibly real, but the adult characters could have done with some more background. However, this might be reflective of the kids knowing lots about each other in the detention centre, but seeing the adults as mysterious. I can't decide.

My favourite thing about the book was that events that had happened in the past were able to be resolved by the younger generations. It was really lovely.

I really feel that the underlying message of this book is that you can overcome anything that's thrown at you, and the fact that this message is aimed at young adults makes it amazing. The ideals of justice and injustice were also rammed home quite a bit here, with the story referring back to these themes constantly.

I think both old and young people can take a lot from this book and find a character to relate to. It is an easy, quick read for someone of my age and level, but it's more than worthwhile.


59 / 66 words. 89% done!

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