"Holes" by Louis Sachar

Summary of the novel "Holes" by Louis Sachar.
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"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."[1]This book was written by a famous writer Louis Sachar. The book was written and first published in 1998 at Frances Foster Books. It contains 233 pages of a story about one boy that was once a bad loser and became a hero.


Those are the words by Mr.Sir. Those are the words that Camp Green Lake was build on. It was once called Green Lake and it had a small village with happy people and a lot of vegetation and a big fresh lake. Green Lake was famous with the big and juicy peaches and onions. It was almost 100 years ago. Today Green Lake is nothing but desolate desert that lies in southern Texas, a place that disappeared almost 100 years ago. A place where a not a single soul would live there voluntarily accept a few. Those people had little camp and called it "Camp Green Lake juvenile detention facility".


"You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake"[2]. Those where the choices Stanley Yelnats was given by the judge.


Stanley Yelnats was accused of stealing a pair of expensive sneakers that was donated to the homeless shelter, by his favourite athlete Clyde " Sweet Feet" Livingston. He got caught with the sneakers, arrested and ended up in the court room. Stanley told the judge that sneakers dropped down from the skies. And he also blamed his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.


Stanley was overweight boy and had some problems at school. Derrick Dunn picked on Stanley everyday at school, and he was a lot smaller than Stanley. It obvious that Stanley had low self-esteem.


Stanley chose Camp Green Lake.


Arriving at the Camp was a new start for Stanley. He met Mr.Sir who had told him "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." It was the pillar of the Camp. Camp Green Lake was not exactly what Stanley expected, he thought that he could for once in his life experience a "Summer Camp". Instead all juveniles had to dig holes five feet deep and five feet wide under the a hot sun. It would help to build their characters, and in that way pay punishment to society.


Stanley was assigned to block D. The first day Stanley, who is the main character, meets his new friends: X-Ray, Armpit, Zigzag, Magnet, Squid and Zero. The juveniles in Block D had their own status and rules between them, and Stanley had to obey the rules if he wanted to make it through his detention time. First day of digging, Stanley found out that X-Ray was the leader of "Gang D".


All juveniles had to dig holes in the dry lake under extremely hot conditions. As the day got hotter a water truck always drove out to the lake to give the boys some water. Everybody had to stand in line and X-Ray always stood first and Zero at last. X-Ray was an afro-American juvenile with glasses always covered in dirt. Stanley thought that X-Ray called himself this nickname because of his glasses.


After some days of hard digging Stanley found a golden tube with KB carved in it. Mr.Pendanski had told Stanley that if he found something special in his hole he would report to Mr.Sir or Mr.Pendanski, and Stanley would get a day off and a double shower. But Stanley gave it to X-Ray because X-Ray told him before that if he found something he would give it to him. X-Ray explained to Stanley that he deserved a day off and double shower more than Stanley did, just because he had been at Camp almost a year. Stanley gave the golden tube to the X-Ray, just to avoid a conflict with X-Ray. Stanley got suspicious about whole digging thing, and thought that they were digging for something.


X-Ray gave the golden tube to Mr.Pendanski as if he found it. He got a day off. The Warden of the Camp arrived to the place were X-Ray where digging and told everybody to dig there. This is where Stanley gets to see the Warden, and found out that Warden was a woman. After some days of digging Warden found nothing and told everybody that “...it would better to build your characters if you returned to individual digging”.


Stanley made a best friend, his name was Zero. After the while Stanley agrees on a deal with a Zero that Stanley could learn Zero to read and Zero could dig a part of his hole. Throughout this deal they develop a friendship. Zero told Stanley that it was his fault that Stanley got to the Camp. Zero told Stanley that he had stolen the sneakers.


Zero was a young afro-American boy, who lived out in the streets and was homeless.


Other boys got very jealous that Zero dug in Stanley's hole. A fight breaks out between Stanley and Zigzag. Zero helped Stanley. Mr.Pendanski breaks the fight and starts to humiliate Zero, who got enough and knocked Mr.Pendanski with the shovel. Zero panicked and ran in to the desert. The staff got very upset and deleted his file making him a “zero” that never existed at Camp Green Lake. Stanley got very confused and thought that the situation was his own entire fault. He diceded to steal a water truck but ended up in a hole. Stanley left the truck and ran out the desert. After a while Stanley discovered Zero lying under a boat. Zero had consumed jarred peaches to survive. The boys went to the place that was once discovered by Stanley's great grandfather and was called “Gods Thumb”.When the boys climbed the mountain, they found onions and water. They survived by eating onions and drinking mountain water. The boys plotted a plan on how to find the treasure that was hidden in the lake. Boys returned to the camp and started to dig at nigh time. They got caught by the Warden, Mr. Sir and Mr.Pendanski. The boys also found the hole in which the treasure was buried and found a yellow-spotted lizard nest. The lizards swarmed around Zero and Stanley.


After a while Stanley's father's lawyer showed up and rescued the boys. Ms. Moregano saved boys and the treasure. Zero and Stanley was driven back home and found that treasure box had a Stanley Yelnats was carved in it. The treasure was worth a million dollars. Stanley and Zero split the money in half and lived happily after that.

[1]   The Holes page 15

[2]   The Holes page 13

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