15th January to 18th January ~ Physical ~ Link to Goodreads
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.
I first read this back in high school when I was about 12. We had to read it for class and I was really pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed it so much back then. The title wouldn’t have been something that usually grips me and the synopsis too was quite basic.
What I adored about this book was how there were quite a few separate stories going off but it never felt like it was confusing. Everything bobbed and weaved really well to the end where all the threads came together to give you an even clearer picture.
The cleverness of the plot and sub-plots really amazed me with this re-read. I could remember enough from way back when to know when certain little hints came up. I think this would be a brilliant book to give to my sisters when they are a few years older I’d say 12-ish is the best time to read it for the first time.
The writing is really easy and accessible. Sometimes when I read middle-grade I find the writing a little too clunky, this book didn’t have that problem at all. It flowed really well with short chapters to keep you wanting to just turn another page!
If I had one negative it would be that I think the current day parts of the book had one or two too many characters. It didn’t make it harder to follow but it did feel unnecessary.
Overall: This took me back to my pre-teen days spending all my breaks in the library and all my evenings under the bed reading. For that alone it is worth 5 stars to me. The 5 stars are also for the writing style the plots that weave perfectly together, For a great moral and characters that are well fleshed out and make you laugh.
There are numerous POC in this book as well as a boy who is illiterate. I found the depiction of the POC to be well done, it doesn’t make their race the be all and end all of who they are and it works well to incorporate them (as it should) just like it does the white people in the book.It was almost like this is what they look like this is their race but their real defining quality is x,y & z about their personality.
In terms of the illiterate boy I found him and his friendship with Stanley brilliant. I am not illiterate myself the only similarity I can say is I am dyslexic but it is not in the same league as being illiterate so I could only empathise to a certain degree. I thought he was written really well throughout the book and didn’t fall into the trap of making him sound stupid (even though the people around him called him that) on the contrary he was incredibly smart especially when it came to numbers.
Have you read Holes?
Have you seen the film?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.