Holes by Louis Sachar is a Newbery Winner for 1999–and for good reason. Stanley Yelnats (Stanley spelled backwards) is fighting a family curse-one that’s been around since his great-great-grandfather. He’s in the wrong place at the wrong time his entire life–including when he’s accused of stealing shoes and sent to Camp Green Lake (which is anything but green).
At Camp Green Lake, he’s forced to dig a hole every day five feet deep and five feet wide. When he’s done digging his hole, he’s done with his work for the day. It’s hot. There’s no water but what they are given. He gets a four minute cold shower and food out of cans.
The boys are told if they find anything interesting to report it and then they don’t have to dig their hole. Stanley finds a fossil (not interesting). Then he finds a gold casing with the initials KB on it. This proves interesting. They boys are forced to dig around the place they found this for days. Stanley determines they must be digging for something. But what?
Camp Green Lake didn’t always be dry. 100 years ago it used to be a lake. Kate Barlow used to be a school teacher at Camp Green Lake. She falls in love with an onion picker named Sam. Their relationship is a scandal because Sam is black. Sam ends up murdered and Kate ends up taking revenge as a thief. Legend has it she stole money and buried it. Here.
Stanley ends up finding the buried treasure (which incidentally belonged to his great-great grandfather) and ends up helping his family and his friends at Camp Green Lake. Oh, and that curse? Broken! This story is full of so many twists and turns that my summary is just the surface. It’s an excellent and quick read that the kids will enjoy. Sachar is a master of pace and every chapter just has you wanting to read more.
I’ve always wanted to read this book since it’s so famous and it’s fabulous. You won’t regret your time spent. Charming characters. Great twists. All around good fun. Funny too!