Excerpt: If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole everyday in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.
That was what some people thought.
Stanley Yelnats was given a choice. The judge said, “You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake.”
Stanley was from a poor family. He had never been to camp before.
Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he never committed. Not surprising, for Stanley’s family is known for its bad luck. It all went back to the no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing ancestor who was cursed by a witch. The story of Stanley and his unfortunate great-grandfather are narrated side by side, until the two come together in the most unexpected fashion.
Stanley’s life on Camp Green Lake is a bizarre struggle. The warden uses snake venom in her nail polish. His companions are strange, with nicknames like X-Ray, Armpit, Magnet and Zero. The desert creatures – rattlesnakes, tarantulas and the yellow-spotted lizards – are deadly. Everyday the boys have to dig a hole in the dry, hot, lake -bed, five feet across and five feet deep. Stanley realizes that the boys are doing this not to ‘build character’ but because the warden is looking for something. He has to begin digging for the truth now.
Then Zero runs away from camp, and Stanley sets out to look for him. The overweight boy that even little kids could bully finds happiness and discovers his own inner strength as he struggles across the dry lake- bed and over the cliffs. What happens when Stanley does find what the warden is looking for? Don’t miss the twist in this tale! The narration is terse and brief, and full of unexpected humour. Highly recommended for readers 11 years and above.
Louis Sachar, a part-time lawyer in Texas, USA, has written many books for children, including the ‘Wayside School’ series and ‘There’s a Boy in the Girls’Bathroom’. ‘Holes’ was first published in the USA in 1998. It won, besides many others, the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and The Newbery Medal in 1999. The book was a bestseller in Great Britain too when published in 2000.
Published by: Bloomsbury in 2000
Price: Rs. 280 /-