Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Review - Holes by Louis Sachar

Grab a copy and dig in!

Calling all reluctant readers, Holes is exactly the type of story that grasps a young reader in its clutches and doesn’t let go. What more would a child ask for than a tall tale passed down through generations, defenceless criminals being held captive by evil and slave-driving authorities, the search for a missing treasure, and the heroic underdogs that save the day?

Whilst enjoying the fast pace of this novel, kids will be taught about finding pride in their accomplishments, the importance of being accountable for their actions, and their intrinsic ability to adapt to any situation. Not only an intricately woven tale with sub-plots that lead to a magical end, Holes is heavy in social commentary, as it tackles such issues as racism, poverty and bullying. Based on the exploration of these issues, as well as some violent and even fatal scenes arising from them, it’s now apparent to me why this book has been critically acclaimed.

I would recommend that a parent read this story alongside their child so that they can encourage discussion and include an experienced, adult point of view. That being said, the mere broaching of these subjects to a young audience is exactly what it’s going to take to create awareness and better help our youth to conquer these problems in their adult lives.

4/5 Snakes


  1. I agree, this is a good book for reluctant readers. I work at a children's bookstore, and this is one I often recommend.

  2. I love this book, I've read it like four or five times. The movie's good, too.

  3. Charley... I worked in the children's section at a major bookstore recently and must have sold this book more than any other. It was a favourite of many of the boys that I spoke with, and countless parents informed me that they credit it for getting their boys reading. How wonderful!

    Laina...The movie was a fabulously accurate portrayal of the book! The only thing that bothered me about the adaptation was how they ignored the fact that Stanley Yelnats was supposed to be overweight. I guess Hollywood didn't find this an important aspect of the story, but I did. It was especially affecting when my young niece who struggles with her weight, asked me why they didn't include it in the movie. It was apparent that she also found this important, maybe even empowering.

    Still a great movie though.