Holes by Louis Sachar - by Louis Sachar
Imagine that you are Stanley Yelnatz and every evening when you were growing up you heard your father sing this lullabye:
If only, if only the woodpecker cries
The bark on the trees was as soft as the skies
And the wolf howls below, so lonely, so lonely,
If only, if only….
[Change your stance: You are now Stanley Yelnatz]
If only! If only those sneakers hadn'ta fallen outta da sky! If only I'dda left ‘em alone. Howsz' I supposta know they were stolen? Do I look like the kind of person who'd steal from a charity auction?
[Muttered sotto voce] Don't answer that!
If only when the judge said I hadda choice between Juvenile Detention and Camp Greenlake, I hadn'ta chosen the camp! Howsz' I supposta know what it really was? I'd never been to summer camp? How bad could it be?
Bad. Real bad. I'm in boot camp with a lot of serious criminals. Murderers maybe! Out in the middle of the desert (Lake, hah!) with poisonous snake and lizards and scorpions. And y'know what they make us do? You're never gonna get this: They make us dig holes. Holes! Everyday you gotta dig a hole 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide all around. You don't get to eat or sleep or nothin' until you dig that stupid hole.
And it's it's all the fault of my no-good, rotten, pig-stealing great-grandfather. If he'd of kept his promise, then that old Gypsy lady would never've cursed us. Uh uh. And I wouldn't have such lousy luck. It's bad here. Crazy. I don't think I'm gonna survive this…
[Return to being “the Narrator”] Oh yeah, Stanley Yelnatz's life is going to get crazier than he knows. He thinks they're just making the prisoners dig holes to hurt them, maybe to break their spirit. But the holes are really linked to a secret and a murder and a curse. And Stanley? Why he's right, shall we say, dead in the center of it all. Oh yeah, Stanley is doomed!
By Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System
[Note to nitpickers: To be “doomed” is an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to have a special fate. These guys being what they word, naturally this was assumed to be unpleasant.]
Last Updated: January 15, 2008