(13/20) Holes – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

Holes is a young adult fiction, mystery, and satire novel written by Louis Sachar. It was published on August 20, 1998 and it consists of 272 pages. The award and nominees for the novel are:

  • 1998 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
  • 1999 John Newbery Medal.
  • 2000 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.

Holes is about a 14 year old kid who gets teased for being overweight. One day, he sent to a correctional boot camp in a desert in Texas because he was falsely accused of theft. The novel is a very fun read that is filled with mystery and satire, and it focuses on character’s past lives, as well as how they affected Stanley.

I chose to read this novel because I remember the movie on Disney Channel back in the day. I never knew that it was based on a young adult novel until I took Adolescent Literature. When I read the novel, I found out that it was very different from the film adaption. For example, in the novel, Stanley is overweight and was bullied for it, but that wasn’t the case in the moive adaption. It has been years since I watch the movie again, but I would love to watch it again now that I’ve read the novel in order to try and make a comparison.

I recommend this novel to fifth graders and up. It’s a very fun reading experience and there were plenty of parts that I found to be pretty funny, even if the novel isn’t necessarily supposed to be comedic. It was very fun nonetheless. I would read this novel as a group, but I would also encourage individual reading. As a group, I feel that this novel would be a great way to fill up free time we might have during class. I think it would be fun for the students while at the same time, maintaining a learning environment.

For read alouds, I would especially read:

  • Pg. 13, “Why Go to Camp Green Lake?”

  • Pg. 18, “Arriving at Camp Green Lake”.

For a while now, I’ve been reading a lot of novels that focus on injustices, the society we live in, struggles of people from different groups, and so on. At the same, it’s sometimes fun to read novels like Holes where even though it still has a deep message and moral story, it’s not too heavy on criticism. It’s a fun and very enjoyable read that, in my opinion at least, also had some moments to laugh at.

I want to explore more novels that aren’t necessarily as silly as The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but also not as serious as novels like Dear Martin. I felt the Holes had a mixture of seriousness, a bit of silliness, but overall it was a story made for a fun read.

One thought on “(13/20) Holes – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

  1. I remember having such fond memories of this book during my childhood. It is truly such an inspiring book that I believe many young readers would love. I have several students reading this book currently– many of whom have expressed how much they enjoy it. Moreover, the movie is such a wonderful adaptation and is still so relevant several decades on. It’s such a great feeling to see the narratives from my childhood continue to be so prominent with young readers today.

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