Sunday, December 2, 2012


This month I read Holes by Louis Sachar. It was published in 1998 and won the Newbery Medal in 1999. It’s an amazing book!

Holes is a complicated and fantastic story. Every detail somehow comes full circle, including the main character’s name, Stanley Yelnats. Notice that Yelnats is Stanley backwards!

The story begins over 100 years ago when Stanley’s great-great-grandfather inadvertently brought a curse down on his family. The curse causes bad things to happen to the members of the Yelnats family for generations. Stanley is wrongfully accused of stealing a famous baseball player’s stinky sneakers and is sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake. The camp does not have a lake, and it is not green. It is a desert that used to be a lake. The boys at the center are forced to dig holes, but they don’t know why. Stanley grows in character and strength at Camp Green Lake through misery and suffering. In the end, Stanley undoes his family’s curse and makes them rich through a series of fantastic events.

Holes is an awesome story. I recommend this book to 7th graders. The story includes some rough "characters" and a few cuss words that are not appropriate for younger children.

List of Recommended Books by Grade:

2nd grade –
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Miss Holly Is Too Jolly by Dan Gutman
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

3rd grade –
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

4th grade –
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Louisiana's Song by Kerry Madden
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
The Golly Whopper Games by Jody Feldman

5th grade –
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Benjamin Pratt & The Keeper of the School by Andrew Clements
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

6th grade –
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Dewey, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

7th grade and up –
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byers
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Pendragon Book One: The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Seventeen Second Miracle, by Jason F. Wright