Author: Louis Sachar
Review Summary: Classic, dry Louis Sachar humor but simplistic enough I’d classify it as middle grade fiction, not YA.
In Holes, Stanley Yelnats is found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit and has the choice of going to prison or Camp Green Lake. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake is neither green nor in possession of a lake and the warden believes digging a hole a day will help the boys build character. However, Stanley quickly realizes that the warden is digging for something in particular and that the mystery of Camp Green Lake may connect to his own family history.
I’ve always liked Louis Sachar’s sense of humor, which is very dry and a little bit wacky. His writing is perfect for his sense of humor, short and succinct. However, this author I liked in middle school didn’t quite hold up to my memory. The main character’s thoughts and reactions were realistic, but the dialogue was choppy. The transitions to scenes from the past are a little rough as well. Finally, everything connected to everything else excessively neatly, although this was often part of the dry humor.
I think I originally watched the movie before reading the book, but I’d definitely seen the movie before this re-read and I’m glad I had. Having an idea of the plot helped with the rough transitions to the past because I already knew how they connected to the present. The choppy dialogue was much less bothersome because I could picture the characters saying them as in the movie. And the quirky characters in the movie really enhance the author’s humor. The book could probably be enjoyed without seeing the movie, but the movie helped compensate for the books weaknesses and enhanced it’s strengths.