Holes by Louis Sachar
I mentioned before that we were reading Holes. Now that we are finally recovering from illnesses (and the whirlwind aftermath of all being sick), I'm ready to write up a review.
Stanley Yelnats is always at the wrong place at the wrong time. And it's all because of a curse that started with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather. This time, though, he's in some serious trouble.
He was minding his own business one day, when a pair of sneakers fell from the sky, hitting him on the head. Since his father was working on an invention to recycle sneakers, Stanley grabbed the shoes and brought them home.
Little did he know, the sneakers were owned by a famous baseball player.
As punishment, Stanley was sent to Camp Green Lake, where he had to dig a hole a day, five feet across and five feet deep. The counselors say that the boys are digging to build character, but it doesn't take long to realize there's more to it. A mystery.
We had a great time figuring out the clues in this book. Bubs actually made a couple key discoveries before I did.
Louis Sachar did an excellent job weaving this story together one string at a time.
As far as cleanliness, there were a few things I glazed over for my young kids' sake. There are a couple mentions of alcohol and a counselor smoking (and trying to quit). Also, there are times when it gets a little violent. The Warden, who is in charge of the whole camp, is quite vicious. She paints her nails with rattlesnake venom and scratches people. I know. Creepy.
That said, we loved the book, and I'm happy we read it. Stanley is a great character, who tries to make the right choices.
Holes is a Newbery Award winner and a National Book Award winner. Often books that win awards can be boring. Not this one. It's a bestseller (and winner) for a reason.