Holes-Why is it a good novel for teenagers?
In this essay I intend to look at why the book ‘Holes’, is a good
novel for teenagers to read. Written by Louis Sachar in 1998, it is a
modern novel telling readers a story about the life experiences of a
young boy called Stanley. The story revolves around Stanley being
unfairly acquitted for a crime leading to him being faced to cope with
life at a juvenile detention centre. Along with this main plot, there
are several other underlying smaller plots that contribute towards the
success of the story as a whole.
I will examine the various reasons for why this book would appeal to
There are three simultaneous plots, which creates more excitement and
suspense for the reader. But the main theme is how young Stanley
Yelnats IV comes to redeem the curse which was visited upon his
great-great-grandfather and all the Yelnats family, through the
generations, by Madame Zeroni.
Stanley, the main character in the story, is falsely accused of
stealing a pair of trainers, which had been donated to help raise
money for the homeless shelter. These trainers weren’t any ordinary
trainers; they had belonged to the most famous baseball player in
history, Clyde Livingstone. Stanley isn’t too disheartened when he is
sent away from his family to a juvenile delinquent’s camp (Camp Green
Lake) for a crime he did not commit, due to his family’s long known
history of bad luck. Stanley doesn’t blame the judge for falsely
convicting him, but he blames the whole misadventure on his
Stanley, his troubles are just a natural part of being a Yelnats,
which is a factor of life that he has become accustomed to.
Stanley is required to dig one hole each and every day as his
punishment; no more than five feet deep and five feet across. The
digging is supposed to be a “character building exercise” as the
Warden claims; however, the counsellors let the boys know that the
warden wants to be alerted if anything interesting is dug up. Stanley
finds a fossil, but it doesn’t quite qualify, but a gold-coloured tube
engraved with the initials K.B does.
Stanley builds a good friendly relationship with Zero and gets along
with him more than anyone else at Camp Green Lake. Stanley helps Zero
to read, and in return Zero helps dig his hole. It doesn't take long
for Stanley to realise that there's more than character improvement
going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the
deceitful warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley
begins his own search- for the truth. Fate conspires to resolve it
all- the family curse, the mystery of the holes, the drought that
destroyed Green Lake, and also, the legend of Kissing Kate Barlow, an
infamous outlaw of the Wild West. The great wheel of justice has
ground slowly for generations, but now it is about to reveal its
Because the story is...