Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - Holes

Author: Louis Sachar
Read by Kerry Beyer — Three cassettes / 4 hours 30 mins. — Stanley Yelnats isn't so surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a juvenile detention center.  After all, his family has been ridden with bad luck ever since a one-legged gypsy put a curse on his great-great grandfather.  He is told that the hard labor he must perform...diggin...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780606189101
ISBN-10: 0606189106
Publication Date: 5/2000
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Turtleback Books Distributed by Demco Media
Book Type: Unknown Binding
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

AimeeM avatar reviewed Holes on + 124 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is a great story for kids (ages 9-15ish), but even the adults may enjoy it!
It especially appeals to people who don't like to read long stories. The chapters are short, the plot moves swiftly, yet it is still a sophisticated story with plot twists, and a surprising ending.
reviewed Holes on + 222 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A very odd story, yet I kind of enjoyed it. Its for young adults but thats ok.
Lazeeladee avatar reviewed Holes on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was written so that older children/young adults could read and understand it with no problems. As an adult, please don't be misled into thinking it'll be 'beneath you' to read this wonderful book, or you'll miss out on a really good read!
reviewed Holes on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Written for children and teens , but I liked it too!!
reviewed Holes on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
One of those children's books enjoyed by adults!
"inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment - and redemption."
Read All 81 Book Reviews of "Holes"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed Holes on
The plot is simple, but with a healthy amount of depth, although the prose is a bit sparse even for young adult material. It's good if you know a young person you want to get into reading and want to kick start the habit.
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Holes on + 5322 more book reviews
Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for

HOLES was first released over a decade ago, so I have no excuse for not joining the masses in reading it before now. But, I kept telling myself, it's about boys digging holes. What's interesting about that?

So years passed.

When the anniversary edition, complete with its Newbery-medal-bearing jacket, caught my eye, I decided it was time to see what all the hype was about. After all, clearly the book was good enough to be made into a movie starring some of my favorite actors (Jon Voigt, Henry Winkler, Sigourney Weaver, and a young Shia LaBeouf), so it had to be good, right?

Thankfully, this (admittedly flawed) line of reasoning didn't fail me. The book met and exceeded my expectations.

A weak but loveable main character named Stanley Yelnats (a clever anagram, no?) leads readers through the main plot. The story is about an adolescent boy sent to a reform camp, where he must dig one grave-sized hole each day as punishment for a crime we're led to believe he did not commit.

As I suspected, this plot is no fun. But don't let that fool you! The book itself is chalk full of fun...and it doesn't take long for it to enter the story.

A master at suspending disbelief, Sachar weaves together several storylines as he takes us back through Yelnats family history and ties it to the history of Kissin' Kate Barlow, one of the most notorious outlaws in the West. Without revealing too much, and yet dropping enough clues for readers to piece the puzzle together as they go, Sachar unveils each story as a stand-alone piece while keeping firm footing in the main story.

One character after another dances through the book and wins over readers with a sympathetic story of his or her own. Luckily, Sachar makes it easy to fall in love with even the most backward-seeming character. No one's life is easy and everyone wants his or her story told.

Amazingly, this is accomplished in one reasonably short, action-packed book that more than earned every award piled upon it.

I highly recommend picking this one up anytime!
reviewed Holes on + 53 more book reviews
My children (now teens) loved this book in early middle school. A definite find even for the reluctant reader!
reviewed Holes on + 12 more book reviews
Great book for pre-teens!
reviewed Holes on
Pretty good and quick read!
reviewed Holes on + 95 more book reviews
Although I did not read this book, my 9 year old son did and loved it. Ironically, one rainy Saturday morning, we turned on the TV to find the movie version on and he had just finished the book. I found the movie interesting but of course my son said it wasn't as good as the book. We just received the next book in the series and he can't wait to get started. Judging from the movie, I would say this book has quite a few layers and is appropriate for advanced readers in the 9-12 range.
reviewed Holes on + 17 more book reviews
Excellent book for an elementary school age child.
reviewed Holes on
I actually did not read the book. I got it for my son who is 9 years old and he loved it. I think it only took him four days to read it because he could not put it down!
reviewed Holes on + 3352 more book reviews
Much better than the movie it spawned. Lots of laughs and lots of thought material.
spiral avatar reviewed Holes on + 21 more book reviews
231 pages long.
Great for girls and boy ages 9-10+
I suggest this book!

Basically from back cover (changed a little)
This book is about a kid "Stanley Yelants" is under a curse. A curse that has been in his family since his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather! Now Stanley is being sent to a boys detention center at Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character digging holes exactly 5 feet deep and five feet wide. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But an awful lot of holes. It doesn't take Stanley long to realize theres much more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment-and redemption.
reviewed Holes on + 5 more book reviews
Really enjoyed this. Nice coming of age story
reviewed Holes on
This is a fun and easy read, but it makes you think enough to keep me entertained. I Loved how Stanley (main character) keeps up such a good attitude. We can learn a lot of good things from this book.
reviewed Holes on + 109 more book reviews
Great book. Ive watched the movie so many times. Its a wonderful story line with many depths and twists. Enjoyable and a great book for any age. I recommend seeing the movie too.
reviewed Holes on + 8 more book reviews
A boy is sent unjustly to a boy's detention center where he learns the meaning of hard work, friendship and loyalty. It's a book that will keep your interest from start to finish. Happy reading!
reviewed Holes on + 7 more book reviews
I loved this book! I has a magical way of ending and the movie is wonderful too!
reviewed Holes on
A fun, insightful, adventurous read for any age!
sophiasapientia avatar reviewed Holes on
This is an unabridged production of Louis Sachar's Newberry Award winning book "Holes" on 3 tapes. It is narrated by Kerry Beyer and is 4.5 hours long.
batgirl avatar reviewed Holes on + 284 more book reviews
An excellent book for young people, especially boys. The movie was very well-done as the author wrote the screen play. Of course, the book is better.
reviewed Holes on + 11 more book reviews
It was very good but not my favorite book!