Thumbing Through Throwbacks: Holes by Louis Sachar

July 23, 2015     erinbook     Book review, Feature, Thumbing Through Throwbacks

Louis Sachar’s books were a huge part of my childhood, and I don’t think I’m the only one. As a second and third grader I adored the 3 Wayside School books: Wayside School is Falling Down, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger. Then I discovered Holes and its companions. Besides the book itself, Sachar had released Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake and much later, Small Steps about popular character Armpit.
So why did people love Holes enough for two more related books to be published? Why was it so popular that a movie was made? I think the answer is pretty simple, at least for me. Sachar’s books all have one thing in common, they have fabulously interesting kid characters. You get pulled in by their personalities, their quirks. They’re usually witty and smart but otherwise pretty normal, regular kids, Kids the readers can identify with or imagine as one of their friends.
Pretty much all of the kids at Camp Green Lake are likable, if quite a bit weirder than Stanley. They’re very quirky, fan characters to read about, and even more fun in Stanley’s survival guide. You really get the dirt on all of them. In Holes itself, it’s very easy to get pulled into the adventure of it all. Old West criminals, treasure, a doomed love story, the travel and the search. Once it gets a hold of your mind it won’t let go until the story is over.
This was one of those books that made me fall in love with a darn good villain. The Warden is one of those characters that you love to hate, and I’ve found that ever since my favorite books are the ones with those kind of villains.
I read this book just when I started to read mass amounts of books a year as a kid. I’d move from one to the next so quickly I’d hardly remember most of them. The ones that did stick are the ones you see in these throwback posts. The ones that stick had an impact on the reader I am today. I still remember large sections of this book, my friends and I quoted it at each other so often. Especially once the film adaptation came out.
He cries to the moon, if only, if only. 

Do you remember reading Holes? What are your memories of it? Share in the comments.

What are your favorite throwbacks?

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5 responses to “Thumbing Through Throwbacks: Holes by Louis Sachar

  1. One of my favorite books. I remember first reading it and absolutely falling in love with it. It's truly a wonderful storytelling reality that I return to often. I have it 4 times and will adventure into it again.

  2. I do not remember when my son read this, but it was a while before the movie came out. We actually both read it because I always read his books too, so we could discuss them. This is one of the books his father also read. It provided more than one night's dinner discussion. My throwback favorites to read again and again are the Wrinkle in Time books. I usually just read the first four, but I think I am going to try to collect them all, and read all of them one more time, plus the two new ones that I had no idea existed until last year.

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