Sunday, June 29, 2008

Holes - Louis Sachar

another one to add to the list of books it took me way too long to get around to reading. "holes" was awarded the prestigious newbery medal in 1999. it's remained consistently popular over the years and my library definitely ensures we maintain a circulating copy. so, with the knowledge of the aforementioned list in my mind, i decided that i want to make a concerted effort this summer to spend some time catching up on blockbuster junior and young adult titles that i never read at the height of their popularity. "the golden compass" is another one of these. "eragon" was another one. i tried to get through it back in april, but i have to admit (and this will probably set me up for attack by legions of rabid paolini fans) i just didn't dig it. probably has something to do with the fact that although i do enjoy fantasy, i don't tend to like dragons. go figure. much more into elves and vampires. but oh well, it takes all kinds.

back to "holes". what a great book! i can't believe i put off reading it for so long. it definitely deserved the recognition it got. "holes", in case you are slow getting around to it also, is the story of stanley yelnats, who is wrongfully convicted and sentenced to a juvenile facility for stealing a pair of running shoes. the juvenile facility possesses the seemingly facetious name, "camp greenlake", is located in a barren texan desert. the kids serving time there are expected to dig a five foot square hole every day in the blistering texas heat. i'm pretty sure this cruel and unusual form of punishment would be considered illegal, but for the sake of the book i am willing to let that slide. suspension of disbelief if you will. "holes" is about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of injustice, but is told with sachar's dry dark humour (which i've just made sound inaccessible, but really it isn't). i can absolutely see why nearly a decade later "holes" continues to maintain the interest of young readers.

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