Tag Archives: holes

Book Synopsis: “Holes”

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013

Roll: 5,1. Result: Synopsis, Book.

Oh shucks. Shux?

HOLES by Louis Sachar

a shoddy-memory synopsis


“Holes” is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats, only no, that might be his grandfather’s name. We’ll pretend it’s his. Stanley is accidentally framed for stealing a pair of sneakers when they fell out of the sky and into his hands one day. He is caught, and brought before the judge, who declares that he can either go to Juvenile Prison, or spend the summer at a youth behavioral correction camp, right next to a lake! Stan picks the lake. Okay, I have to look this up I don’t feel comfortable calling him Stan.

Okay, his nameĀ is Stanley. And the camp is Camp Green Lake. It sounds nice.

Anyway, Stanley finds himself on a bus out to the camp. When he gets there, he finds that the lake dried up long ago, and the kids there spend their days digging 5 ft x 5 ft x 5 ft holes in the dried up lake bed, to teach them… to be better people. A wicked woman runs the camp, and she wears snake venom nail polish, I think.

So they’re digging a lot, and Stanley makes some new friends. It is awful, and probably some kids nearly pass out, but the camp director is so mean and nasty that she just punishes them more for passing out. Stanley overhears the director speaking with her coworkers about the real reason she is having them dig up the lake bed, which is to find some sort of buried treasure. Possibly, she finds out that he knows and threatens him, so he flees into the desert.

Now, it is possible that, before this, a kid named “Zero” ran into the desert. One of them ran away first, but at any rate I think they meet up at this old, overturned wooden rowboat half-buried in the sand. It is filled with jarred peaches, so they live on that for a while, but they take it with them. They venture on, up into the hills.

I think, at some point, Zero starts singing this lullaby about a wolf, and Stanley recognizes it, because it is one his grandmother used to sing. There is a story about Stanley’s grandfather, who was also named Stanley (pretty sure about this one), and he wanted to be strong, so a woman, who may or may not end up being Stanley’s grandmother, gave him a piglet to carry up the mountain every day to give him a drink of water from the spring. Every day the pig grew, and when he was fully grown Stanley the First was wicked jacked. Anyway, now Stan and Zero think they might have the same grandmother, and as far as my version of the story goes, they are correct.

The two boys start starving to death, but somehow they think to dig up a bunch of onions during a thunderstorm. They eat only onions for a while, and maybe discover something that will help them get the camp director fired, since she is evil. They struggle back to the camp.

When they arrive, the director is furious, and thinks she has the upper hand, but the boys bring in some other authority and using whatever they have discovered, they expose her true nature to the world. She tries to hurt them, and the cops are like “Okay she’s crazy” and take her away. The camp is dissolved, and everyone is happy.

It turns out Zero stole the shoes that day, and threw them over the railing in a panic, getting Stan incarcerated. But the Yelnatses adopt Zero, because he was an orphan (even though he’s Stan’s cousin maybe), and Stan and Zero invent something called Sploosh which is really just the same as the jarred peaches they found in the desert.