book review

Holes by Louis Sachar (And Some Fun “Holes-Inspired” Activities!)

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We have someone very special guest blogging for us today! Hannah Rials is a senior at Maryville High School and as part of her “career” development she has been interning for me since the beginning of the school year. It is her dream to be an author, editor, and publisher. Already she has finished a full length YA novel and is in the works of creating a series of third -fifth graders. Soon she will be off to college to pursue her literary dreams but before that happens she’s sharing her very favorite book with us here.  Welcome Hannah !!

I know Holes by Louis Sachar is a favorite here as well. Wait until you see what Hannah has come up with.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes is my favorite Louis Sachar book. The history of Kate Barlow and Stanley’s great-great grandfather woven into the story brings a new dimension to a children’s chapter book. He gives children the ability to make connections between history and Stanley Yelnat’s story. He pulls you into the harsh conditions of Camp Green Lake and keeps you captivated with the mystery surrounding it. None of the camps I ever went to had buried treasure. I read this with my mom when I was ill. It’s not just a story for kids, but for kids and parents to enjoy together.


We all have something or someone who we blame our bad luck on, whether it be that we didn’t get enough sleep or that the world is out to get us. But Stanley Yelnats believes that his bad luck comes from his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great grandfather Elya Yelnats. After Madame Zeroni cursed him for not carrying her up the mountain, bad luck has traveled down the family line to Stanley’s own unfortunate incident.

When a pair of famous sneakers, stolen from “Sweet Feet”, drops from the sky into Stanley’s life, the judge gives Stanley two choices: Camp Green Lake or jail. As Stanley had never been to camp before. But Camp Green Lake is not your average boys’ camp. Here, we dig holes to build character, and if you don’t dig a hole five feet deep and five feet wide, well you just aren’t building enough character. Free time is limited, and you get used to eating food out of a can. But there is a secret buried deep in the dirt of the dried up lake, and Stanley might just be the boy to dig it out.

Here in the harsh, scorching wasteland, Stanley (AKA Caveman) not only discovers himself but also the cure to his family’s perpetual bad luck. Join Stanley as he solves the mystery of Kissin’ Kate Barlow, discovers the cure to stinky feet, and comes close enough to a yellow-spotted lizard to actually see the yellow spots. Will Stanley survive to tell the tale to his great-grandchildren?

Grab your copy of Holes HERE.

**Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission.
This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!

Something To Do

Dig Your Own Hole:

What You’ll Need:

Holes Cookies

  • A tall glass
  • Oreos
  • Graham crackers
  • Treasures (I used York Peppermint Patties and Rollos still in the wrappers)
  • A spoon (shovel)

1. Split the Oreos and scrape off the icing. Put both the Oreo pieces and the graham crackers into the food processor until crumbled and well mixed—add more graham crackers depending on how light you want your dirt.

2. Add your treasures, making sure that they aren’t all clustered together.

Holes Cookies

3. Pour your “dirt” into a tall glass and pack firmly to give the feel of dry dirt. Let harden for a few hours.

4. Pick up your shovel (spoon) and dig! Afterwards, enjoy the tasty treasures that you find.

Holes Cookies


Cootie Catcher Nickname Generator


Cootie Catcher Nickname Generator

What You’ll Need:

  • Piece of paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • You’re making a cootie catcher
  1. Fold the bottom corner diagonally to make an equilateral triangle. Trim off the excess
  2. Unfold triangle—you should have a square. Fold the other corner diagonally to make a center. Open it.
  3. Fold each corner diagonally to the center
  4. Turn the paper over so that the folded sides are against the table. Then fold all the corners to the center diagonally.
  5. Write numbers 1-8 on the triangles.
  6. Fold the square in half. Then fold it in half horizontally.
  7. Write a noun on the inside of each triangle (i.e. buzzard, man, cave, etc.) and color each triangle a different color. Pull the triangles up and write an adjective (i.e. stinky, lone, kissin’, etc.).

Step 2

Cootie Catcher Nickname Generator

Step 3

Cootie Catcher Nickname Generator

Step 4

Cootie Catcher Nickname Generator

How it works:

  • Pick a number between 1 and 8. That is how many times you move the cootie catcher.
  • 4 colors/ words will be showing. Pick a color. Whatever word goes with that number is the first part of the nickname
  • Pick a number between 1 & 8. Then pick another color. Lift the triangle and the adjective is the second part of the name.
  • Arrange them in whatever order you choose.
  • Mine nickname is Silent Bird.

Madame Zeroni’s Song

Madame Zeronis Music

As you well know, Madame Zeroni’s song has been passed down from one Yelnats generation to the next. Whenever they think about their ancestor lugging the growing pig up that mountain and singing the song, they seem to hear the song themselves.
You know the words, now let’s put music to them. I have given the basic notes of Madame Zeroni’s song. Learn to play it on the piano or on another instrument. If you have a musician in the family, see if they can make it into a grand symphony!


ALSO, looking to add a fun twist to Halloween and Trick-or-Treating?
Join the Jump Into a Book Book-or-Treat Community Project! JIAB has devised away to combine a much-loved holiday with the gift of book giving.

FREE Book-or-Treat Community Kit

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5 thoughts on “Holes by Louis Sachar (And Some Fun “Holes-Inspired” Activities!)

  1. I am so impressed with this website and the things to do with the book Holes! Way to go Hannah! Thank You Valarie for being such a great mentor to Hannah!

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