Holes is the 1999 Newbery Medal winner for most distinguished American children's book.
©1998 Louis Sachar; (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint Of Random House Audio Publishing Group
"A brilliant achievement. There is no question, kids will love Holes." (School Library Journal)
"Sachar inserts humor that gives the suspense steep edges; the tone is as full of surprises as the plot." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Beyer's buoyant, boyish manner ensures that Sachar's witty novel, winner of both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award, makes a smooth transition to audio." (Publishers Weekly)
Excellent story, well told. I couldn't quite give it 5-stars because I thought the narration was a bit stilted. But the story held my interest all the way through - the mixture of past and present was woven together well and tied up the loose ends very nicely.
Holes has been one of those classic stories that people tend to remember for years after they have read it. This is a marvelous tale about the interconnectedness of life, in which things that have happened in far-away places and times start a sort of karmic chain of events that ultimately comes full-circle and has life-changing consequences for our young protagonist. Old debts must be paid and old wrongs must be righted before Stanley Yelnats will be able to gain his freedom from Camp Green Lake. This is a great listen for children, young adults and grown-ups.
This is an excellent audible book. I truly enjoyed the manner in which it was read by the narrator. The charachters were interesting, and well developed, and the plot was engaging. I highly recommend this read, especially for a young adult/pre-teen.
The title of this book always left me uninterested. But since it was so incredibly popular with kids I decided I should check it out and it is terrific! The narrator captures the spirit of Stanley Yelnats perfectly and you can't turn it off. The ending is a pretty neat and it really illustrates the old cliche "what comes around goes around." I recommend this for young and old alike.
My granddaughter feels discouraged when handed a chapter book to read. She loves a good story--when it is a shared experience. We live in a rural area--no bookstores close. She needed to finish Holes over the weekend to complete a school assignment. Audible let me download a professional reader for the book. Kindle gave me the opportunity to download the text.
My granddaughter is good to follow the text while the audiobook is read. I can continue to work in the same room while she listens. We stop the book at critical points to talk about what is happening in the plot, the conflict between characters, and to predict what might happen next. It's a win-win way to share a story and help her with her reading. No tears. The result of this reading strategy has been a hundred percent on comprehension tests for school assignments and improvement in her reading fluency. We're still working on independent reading stamina but that is improving, too.
When she was reading Holes alone, the three plot lines confused her. By listening together, I could help her follow the action and understand how the three plots twisted ever more tightly as the story progressed so that the events of the resolution were plausible and understandable. She went from confused to excited about this book and loved it. Watching her progress to more complex reading material is a joy. Holes gave us great discussion points along the way. She is beginning to feel the joy of sharing a book with other readers.
One of the moments that made her face light up was when she drew the connection between the name Madame Zeroni and Zero.
She loved the part where the yellow spotted lizards were all over Zero and Caveman but did not bite them. She loved the reason why but we won't spoil it here.
The twists of time.
Several years ago, a 6th grade student came to my language arts class excitedly waving the book Holes before him. He handed it to me and said, "This is the best book ever. You've GOT to read it. You can borrow my copy. Please read it!"
Any student that excited over a book deserves to have his request honored. I started the book on a Saturday morning and read straight through to the end because it was too good to put down. We had a wonderful time discussing Holes the next Monday.
The story was great, the major let down was the awful narration. The characters did NOT come to life and truly suffered for it in this retelling. The narrator's lack of diversity and passion really made a great story drag. The singing in particular was bland and did not capture the very poignant moment in the story that the song represents. Really a shame.
The story itself is great, the way that everything is interwoven is fabulous. Sachar is known for being witty and fun, this look at a more serious tale still had the lighthearted style of Sachar while presenting a more somber narrative.
I'd say read the book, skip the audible version, it will be a much better experience.
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