Holes is a great book for a reluctant reader, in fact it may be THE great book for a reluctant reader. In a situation not unlike The Shawshank Redemption but with kids, we find our hero Stanley Yelnats interred in a children’s hard labour camp for a crime he didn’t commit (the distinctly not-green, lakeless, Camp Green Lake) . There is a diverse cast of characters, featuring guards who are by turns cruel, sadistic and incompetent and the other kids who are almost worse. Emotions run high as, alongside healthy doses of subversion and defiance, there is the always present longing for escape.
Tasked with the Herculean job of digging a 5ft wide, 5ft deep hole every single day in the baked Texas earth, under searing heat on a dry lake bed, Stanley begins to ask questions. In doing so, he finds he is more resilient, kinder and a better friend than he supposed. Why are they digging these holes? It's a fair question and one that leads to some startling revelations as Stanley begins to unravel a 110 year family mystery.
This blog contains:
A Holes-themed Maths Quiz
A Game to help students develop plot in creative writing
By using magical realism, Louis Sachar blurs the lines between children’s fantasy and the harsh realities of everyday life. Alongside the cruel detention of the children, the flashes of violence and the relentless toil and struggle, there are bizarre yellow spotted lizards, magical potions concocted from peaches and onions, and intertwining stories of unlikely love, broken promises and revenge.
This is a book brimming with ideas and a good tutor can find inspiration on almost every page. I hope you enjoy the couple of activities I’ve put together this week, I may be back to make some more!
Zero's Maths Quiz
These maths questions use the events of the story Holes to pose questions for the student. Most suitable for students in Years 7, 8 or 9.
Build an interesting story by trying to explain how an unusual object got into a strange place. Even though the discover should seem bizarre and unlikely, the explanation should be logical and, if possible, ordinary. Good luck!
As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org