Thoughts On “Holes”

Always at the wrong place, at the wrong time Stanley Yelnats is convicted of a crime he did not commit. He is given a choice; he will either go to Camp Green Lake or jail. When he chooses Camp Green Lake he does not know that it is a difficult discipline center in the middle of a hot dry desert where the campers are required to dig large holes every day as it “builds character”.

Me and “Holes”, we go way back. I read this book when I was 9, 16 and now when I am 21. It kills me, what happens with books I loved as a child. I end up re-reading them and they are not as good as they were. Maybe I should just leave my childhood favorites alone.

Still, when I say it is not as good, I do not mean that it is bad. I still think Holes is amazing, it is just that in my mind I have very exaggerated feelings about all my old favorites. I am almost afraid to re-watch Avatar the Last Airbender for this reason.

Holes is very simply written, and the writing really flows. The tone is very matter-of-fact (which I am beginning to think is a common tactic many well-written children’s books have). And the things that amazed me when I was 9 still amaze me. I would think it was genius how the three plots were woven together, and all the people within them. That chain of coincidences where the descendants of everyone just met each other at Green Lake. How the promise that was broken four generations ago was finally kept.

And also, the pig lullaby is the poem of my childhood. I would think it was very sad and beautiful and I still do. It is etched into my memory.

“If only, if only” the woodpecker sighs
The bark on the trees was a soft as the skies
While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely
Crying to the moon
“If only, if only”

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