This study guide will help you analyze the novel Holes by Louis Sachar. You can also find a summary of the text, detailed characterizations, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: Holes (1998)

Author: Louis Sachar

Genre: Novel

Louis Sachar (b. 1954) is an American writer of children and young adult literature. His works often contain elements of mystery and comedy. His novels include the Wayside School Series (first book, Sideways Stories from the Wayside School published in 1978), Johnny's in the Basement (1981), and Small Steps (2006, sequel to Holes). 

Holes was published in 1998 and made its author world famous. The plot of the novel is complex and intricate. Past events repeatedly find their way into the present. The various storylines flow seamlessly into one another and ensure that Holes is much more than the story of a unlucky teenager. The narrative explores various complex themes, such as friendship, being an outsider, love, and magic. 

Holes received two of the most important awards in the American literary world, the Newberry Medal and the National Book Award, in the year of its publication. In 2003, the novel was successfully adapted into a film by Disney with Sachar writing the screenplay. Even today, 20 years after its first publication, the novel Holes is still widely read and appreciated.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 


The town of Green Lake

The fictional town of Green Lake is a place of the past. One hundred and ten years ago, it was located next to Green Lake, the largest lake in Texas (Part 1, 0%), and was a fertile and respectable place thanks to its lake: "It [The lake] was full of clear cool water, and it sparkled like a giant emerald in the sun. It was especially beautiful in the spring, when the peach trees, which lined the shore, bloomed with pink and rose-colored blossoms." (Part 1, 81%).

This is the town where teacher Katherine Barlow - future outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow - and camp director Linda Walker's ancestors grow up. Both parties are important to the development and history of the town. When Katherine Barlow forms a relationship with the black onion merchant Sam, they are both hunted by the...

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