Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Sachar, Louis
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998.
IL YA RL 6.5
ISBN 0374332657

(11 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Hi, my name is Tyler, and I am here to tell you about one of my favorite books ever written. This book is called Holes.

It starts out with a boy who has two choices; he can go to jail or go to a so-called camp for bad boys. At this camp they make you dig holes five feet wide, and five feet long until you finish the hole. Then you can stop. It’s been a known fact that no one survives. Practically every kid purposely tries to hurt himself so he can rest in his tent. If you lay in the hammock they will have your head! Anyway, this book will always leave you hanging. If you like laughter, horror, or anything in between, this is the book for you. If you want to find out if this boy survives camp read HOLES! (Tyler C., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School)

Booktalk #2

Camp Green Lake is not what it appears.  There is no lake.  There is no camp, unless you consider incarceration a fun way to spend the summer.  Stanley is at the end of his luck, what little he's had all his life.  Accused of stealing sneakers, he is sent away to Camp Green Lake rather than going to jail.  What he finds out is that jail would have been a whole lot better.

Rising each day early, the boys are made to dig holes, five feet deep and five feet wide in the hot Texas sun, avoiding the pitfalls of heat and creatures.  Out of necessity, Stanley learns to live in the group of outcast boys and befriends Zero, (the name speaks volumes as does Stanley's palindromic one).  But why are they digging these holes for the warden, a woman who paints her nails with rattlesnake poison?  The plot thickens in tall tale fashion and you can't read fast enough or cheer loud enough for Stanley and Zero.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #3

This story is about a boy Stanley Yelnats.One day hes a normal kid the next he is acused of stealing a pair of shoes.He has two options 1 is go to jail 2 is go to camp green lake.Camp green lake is a wierd place were it never rains and there is no lake.They have to dig holes five feet wide five feet deep.They don't know what there looking for but one day stanly finds out. (Justin , student, Musselman Middle School. Bunker Hill, WV

Booktalk #4

Stanley Yelnats is always at the wrong place at the wrong time. One day Stanley was walking home after school when a pair of sneakers fell from the sky. Next thing you know Stanley is digging holes with Zero, Zigzag,, Armpit and others at Camp Green Lake. Is Camp Green Lake Fun? Why is Stanley digging holes? What are they looking for? How does his dirty-rotten-stealing-great-grandfather get in to the story? Will he ever be able to go back home? (Alex Berg, Mansfield High School Student)

Booktalk #5

Deadly Yellow spotted lizards surround you...

A pair of sneakers fell from the sky, Stanley Yelnats is quickly accused of stealing them, he is given a choice to either go to jail or camp green Lake, he decides to go to camp Green Lake. It is nothing like it sounds, there is no lake, it is a dry wasteland and he has to dig a hole 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep every day. The campers are told they dig holes to build character, but they know they are not digging to build character. One camper hated it so bad he purposely got bit by a rattle snake. There are constant fears at fears at camp Green Lake, there are rattle snakes and deadly yellow spotted lizards. Will Stanley make it through camp Green Lake? Will he find out why they are digging?   (Dylan, student)

Booktalk #6

Have you ever gotten in trouble for something you didn�t do? Or, you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time? Well, that�s how Stanley Yelnats� life always is.  The story starts off with Stanley walking under a bridge and a pair of shoes hits him on the head. Since his dad was working on an invention to recycle shoes he started running to give them to his dad.  A cop pulled him over and saw they were Clyde Livingston�s shoes, a famous baseball player. Stanley  was arrested on the spot. He was sent to Camp Green Lake, a dry wasteland in the middle of nowhere for a year and a half. Will Stanley make new friends?  Will Stanley�s dad ever fix his invention? What will Stanley do at this camp? Will Stanley ever get out of the dry wasteland called Camp Green Lake?  Read Holes if you whant to find out What happens to Stanley.    (Ethan, student)

Booktalk #7

A young unlucky, unfortunate, and poor Stanley Yates is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime that he didn't commit. His "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-grandfather," is to blame for such a misfortune due to a curse that has been with his family for generations. In the book Holes, Stanley plans to break the curse that his great grandfather sets on him and his family just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, something that the unlucky curse has made common for his great grandfather. These small mishaps turn out to be a key part in Stanley's life when he learns something that turns his whole life in another direction. Read Holes, and learn where Stanley's mistakes drive him.  (Adam S., student)

Booktalk #8

Stanley Yelnats is being charged with a crime that he didn't even commit. At court, the judge gives him a choice. He can either go to jail, or he can go to Camp Green Lake. Stanley's family is poor and he has never gone to camp before. Yet Camp Green Lake isn't your typical camp. In fact, there is no lake. "Welcome to Camp Greenlake, said the driver. Stanley looked out the dirty window. He couldn't see a lake. And hardly anything was green." [...] "The land was barren and desolate, he could see a few run down buildings and some tents, farther away there was a cabin beneath two tall trees. Those two trees were the only plant life he could see. There weren't even weeds." (11).
All anyone  does at Camp Green Lake is dig, and dig. But why are they digging? What is in the ground at Camp Green Lake? Does anyone get out alive? Read Holes by Louis Sachar to find out the mystery of Camp Green Lake and more in this contemporary realistic fiction novel. (Michelle K.,, college student)

Booktalk #9

The boys dig….dig….dig….. "She watches us all the time," said ZigZag.  "She's got hidden microphones and cameras all over the place.  In the tents, the Wreck Room, the shower."  "The shower"? asked Stanley.  He wondered if Zigzag was just being paranoid. Searching…….searching…….searching…  The Warden opened the bottle. "Rattlesnake venom."  With a small paintbrush she began applying it to the nails on her left hand.  She waved it in the air for a few seconds, then began painting the nails on her right hand. "It's only toxic, when it's wet."

Will Stanley Yelnats get out of Camp Green Lake with his health or more importantly his life?  Read Holes by Louis Sachar to take Stanley's journey.  (Kenny VanHouten,, College student)

Booktalk #10

“Dig It Up” song

Stanley Yelnats was given a choice. The judge said, “You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake.” Stanley was from a poor family. He had never been to camp before. Stanley was wrongly accused of stealing a pair of shoes donated by basketball great Clyde “Sweetfeet” Livingston at a celebrity auction. The judge did not believe Stanley when he said the shoes fell right from the sky but then again, who would believe a story like that? He thought he was getting an easy punishment by going to camp and all but Camp Green Lake is not like any other camp. It is bizarre and has no lake and is not green in any way. Stanley, later known as Caveman, and the other boys are told to dig holes so they can build character. Stanley is a smart boy and soon realizes that the treacherous warden is in search for something and before long, Stanley begins his own search-for the truth. Throughout this contemporary realistic fiction novel called Holes by Louis Sachar, Stanley discovers the mystery of the holes, the drought that destroyed Green Lake but most importantly, the mysteries of his family curse.  (Jessica Becker, je-becker@wiu,edu, college student)

Booktalk #11

Stanley got in to some deep trouble when he was accused of stealing a pair of shoes that fell from the sky.  He had 2 choices -- go to a jail or go to a camp for bad boys. Stanley chooses the camp. He will be there for the whole summer. At the camp, if  you can call it a camp, there's no lake and very long hot summers.  Each day you had to dig a hole 5 feet deep and 5 feet long then you're done for the day . You are surrounded by deadly yellow purple spotted lizards.  It’s a known fact that usually no one makes it out of that camp alive. His father is a lawyer and he's probably the only one to help Stanley get out of this place he hates to pieces. Will Stanley make it out alive ? Will his father come through and help him get out of this camp. (Samantha Young,,  k-12 student)

SUBJECTS:     Juvenile delinquency  -- Fiction
                        Homeless persons  -- Fiction
                        Friendship  -- Fiction
                        Buried treasure  -- Fiction


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