Sachar, L.(1998). Holes. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Holes is an adventure fiction book recommended for children ten years of age. I read this book before and the first time I read it I didn’t expect to read a book about a kid going to a prison camp. After the initial shock was over, and the story began to unfold I really enjoyed reading it. There was a lot of humor among the hot and long days the boys had while digging. Even the names that Sachar gives to her characters were pretty funny: Caveman, and Pen-dance-key. She used a lot of detail in describing her characters that made reading a whole lot easier. Sachar also enables the reader to see through the eyes of a young boy who has to deal with a pretty rough life. He has been blamed and sentenced for something he didn’t do and must learn to make new friends in a very tough environment.
Being able to get to know the characters and a little bit of each of their backgrounds was really interesting. As the story kept on unfolding and it became evident that they were all connected I started to get more excited about reading the book. I loved the way that Sachar would create scenes of the characters’ ancestors, almost like a story within a story; that helped to make the characters come alive. Changing the description of the setting was very interesting as it was the same place just at a different time, being able to make that connection as the story goes gave me another reason to continue reading.
An activity I would create derived from the book would be for the students to create a character diagram in which they show the connections they all share. The objective of this activity would be to show that the students understand the relationships between the characters and are able to creatively present it using an application.
Questions I would ask the students so that they could organize their ideas for the project are:
Who is the central character?
Can you group the characters by family?
Sites I would use to help me in my instruction would be: