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by Louis Sachar (more about Louis Sachar) 465/310 first published 1999
Real Life Drama for ages 11 to 14 published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £9.34, Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
7/10 This is quite a good piece of work.
What's it about?
A very original story about personal growth and the move towards adulthood.
What happens?
Stanley is overweight, bullied and incredibly unlucky. Wrongly convicted of theft he is sent to a camp for young offenders. Here he begins a grindingly harsh routine, where the inmates are made to dig holes in the dessert every day. Gradually Stanley realises that all is not what it seems in this strange place, the people in charge are up to something and Stanley must uncover their plans.
Is it easy to read?
Although easily read I do feel this book needs a good deal of maturity in its reader. I think that without this the reader will not get a great deal out of the book. A very good choice for boys, although girls should enjoy it too.
Anything else?
As Stanley grows accustomed to this strange place, we the reader learn more about its history and what is really going on here. We also become aware of its curious links to Stanley. Simply written and yet cunningly twisted in its plot, Sachar has produced a tangled web for his reader to unravel. I feel the book is almost transitionary, from that of a young reader to that of an adult. It speaks in grown up images and pushes the reader on to look at the story in a more mature light.
Other books by Louis Sachar include Sideways Stories From Wayside School, There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he surprised when he is told that his daily labour is to dig a hole and report all he finds therein.
And here's a sample...
I'm not going to run away," Stanley said. "Good thinking, " said Mr Sir. "Nobody runs away from here. We don't need a fence. Know why? Because we've got the only water for a hundred miles. You want to run away? You'll be buzzard food in three days." Stanley could see some kids dressed in orange and carrying shovels dragging themselves towards the tents. "You thirsty?" asked Mr Sir. "Yes, Mr Sir," Stanley said gratefully. "Well, you better get used to it. You're going to be thirsty for the next eighteen months."
And what do you think?
Susan Harrison, Amazon.co.uk
If you are looking for a truly remarkable novel, something to get your teeth into, something to make you think, and something to make you feel that you have just touched real class, then look no further than Louis Sachar's extraordinary, award-winning nov
imogen, lochcarron
This book is absaloutly fantastic! It"s about a boy called Stanley Yelnats who is accused of a crime and sent to camp Greenlake,where he is made to dig one hole a day. The Warden says this is to build character, but Stanley suspects the campers are lookin More...
emar, maple elementary
a boy who is stanley yelnats goes to Camp Green Lake by being accused of stealing a very valuable shoes. There he meets very different boys that are bad but they still helped Stanley become a better person. He had to dig a hole everyday that was 5 feet h More...
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