Louis Sachar’s Holes was a short read. It’s a couple hundred pages, but it’s a young adult novel, so it wasn’t that difficult to read.

Holes is a great book. If you haven’t read it, it’s about Stanley Yelnats (who has a cool, palindromic name). He stole a famous baseball player’s shoes from a charity auction and was sent to a bad-boy rehab camp called Camp Green Lake. The boys are there for 18 months, and every day they have to dig one hole, five feet deep and five feet across. If you want to make a bad boy good, make him dig a hole every day. Stanley isn’t supposed to be here though. He suffers a streak of bad luck, the same that his father suffered, and his father, and his father. All this because of Stanley’s no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great grandfather.

We follow Stanley as he learns a bunch of life lessons that adults still need to work on sometimes, things like the value of hard work, and that hard work tends to get easier as you do more of it. Holes also masterfully ties together three stories that are on completely separate timelines, but are inseparably intertwined. If you’re just looking for a good story that you can take some hope from, Holes is an excellent choice.

Here’s the trailer to the movie. Consider it a trailer for the book, and give it a read. It only took me a couple days.