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Books Like Holes by Louis Sachar

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Holes, by Louis Sachar, is such a popular book that students who love it might be looking for similar things to read. This lesson gives you some books that will keep your students reading!

Why Look for Books Like Holes?

Holes, by Louis Sachar, tells the story of Stanley Yelnats' experience digging holes at Camp Green Lake. The story is odd in some ways, as it tells the story of Stanley's gradual character change and self-discovery. Sachar manages to offer insight into right and wrong without ever becoming overly preachy. This book is popular with upper elementary students who might either identify with Stanley or just find him entertaining and mysterious. If your students loved Holes, you might be looking for other, similar texts that will keep them reading! This lesson offers you some ideas for what to recommend these readers next.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet tells the story of Brian, whose parents are in the middle of a difficult divorce. Brian gets into an airplane accident that leaves him in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but his hatchet and his personal wherewithal to help him survive. Like Stanley, Brian manages to overcome a great deal of internal struggle because of the hardship he is forced to reckon with, and he has some very exciting adventures along the way. This book is also the first in a series of five books about Brian, so if students like it, you can keep them busy for a while.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Hoot is funny with an ironic twist that recalls the narrative style of Holes in a way that many students of the same age find appealing. Also, Hoot takes place largely outdoors, and like Holes, is rife with interesting descriptions of nature. In the text, Roy Eberhardt has to get to know other kids at his new school and simultaneously solve a serious ecological mystery. He learns about himself and makes new friends along the way, and each obstacle he encounters also leads him to another clue that helps him unravel the mystery.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Frindle is entertaining in a manner very similar to Holes. The main character is intrigued by the possibility that he could invent an entirely new word and related phenomenon that might eventually make him famous. Nick gets in trouble with his parents and teachers, but this does not stop him. Along the way, he learns that fame may not be all it is cracked up to be, and he explores different ideas for channeling his creativity. Frindle, like Holes, takes the inner workings of a child's mind seriously and follows imagination to some surprising conclusions.

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