Holes Book Awards

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Did you know that ''Holes'' by Louis Sachar won not one, but four different awards? This lesson will teach you a little bit about the book and the four awards that it has won.

What Is Holes About?

Holes is a very popular young adult book written by Louis Sachar and published in 1998. It's an interesting genre, or type of book, a mystery comedy called satire. Satire means that the author uses humor to criticize something or to make a point.

This is the most common book cover of Holes.

Holes follows main character Stanley Yelnats as he is unfairly sent to a boys' detention center called Camp Green Lake and has to spend all his time digging huge holes with the other boys. Stanley realizes that the warden at camp is not just making the boys dig to teach them a lesson, but that instead she is looking for something. The book centers around Stanley and his new friend Zero's search for the truth.

The National Book Award For Young People's Literature

Holes was awarded the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 1998, the year it was published. The National Book Award is a prestigious, or highly respected, book award and it has several categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature. The National Book Award has been around since 1950 and its goal is 'celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.'

Louis Sachar
louis sachar

In his acceptance speech, Louis Sachar said that his daughter read all the other books nominated for the award and told him 'Bad news, Dad. They were all really good!' His own daughter didn't even think he would win, but he did! He also said that 'it is extremely gratifying to have my work acknowledged in this way by the adult literary community.'

The John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Award has been around even longer than the National Book Award, all the way back to 1922! It is an award just for children's books and its goal is to award 'the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.'

This seal is placed on the covers of all Newbery Award winning books.

Holes received the Newbery Award in 1999, a year after it was published. The chairwoman of the award committee, Virginia McKee, said about Holes that it is 'as timeless as folklore and as outrageously funny as tall tale' and that it 'ultimately charts the heroic journey of two very real boys.'

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