Holes Chapters 17-20 Summaries

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Somehow Camp Green Lake manages to get harder for Stanley. In Chapters 17-20 of Louis Sachar's 'Holes', Stanley once again finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time, and none of the campers come to his defense.

Previously in Chapters 13-16 of Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley finds a gold tube while digging, and because he promised X-Ray that he'd give him anything he found (and that he was forced to show him because Zigzag saw it), he gives it to X-Ray. The next day X-Ray shows the tube to Mr. Pendanski. The Warden is very impressed with the discovery, and she has the boys dig very carefully in the same spot where she believes they found the tube. Stanley, however, knows the real location where they were digging a day earlier, and he knows they aren't actually digging to improve their character like the Warden says--the Warden is looking for treasure.

Chapter 17: More of the Same

The boys keep digging in the wrong place, and the Warden grows increasingly impatient. Exhaustion sets in, and the Warden claims the campers are drinking too much water because they keep needing to take bathroom breaks. The campers are being reckless in their current state. Stanley gets hit in the head and the injury draws blood, but Mr. Sir sends him straight back to work.

Chapter 18: Zero

The following day, Stanley and the boys keep digging at Mr. Sir's request, this time at a different section of the lake. Stanley feels himself getting a little faster and stronger.

When he finishes digging, Stanley returns to the tent to write another letter to his mother. Again, Stanley paints a false picture of Camp Green Lake and describes it as more like a summer camp complete with obstacle courses and rock climbing.

To Stanley's surprise, Zero stands behind him looking over Stanley's shoulder and asks Stanley to teach him how to read. Stanley, too tired mentally and physically, ignores the request.

Chapter 19: The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time--Again!

At night, Stanley hears Squid crying. When he asks Squid if he is okay, Squid denies that he is crying and says that he has allergies.

The next day when Mr. Sir comes with the water truck, Magnet steals Mr. Sir's sack of sunflower seeds, and yells: ''Anybody want some sunflower seeds?'' When the sack reaches Stanley, the seeds fall out just as Mr. Sir returns. Scrambling, Stanley tries to cover up the seeds and the sack, but Mr. Sir notices anyway.

Sunflower Seeds
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Even though he isn't the person who stole the sunflower seeds, Stanley takes the blame for it and also says that he is the only one who has eaten them. None of the boys jump to his defense and they just let Stanley take the fall. Once again, Stanley is ''in the wrong place at the wrong time.''

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