Holes Chapters 29-32 Summaries

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

In Chapters 29-32 in 'Holes,' while some of the puzzle pieces are coming together for Stanley, major questions remain and new ones are introduced. For example, Stanley keeps asking himself, 'What happened to Zero?'

Previously in Holes by Louis Sachar

In Chapters 25-28, details about Kissin' Kate Barlow, the one who robbed Stanley's great-grandfather, became clear: she once lived in Green Lake. And, Stanley begins teaching Zero, real name Hector Zeroni, to read. He's got a curious name, right? If you don't remember, Madame Zeroni is the one who put a curse on Stanley's great-great-grandfather and his descendants.

Chapter 29: God's Thumb

When Stanley's great-grandfather was robbed by Kissin' Kate Barlow and left stranded in the desert, he sought shelter on God's Thumb. That's what he called it when he recounted the story afterwards, and no one knew what he meant.

Stanley looks up toward the mountains as a storm approaches and sees a rock formation in what looks like a thumb. He thinks this is what his great-grandfather was talking about all along.

Chapter 30: No More Reading Lessons

The boys - Zigzag, Armpit, and X-Ray - harass Stanley because Zero digs for him each day. They ask him if they, too, can be his slave, and other such similar comments. One thing leads to another and Zigzag looks for a fight with Stanley. Mr. Pendanski tells Stanley to hit Zigzag to teach the bully a lesson, and Stanley retaliates. The boys attack Stanley, and only Zero defends him. Zero's relentless and nearly chokes Zigzag until Mr. Pendanski breaks them up.

The Warden hears the commotion. She approaches the boys, asking for an explanation of the chaos. At this point, the Warden becomes aware that Zero's been digging part of Stanley's hole in exchange for reading lessons, of which she disapproves. Mr. Pendanski tells everyone that the shovel 'has more brains than Zero' and makes mention that Zero isn't smart enough for reading lessons. He also says that Zero's too dumb to know that he's dumb. This bullying infuriates Zero, who takes the shovel and knocks Mr. Pendanski unconscious.

In the chaos that the fight creates, Zero is able to slip off and escape.

Chapter 31: Zero 'Disappears'

Like the Gold Lipstick Tube Belonging to Kate Barlow

Stanley brainstorms how to save Zero from the Warden. He thinks that he can tell the Warden about Kissin' Kate's golden lipstick tube's actual location in exchange for Zero getting spared from punishment. He isn't sure of this idea because it could get him in deeper trouble.

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