West Des Moines, IA
Dear Louis Sachar:
I can't pick up a shovel anymore without thinking about Holes.
Page after page, I
felt not only that I was at Camp Green Lake, but I felt like I was Stanley. When
Stanley was pushed around, my stomach heaved and ached like I had food
poisoning. When Stanley was excited, my heart raced like an Olympic sprinter
before a race. All of his feelings and worries channeled into me, because everyday to
me felt like what Stanley went through, from fights with the Warden to no water
from Mr. Sir. I felt a bond between Stanley and me, because Stanley was so easy
to relate to.
Like Stanley, I have spent most of my life being in the
wrong place at the wrong time, and always spending hours explaining what looks
like a really bad situation to someone who can change my life for the better or
worse. It could be a teacher deciding on an all-important grade or even an
angry parent deciding the fate of my social life. Whoever said that the truth
always sets you free, lied, because every single time, no matter how much I try, the truth sounds
crazier than fiction the moment it leaves my mouth.
Wrong place. Wrong time. I take the blame. For example,
my friend is cheating on homework in study hall, and I happen to be sitting
next to him, so
the one who gets blamed for it. My half-brother knocks over my mom's vase and
she doesn't notice that it's broken until he goes back to college, and because I'm
the one kid who happens to be home when she realizes, I get the blame again.
This book taught showed me that I'm not the only one who
feels like I
always draw the short stick. When I'm down, it's always nice to blame your problems on
something too. I learned that from Stanley. I may not have a
no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather, but I have other
possibilities. I'm always careful that I don't point the finger at another
No matter how bad it is, it can always be worse, and someone in the world is
having a harder time than I am.
You also gave me a great piece of
advice that can come in handy; no matter how horrible I might feel- I should
build others up-not tear them down. Just because I feel bad, doesn't mean that other
people should too.
With Holes, I felt like I learned something new
with every word I read. Although I feel in the wrong place at the wrong time,
I've made my mistakes before, just like everyone else. My parents push me to
the best of my abilities, so when I did make mistakes, it was hard to get up
and keep going. Before I read your book, when trouble found me, it was a
glass-half-empty deal: I looked at the bad that came from my actions, how
disappointed people around me might be, and how drastically I affected the way
that people look at me. You taught me to look at the bright side of things and
to see what good can come out of my actions (though I try not to be the cause
of bad things at all). No problem is ever bad enough that it's a ditch (or hole)
to die in.
Holes taught me to take my hits, get back up, and just
keep 'digging my hole'. I
know that I'll remember the lessons I've learned from your book for the rest of