What Is the Summary of "Holes"?


Quick Answer

"Holes", by Louis Sachar, follows Stanley Yelnats, a middle school boy wrongfully accused of stealing sneakers. For his punishment, he chooses to go to Camp Green Lake, where all the juvenile boys are forced to dig huge holes in the dry lake.

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Full Answer

The story follows three intertwined plots, the one with Stanley, the one that explains why the warden is having the boys dig the holes, and the one about the curse Stanley's family is under because of the actions of his grandfather. His grandfather had brought a curse on them when he left an unfulfilled promise to Madame Zeroni in the old country.

While digging, Stanley finds a lipstick tube marked "K.B." He gives it to another boy, X-Ray, to present to the warden for a day off. "K.B." stands for Kissin' Kate Barlow, a woman who turned into an outlaw after her boyfriend was killed for racist reasons. Stanley remembers that Kate Barlow took his grandfather's money and buried it. Because the warden is also aware of this, he has the boys dig all the holes to try to find the money.

Everything wraps up well when Stanley helps save the life of his friend, Zero, or Hector Zeroni, who tries to escape. At the end of the book, Stanley reunites Zero with his mother. This breaks the family curse, since Zero turns out to be the great-great-great-grandson of Madame Zeroni. Zero and Stanley also find his grandfather's buried money. Just in time to protect him from the warden, Stanley's attorney arrives with news that Stanley has been proven innocent.

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