Louis Sachar's novel "Holes" tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy sentenced to juvenile detention facility Camp Green Lake after being unjustly accused of stealing a pair of basketball shoes. Stanley learns that his family history is key to unraveling the mystery at the heart of the camp.
At Camp Green Lake, Stanley and the other boys are ordered to dig giant holes, ostensibly to build character, but Stanley soon realizes the camp warden is actually seeking a treasure. Through flashbacks to events occurring 100 years earlier, the reader learns that the treasure originally belonged to Stanley's great-grandfather, stolen by Kate Barlow, a schoolteacher who became an outlaw after being ostracized for having a relationship with Sam, a black man who used onions for medicinal purposes. Back in the present day story, Stanley flees the camp with his much-bullied friend Zero, and they survive on the onions from Sam's old onion field, which protect them from poisonous lizards in the area. Stanley finds Kate Barlow's hidden suitcase full of treasure and lifts the curse his family has been under.