Summary on Holes by Louis Sachar

Main characters:

  • Stanley Yelnats: brave, caring and Zero's friend
  • Zero: a homeless black boy
  • Mr. Pedanski: camp guidance counselor
  • The Warden: descendant of the walkers who killed Sam and Barlow
  • Stanley's companions: X-Ray, Jose, Ricky, Brian and Theodore

The plot introduces Stanley at the Camp Green Lake, an arid place in Texas where juvenile criminals were taken for character change, and also known for lizards with lethal poison. Stanley, a descendant of the Yelnats, believed to be under a curse from their great grand -father who is believed to have stolen a swine from a single-legged gypsy, was jailed for no crime.

Stanley realized the warden was using him and other boys to dig holes in search for the treasure believed to have been buried by Barlow. Stanley came across an item belonging to Barlow which he gave to X-Ray. X-Ray gave it to the Warden making her supervise his digging. Zero was annoyed by Mr. Pedanski's belittling comments hence hitting him with a shovel.

Stanley fled from the camp to look for Zero, finally finding him in dryness where he had been eating the old preserves in an abandoned boat used by Sam. Stanley's reflection on his grand-father's robbing by Barlow and his survival in the jungle by climbing the mountain made them walk towards the mountain expecting water. Stanley's friendship is manifested by carrying Zero up the mountain after he falls ill. They got at the mountain full of onions which they fed on. Stanley came up with an idea to dig Barlow's treasure. They then packed water and onions into containers they had picked at the camp.

At the camp, they located Stanley's hole, dug it, until they found a suitcase. Before opening it, the warden caught them. Immediately, lethal lizards surrounded them and the warden thought they were dead, not knowing the lizards didn't bite people who had eaten much onions. The night long wait made Ms. Morengo and the Attorney General reach them in the morning.

Stanley's lawyer advocated for his release. Since the warden was after Barlow's treasure, she wanted Stanley still jailed. Consequently, Ms. Morengo and the Attorney General put the camp under government management and the other boys freed.

With Ms. Morengo's expertise, she converted the suitcase valuables into Stanley's family's fortunes, Zero tracing his mother and Barlow's death granted justice.