Louis Sachar’s Holes is a fascinating read, its dark undertones modulated by the instant likeability of Sachar’s down-on-his-luck narrator. Stanley Yelnats, an overweight kid who believes his family is cursed, has been wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit. Upon his sentencing, he is sent to Camp Green Lake to remedy his supposed wayward ways. Camp Green Lake is neither green, nor aquatic in any sense, but rather a barren desert stripped of luxuries and comfort. The Warden presides over the Camp, forcing delinquents to dig massive holes throughout the desert, day in and day out. Stanley discovers the Warden has a decided purpose in making the boys dig holes, and he slowly begins to unearth a wealth of secrets hidden at Camp Green Lake. Holes is not merely a fun read, but also a critical dissection of crime and punishment, thematic concerns Sachar deftly handles.