Marshmallow reviews Holes by Louis Sachar

This week Marshmallow wanted to write about a book she has borrowed from her school library. Below she shares her thoughts about this book: Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow reviews Holes, by Louis Sachar.
Marshmallow reviews Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about treasure and family curses and children, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers):  Stanley Yelnats (his last name spelled backwards is Stanley) gets arrested for stealing the shoes of Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player who is usually called “Sweet Feet”. The shoes were going to be donated to the shelter in which he was raised. Stanley is actually innocent but his explanation is not very believable: the shoes fell from the sky and he tried to run home to give them to his father who was trying to invent a way to recycle shoes. Stanley “had thought that they were God’s blessing” and that God had given them to Stanley to deliver to his father.

So Stanley is accused and he has two options: going to prison or going to Camp Green Lake to dig holes to improve character. Stanley and his parents choose him to go to Camp Green Lake to dig holes.

After an eight-hour ride to the camp, he is introduced to other kids who have been at the camp for a long time and have experience in digging holes. The Camp has no lakes, and is not green.

Every day the kids at the camp have to march out on the nonexistent lake and dig a hole that has to be 5ft deep and 5ft wide. They measure the holes with their shovels that are 5ft long. They are supposed to do this everyday including Saturday and Sunday.

At the Camp, Stanley meets Zero, a strange kid who apparently likes to dig holes and does not know how to read. Zero is the fastest digger and makes a deal with Stanley to dig his hole for him if he teaches him how to read. Stanley and Zero becomes good friends.

Camp Green Lake is run by the Warden. She has poisonous nail polish made with rattlesnake venom. Everyone at the camp thinks that she can see everything. Eventually Zero and Stanley find out that the Warden is after something. They realize that all kids digging are working to help the Warden find the loot of Kissing Kate Barlow. And Zero and Stanley figure out that if the Warden finds the treasure, she will probably not use it for good.

Who will find the treasure first?

Marshmallow is reading Holes, by Louis Sachar.
Marshmallow is reading Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow’s Review: I loved this book. It is very well written and the plot is fantastic. I had heard that this was a fantastic book and it really is. Kids under 5 might get scared at some points, but overall it is not too scary.

This is a great read for anyone to read alone or to read aloud. I expect I will read it again.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Holes, by Louis Sachar, 100%.
Marshmallow rates Holes, by Louis Sachar, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow has enjoyed reading the Ivy + Bean series written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall for a few years now. Below she shares some thoughts on the ninth book and her favorite in the series: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking some followup questions.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Sprinkles: You wanted to talk about Ivy and Bean today, right, Marshmallow?

Marshmallow: Yes. 

S: So what do you want to tell us about these books? 

M: I like reading these books. I also like the fact that Ivy and Bean actually think like kids, and Bean has reactions that I can relate to. Some books are about kids but the characters in them do not always behave or think like kids. Bean and Ivy are a lot more real, a lot more like kids. 

S: So then tell us a bit about Ivy and Bean. Who are they? 

M: Bean is a girl who has an annoying older sister. 

S: So kind of like Ramona the Pest, no?

M: No, not quite. Ramona’s sister is annoying in a different way. But honestly, I have no experience about having an annoying big sister. Anyways, Bean is a little wild, she is sometimes herself annoying. 

S: And what about Ivy?

M: Ivy is an only child, and she is a bit calmer, and she is smarter. She also wants to be a witch when she grows up.

S: That sounds like a good match. So how old are they?

M: They’re about seven years old. 

S: So do you think this book series would be a good fit for new readers of age 5-7? 

M: Yes. 

S: And you are still reading them too. What can big kids get out of these books?

M: The books are really funny, and they make me laugh.

S: Even though you have read them several times before. I read them too and I remember them as being really funny. The girls sometimes come up with ridiculous ideas. So tell us about what happens in the ninth book of the series, Ivy and Bean Make the Rules

M: It’s about how Bean’s sister Nancy is going to this camp called Girl Power 4Ever, and Bean wants to go but she doesn’t want Nancy to know. And she can’t go anyways, you have to be 11 to go. Then she decides to build a tree house. She can’t though, because she doesn’t have nails. And then she uses duct tape. 

Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where Bean is planning to make her tree house.
Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where Bean is planning to make her tree house.

S: That sounds hilarious. So when does Ivy come into the picture?

M: She sneaks up on Bean as Bean is working on her tree house. Then Bean decides her tree house is stupid and wants to do nature study and crafts. Ivy says we can make our own camp, and so they do. 

S: Ok, so they decide to start their own camp. How does that go?

M: They go spy on Nancy’s camp to get some ideas, and they find some kids, and they start doing some crafts and some more absurd stuff. They also set some silly rules. 

S: What kinds of rules?

M: Let me find some for you from the book:

“Rule number one!” said Bean. “You can only have as much fun as you are willing to get hurt!”
“Rule two!” said Ivy. “Live and learn!” Her mother said that a lot. 
“Rule three!” yelled Bean. “The counselor is always right!”

S: None of this sounds like a very good idea. 

M: There are even more, look:

Ivy began to giggle. “Rule four! If you want to make an omelet, you’re going to have to break some eggs.”
“If you can’t beat’em, join’em!” bellowed Bean.
“Don’t get mad, get even!” yelled Ivy. 
“I don’t think this is a real camp,” said Frannie. 

Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where the two girls are listing the rules of their camp, Camp Flaming Arrow.
Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where the two girls are listing the rules of their camp, Camp Flaming Arrow.

S: These sound quite random and not terribly safe. 

M: They are not great rules to follow, like the fifth rule is not quite a good idea: “Don’t get mad, get even.”

S: Well, Caramel reviewed a book about training an angry dragon, so maybe they should have read that book! Getting mad is not very helpful is it? Ok, what else do you want to say about this book? Why did you choose this one to talk about?

M: This is the funniest one of the ten. I like reading out some parts, they are so funny.

S: This is the ninth book, though. Do you think someone could jump in and read this one before reading the previous eight books? 

M: Sure, they can still enjoy it, but it might be better if they start from the beginning. If you do that, you know the past stories about how successful Ivy has been in becoming a witch for instance.

S: And that kind of knowledge about the characters’ back stories enriches the experience of reading this book, I agree. And it is about time to wrap up this review. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? 

M: Yes! Stay tuned for more Book Bunnies reviews.

Marshmallow continues to enjoy reading Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Marshmallow continues to enjoy reading Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.