CHARACTER OF HOLES

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LOUIS SACHER

Biography of Louis Sacher:

Biography of Louis Sacher I was born in East Meadow, New York on March 20, 1954 and lived there until third grade. My dad worked on the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, and maybe that somehow inspired Wayside School, who knows? When I was nine years old, we moved to Tustin California. At that time, there were orange groves all around, and the local kids would often divide up into teams and have orange fights. The "ammo" hung from the trees, although the best ones were the gushy, rotten ones on the ground. Now most of the orange trees are gone, replaced with fast food restaurants, and big box stores. I enjoyed school and was a good student, but it wasn't until high school that I really became an avid reader. J.D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut were the authors who first inspired me. Some of my other favorite authors include E.L. Doctorow, Margaret Atwood, E.B White, Richard Price and Kazuo Ishiguro. After high school, I attended Antioch College in Ohio. My father died during my first semester, and I returned to California to be near my mother. During that time, I had a short but surprisingly successful career as a Fuller Brush man. For those of you too young to know what that is, I went door-to-door selling cleaning products. I returned to college, this time to the University of California at Berkeley where I majored in Economics. On campus one day, I saw the unlikely sight of an elementary school girl handing out flyers. I took one from her. It said: "Help. We need teachers aides at our school. Earn three units of credit." I thought it over and decided it was a pretty good deal. College credits, no homework, no term papers, no tests, all I had to do was help out in a second/third grade class at Hillside Elementary School. Besides helping out in a classroom, I also became the Noontime Supervisor, or "Louis the Yard Teacher" as I was known to the kids. It became my favorite college class, and a life changing experience. When I graduated 1n 1976 I decided to try to write a children's book, which eventually became Sideways Stories From Wayside School . All the kids at Wayside School were based on the kids I knew at Hillside. It took me about nine months to write the book. I wrote in the evenings. In the daytime I had a job at a sweater warehouse in Connecticut. After about a year, I was fired (my enthusiasm for sweaters was insufficient), and I decided to go to law school. Sideways Stories from Wayside School was accepted by a publisher during my first week at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. I finished law school, graduating in 1980, passed the bar exam (which was required to practice law) and then did part-time legal work as I continued to write children's books. It wasn't until 1989 that my books began selling well enough that I was finally able to stop practicing law and devote myself fully to writing. My wife Carla was a counselor at an elementary school when I first met her. She was the inspiration for the counselor in There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom . We were married in 1985. Our daughter, Sherre , was born in 1987. We live in Austin, Texas along with our dog, Watson. I write every morning, usually for no more than two hours a day. I never talk about a book until it is finished. I spent two years on my latest novel, and nobody, not even Carla or Sherre knew anything about it until it was finished. Then they were the first to read it. That book is called Small Steps , and will be published in January 2006. In my spare time, I like to play bridge. You can often find me at the bridge club in Austin, or at a bridge tournament somewhere around the country.

NOVELS BY LOUIS SACHER:

NOVELS BY LOUIS SACHER A Angeline series D Dogs Don't Tell Jokes H Holes (novel) M Marvin Redpost M cont. More Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School S Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School Sideways Stories From Wayside School Sixth Grade Secrets Someday Angeline S cont. ' Survival Stanley Yelnats Guide to Camp Green Lake T There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom W Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger Wayside School is Falling Down

Synopsis of Holes:

Synopsis of Holes Synopsis Stanley Yelnats VI is an out-of-luck teen who suffers constant misfortune as a result of a curse placed on his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great grandfather". When sneakers suddenly fall from the sky and hit Stanley, he finds himself in a whole new type of bad luck as the sneakers were a special donation to a charity from a famous baseball player Clide Livingston, and the police convict Stanley of this crime that he didn't even commit. With the choice between jail or a juvenile correction camp, Stanley chooses the latter, and thus arrives at Camp Green Lake. There, Stanley and the other boys are forced to dig holes five feet deep, and five feet wide in the now dry bed of the camp's eponymous lake every day. Stanley eventually realizes that they are digging these holes because the Camp Warden is searching for something likely hidden in the lake bed. As Stanley continues to dig holes, he befriends the other boys at the camp, and learns to adapt to this new misfortune. Stanley’s great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, was from Latvia. When he was 15 years old, he fell in love with a lovely 14 year old girl named Myra Menke and wished to marry her. However another man named Igor Barkov, a 57 year old pig farmer, wanting to also marry Myra, proposed to her father with a large pig. Elya, for he could not offer a pig to Myra’s family, went to an old friend, Madame Zeroni, an old Egyptian woman with only one foot who tells Elya that Myra is only dimwitted and weak and is unfit to be his wife. She tells Elya to go to America like her son has. Elya becomes sad and Madame Zeroni gives Elya a small pig. When Elya complains the pig is too small to be presentable, she teaches him a song that he should sing every time he brings the mountain where the pig will drink from the stream. If he does this daily for a month, the pig will grow to be even bigger than Igor’s. Then Madame Zeroni makes Elya promise that when he has presented the pig to Myra’s father and proposed, he will take Zeroni up to the mountain herself, let her drink from the stream and sing the special song. If he should not, Zeroni warns that a curse would be placed on Elya’s family for generations. However on the day that Elya presents the pig to Myra’s father, his and Igor’s pigs are exactly the same size and Myra’s father then turns to Myra to choose her suitor. When she cannot decide, Elya realizes just how very stupid Myra is and thus goes to America, forgetting his promise to Madame Zeroni. He marries a smart and strong woman and names their son Stanley Yelnats because “Stanley” is “Yelnats” spelled backwards. They continue to have bad luck through their lives and into generations to come because of Madame Zeroni’s curse. One hundred and ten years before Stanley arrives at Camp Green Lake, the town of Green Lake is a wonderful place where peach trees bloom throughout the spring. In this Texas town, the beautiful young schoolteacher, Katherine Barlow, falls in love with Sam, the onion seller. Sam sells onions grown from a special area to eat and to use for medicinal purposes, and Katherine hires him for manual labour in exchange for her home-made spiced peaches. While Katherine and Sam are alive, racism is institutionalized in the United States and it is against the law for a black man to kiss a white woman. Because Sam is black and Katherine is white, the people in the town become irate when they find that Katherine and Sam have kissed. Charles, or Trout, Walker, the richest man in town has always wanted to marry Katherine, and when he finds out that she is in love with Sam, he gathers the townspeople to burn the schoolhouse and kill Sam. Katherine seeks help from the local sheriff but instead finds that the sheriff, who makes lewd advances towards her, also wants to kill Sam. Katherine and Sam attempt to escape but their boat is destroyed while only half way across the lake and Sam is killed. After the day that Sam is killed, rain stops falling on Green Lake and the lake dries up. Katherine is driven mad by her grief and becomes an outlaw known as Kissin' Kate Barlow. Her name refers to the fact that she kisses the men she kills, leaving a lipstick imprint of her lips on their faces. In her twenty years of robbing people in the west, she happens to rob Stanley's great-grandfather while he is on his way from New York to Texas. Since Green Lake dried up, the citizens of the town all moved away, and Kate buries her loot somewhere around the lake, only to be later captured by Charles Walker and his wife Linda (a former student of Katherine's). They try to torture her into revealing its location, but Kate has the final laugh as she is bitten by a poisonous yellow lizard, and dies with the loot's location secret. Since her death, the Green Lake has been virtually deserted and the land is owned by the Walker family for a long time. Eventually, Camp Green Lake is founded for juvenile delinquents. As expected, Stanley has a hard time digging holes, due to the incredible heat and the tough, dry ground. Stanley finds digging the holes difficult at first because he is unused to the labor like the other boys are. Whenever an item is found at the camp, the Warden takes the find and gives the finder the day off from digging. In his first couple weeks there, Stanley finds a golden tube with the initials KB inscribed on it. He is then approached by the leader of the boys at the camp called X-Ray (his name is actually the pig latin version of Rex) who asks Stanley to give up his find because it was unfair that Stanley could get a day off in the first couple weeks of his digging when X-Ray had dug for 18 months without a single find. Stanley gives the golden tube to X-Ray and he takes the credit for the find, far away from where it was originally found. Stanley wonders if the Kate Barlow used to live in the area because the initials on what was later discovered to be a lipstick tube were KB for Kate Barlow. He also now knows that they are not just "building character" but are looking for something as well. Stanley finds out that Zero can't read or write and that his real name is Hector Zeroni. Zero starts digging a part of Stanley's hole every day so that Stanley can teach him how to read. But before Stanley finishes, the Warden finds out about the deal and, along with the other counselors, insults him and calls him stupid because he can't spell a word correctly. Zero runs away from camp, and the Warden destroys Zero's files to keep anyone from looking for him. Stanley, in an effort to save him, follows after a few days later. He finds Zero under Sam's old boat with "Mary Lou" painted on it. Zero and Stanley drink some liquid in bottles under the boat that Zero calls sploosh, which in actuality is the fermented remains of Katherine's spiced peaches. Zero later vomits, presumably because of bacteria in the sploosh. The two help each other to reach the top of a big mountain, which turns out to be Sam's old onion field. Because Zero is very weak, Stanley carries him up this mountain and finds a spring. While Zero drinks, Stanley sings the family's song to keep his spirits up. They survive on onions for a week and then return to camp, planning to search for Kate Barlow's treasure, in the hole where Stanley found the lipstick tube. Stanley and Zero find an old suitcase, which they believe is loaded with Kate's loot. The Warden finds them, and attempts to take the suitcase from them, but she finds out there was a nest of yellow-spotted lizards in the hole. She also reveals that she and her family had been forced to dig by their grandparents every day in order to find the suitcase and it is indicated that she had made up the camp so that she could have some people to do the digging for her. Stanley's lawyer, Ms. Morengo, arrives to pick up Stanley, as he has been proven innocent back in civilization, the Attorney General arrived as well. Hours later, Stanley finally gets out of the hole. The Warden tries to take the suitcase, saying that the suitcase was hers, but then Zero points out the fact that the suitcase has "Stanley Yelnats" printed on it. It turns out, Kissin' Kate used Stanley's grandfather's case to store the loot. As the lawyer states that the case is rightly Stanley's, the warden watches, dumbfounded and having dismally failed to gain the treasure that her family has been searching for over a century, as they leave the camp, and expose the truth to its real intent. Zero is also allowed to leave because they have no file on him, and there is no reason for him to stay. Stanley discovers that the suitcase contains many valuable items, and the once poor Yelnats are suddenly rich. At the end of the book, Stanley's newfound luck is explained, as Zero is really Madame Zeroni's great, great, great grandson, and because Stanley carried him up the mountain, and fed him the spring water, the curse was broken. Zero is reunited with his mother, from whom he was separated many years ago, and Stanley's father finally succeeds in inventing something: a cure for foot odor. While fate has so often seemed against Stanley, in the end it serves to help him, his family, his new friends of Camp Green Lake, and Zero. [

Character of Holes:

Character of Holes Major: Stanley X-Ray Zero Minor: Stanley's Mother Stanley's Father Mrs. Bell Barf Bag Squid Magnet Armpit Zigzag Twitch Attorney General Ms. Morengo Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston Characters in the Past: Elya Yelnats Madame Zeroni Stanley Yelnats II Kate Barlow Myra Menke Igor Barkov Charles "Trout" Walker Sam, the Onion Man Mary Lou Sheriff

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THESE are HOLES

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