The New Symbol of Friendship: A Review of Holes


When I bit into a raw onion, my taste buds were met by an explosion of different flavors. At first, the onion was sweet. All of a sudden an outburst of bitterness attacked my mouth. The back of my throat felt like a porcupine was ramming it. I coughed and spluttered, and my sister shot a couple photos. Even though she begged me to eat the whole onion, I refused.

You might be wondering why I did something that crazy. The truth is that a boy in the book I just read ate an onion too, and I wanted to know how it felt. And then my family dared me to do it, and we are a family of daredevils.

 Holes, by Louis Sachar, is the story of a boy named Stanley Yelnats. He is unjustly accused of stealing and is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile delinquent detention camp. Every day the boys at Camp Green Lake dig holes in an old lakebed. Stanley knows that the Warden, the manager of the camp, is looking for something in the lakebed. But what could be hidden in the dry ground?

I shuddered as I read about the harsh conditions that Stanley faced. At Camp Green Lake, water was scarce and food wasn’t tasty. I could picture Stanley sweating in the blistering hot sun, almost feel his parched throat and hear his growling stomach. And people were not any less harsh: the Warden was dangerous and greedy and the boys at camp called each other strange names. Yes, Holes was as dramatic as biting into a raw onion.

There are many symbols of friendship: hearts, yellow roses, bracelets, and more. But if you were to read Holes, you would undoubtedly agree with me that the onion should be the new sign of friendship.

Ages: 8+

You can buy the book here.