Author: Louis Sacher.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2000
Genre: Mystery/ Crime/ Romance.
Synopsis: Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot.
I first came across this book whilst at school and fell in love with it instantly. The characters are all brilliant, some bring humour to the story and others are very mysterious. Stanley Yelnats the protagonist is an extremely unlucky person, who blames his constant bad luck on his 'no good, dirty rotten, pig stealing great great grandfather.' - Fantasic! Whilst the story focuses on the life of Stanley and his time at Camp Green Lake the reader is also told about the troubled life of Zero, later known as Hector Zeroni and his life growing up homeless and without any parents. The mystery and historical aspects of the story such as the time of Sam the onion man and Kate the school teacher introduce issues to young readers without appearing to be overbearing, the racial issues are mentioned but not developed allowing the light heartedness of the story to continue through to the end. Another very good read.