Holes Discussion Questions

January 25, 2016



by Louis Sachar


  1. Why the title Holes? How many different instances of holes do we encounter?
  2. Why do the boys resort to nicknames? What do these nicknames say about the “campers”?
  3. Do you believe in date? Or, like Mr. Pendanski, that “we are all responsible for ourselves and our destinies.” What about coincidence? How do these all work together?
  4. How does Stanley & Zero’s relationship parallel Kate Barlow and Sam’s relationship?
  5. Holes is really three stories. Which speaks the most to you? Why? Can any of these stories stand without the others?
  6. Is there significance to Stanley Yelnats being a palindrome?
  7. Have you read any of Sachar’s other books? How does Holes compare?
  8. Holes was the first book in history to win both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in the same year (1998). Why do you think that happened?
  9. The narrator “breaks the wall” in the introduction and the conclusion. Why is this important? Why are we told to “fill in the holes [yourself]”?
  10. X-Ray says, “Every kid in the world wants to dig a big hole.” Is that true to you? Why did X-Ray say this?
  11. Have you seen the film Holes? If so, how does this compare to the book? Which do you prefer?
  12. Did you feel like any of the book’s passages were too sad or challenging for the intended younger reader audience?
  13. Do you believe in curses? Do you find Kate Barlow’s curse believable?
  14. Were you surprised to discover the Warden was a woman? Why or why not?
  15. Who was your favorite character?
  16. Which storyline did you enjoy the most?
  17. Does it seem like Same is a respected member of Green Lake? Why or why not? Were you surprised to see the community turned on Kate and Sam?
  18. How does Stanley and Zero’s relationship change throughout the novel? Do yu feel one of them initiates that change more? Is there a moment when the tides turn?

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