Author: Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse supposedly passed on to him from his ‘no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-great grandfather’, a man whose sins were bad enough for his family to be cursed for generations with extreme bad luck. So Stanley is not particularly surprised when shoes from a famous baseball player fall on his head, the court decides he stole them, and he is sent off to a camp – a camp where you are forced to dig five feet deep, five feet wide circular holes every day under the baking sun with little water. Camp Green lake. There is no lake. It dried up a hundred years ago.
It is interesting to see how Stanley adapts to the situation, and keeps digging through his suffering. As an overweight kid, it’s hard for him to work for so many hours each day.
As the story goes on, it becomes very clear that the kids at Camp Green Lake are not digging to build character. The warden is trying to find something – a treasure hidden in the wastelands of reddish-brown dirt. When Stanley finds a clue, the warden will stop at nothing to find what she is looking for.
Aside from this gripping storyline, the chapters switch between two centuries – the other being a hundred years ago in the exact same place, telling the story of Stanley and his friends’ relatives, and how they love, kill and betray each other.
This book is great, it should be one of the first books you read when you turn eight or nine. It is easy to read but still has good description, and is one of my favourites as a twelve-year-old.
Johanne, aged 12