If you read my sidebar updates, you know that I was reading Louis Sachar’s Holes to the children. I had read it to myself a year or two ago, but I didn’t consider reading it to the children because I thought it would be over their heads. But then a friend gave it to us for a Christmas present, causing me to reconsider. My brother teaches the book in his middle school English classes, so I called him up to get his opinion on the matter. He thought it over for a minute and then pronounced it a good fit. We had our next read-aloud.
Once I started reading the book, we couldn’t stop. Or maybe I should say I could not stop. I didn’t even give the kids a chance to beg me to read just one more chapter—I simply plowed right through, ignoring the fact that there even were chapters. Needless to say, the kids were delighted; they found it hilarious that I couldn’t stop. We read the book in just a few days, reading some nights upwards of one-and-a-half hours.
Holes introduced the children to a new genre of literature. The story isn’t your classic straightforward story, such as Ramona Quimby, Heidi, and Tom Sawyer. It’s a mixture of fairy-tale and real life, drama and mystery. I could practically see the wheels turning in their heads as they struggled to fill in the holes (the book could not be more appropriately titled).
I found myself gripping the book extra tight during the scary parts and sometimes pausing to silently read ahead because I was too darn impatient. Other times the story line was moving so fast that I had to pause to give myself a chance to catch my breath. At one point Miss Becca Boo had to get up from the sofa and go stand in the doorway to put some distance between herself and the story—it was just too intense for her. However, despite the scare-factor, she adored the book, carting it around with her and showing it to anyone who walked into our house.
We finished the book about a week ago. I was sorely bummed; what a letdown. After being on that high, I didn’t think there could possibly be anything out there that would be half as interesting to read, so we didn’t read anything—for a whole week. A couple days ago I forced myself to go dig out a book, any book, because we were missing our story time. The kids and I settled on Miss Hickory, which is a respectable book and one that the children enjoy. Even so, it leaves me feeling rather empty and unsatisfied. It’s just not Holes.