My amazing and too-good-to-be-true run of good books continues with "Holes".
Its a classic example of how a great story told simply can win so many hearts and minds - not just of children but of adults alike. (Yes - it is a children book but who says it cant be enjoyed my adults)
The narrative in simple English tells two tales - one of the present day in which Stanley (the protagonist) is wrongly accused and sent to a juvenile facility - and the other tale during the time of his great grandfather. Both tales proceed independently and both are engrossing and in the end the author brilliantly interweaves the two stories together.
Perhaps the critics will say that the ending is too good to be true - a lot like a fairy tale - but in my opinion both Stanley and Zero (his friend/student from the correction facility) deserve it. Both the children have been portrayed in such loving colors - Stanley is the quintessential poor-overweight kid with a horrid luck and Zero is the underestimated kid who in the end surprises everyone.
All characters are memorable like the Warden of the juvenile facility who punishes by scratching her victims with poison laced nails to the Kissing Kate - the good Samaritan turned robber.Throughout the book I could empathize with Charlie and kept cheering for him, was amazed at his maturity and sensitivity (e.g. the fake letters to his mom) and his grounded reality.
The story is about staying positive - even when everything around is crumbling and disintegrating. Where friends conspire against you and no one is truly on your side, when you cannot speak the truth to people you trust for fear of hurting them and you are alone in this world and the only thing that keeps you going is "hope. Its a message for both children and adult.
Its one of those books that I would love to read again with my son, when he is old enough.