Stanely Yelnats IV has had a run of bad luck lately. Well, actually, his whole life has been a run of bad luck, but recently his luck has been really bad. I mean, how many people get hit with some sneakers falling out of the sky and are convicted of stealing them? How was Stanley supposed to know that the sneakers belonged to a famous baseball player? Of course, no one believes him and he has the choice of going to jail or to Camp Green Lake. Stanley has always wanted to go away to camp like other kids do, so he leaps at the chance to go to Camp Green Lake. But when Stanley arrives, he discovers that there is no lake at Camp Green Lake - there are just a bunch of holes.
It doesn't take Stanley long to figure out that there is more to Camp Green Lake than meets the eye. At first it is all Stanley can do to dig his 5 x 5 foot hole everyday and deal with the bad-tempered, sunflower-seed-spitting Mr. Sir, the seemingly kind-hearted Mr. "Mom" Pendanski, the rattlesnake-venom fingernail polish of the Warden, the bizarre heirarchy of the boys led by X-Ray, and a host of other characters including Zero, whom everyone believes is nothing. As Stanley spends time at Camp Green Lake, he learns more and more about himself and discovers that the camp really was successful in building his character...
I loved this book. It was a fast, fun read with quirky characters and four different stories tied together into one. The main story is the one of Stanley Yelnats IV and his experiences at camp, but we also follow the story of Stanley Yelnats I who was robbed in the middle of the desert and survived by using "God's thumb", there is Stanley's "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather" who got him into this mess in the first place, and the sad story of Kissin' Kate Barlow, the notorious outlaw who robbed Stanley Yelnats I. These stories are creatively woven together and Sachar adds lots of humor, sometimes dark humor, but the stories are quite funny all the same.
This report prepared by Debbie