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Small Steps (book)

Small Steps is the sequel novel to Louis Sachar’s Holes. But instead of focusing on Stanley Yelnats, the hero of Holes, Sachar decided to turn a minor character into the main character. Holes is by far his best work, so I can’t understand why he would make the sequel be about a forgettable background character that you never cared about. And I don’t know why the publisher would let him do it. Small Steps is not a bad book, it’s just utterly disappointing a huge step in the wrong direction.

Theodore “Armpit” Johnson is trying to get his life back on track following his stay at a juvenile detention center. His progress his threatened by the reappearance of X-Ray, an old friend with a shady streak. X-Ray manages to convince Armpit to buy a bunch of tickets to the upcoming Kaira DeLeon concert, with the plan to scalp them and make a quick and easy profit. Of course shit doesn’t go to plan, and Armpit finds himself in over his head, dealing with cops, thugs, counterfeit tickets, racism, and a potential relationship with a famous pop star.

Holes is a book about destiny and fate. Small Steps is a book about finding out who you are and who you want to be. And even though they are part of the same series, they aren’t similar enough. They don’t fit together. And it’s kind of obvious that Holes was a passion project and Small Steps is a paycheck project. It’s not terrible, but I expect better things from a genius like Louis Sachar.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Holes (book)

Holes is a book written by Louis Sachar, the renowned children’s book author. One of the reasons why he is so renowned is because he doesn’t talk down to children. He writes books that are easy to read, but still deep in meaning. Holes just might be his masterpiece.

Simply put, the novel is about an unlucky kid named Stanley Yelnats who is wrongfully accused of a crime that he didn’t commit, and he is sentenced to eighteen months at a detention center where he must dig a hole each day. He’s told that digging holes builds character, but there’s a hidden agenda behind the holes. It’s not surprising that a story about holes could be so deep. This is a story about fate, of luck, of destiny and defeat, where the past and the present collide, and the reader stay riveted throughout.

Good books rely on metaphors and symbolism to tell amazing stories. Everything about Holes has an underlying layer to what’s presented on the surface. It’s like an onion. There’s more than meets the eye. Everything is presented for a reason, everything has a purpose, and everything has more than one meaning. All the characters have names that match their personalities. Everything that Louis Sachar writes is intentional and nothing is coincidental. Holes is the perfect example of what a literary genius is capable of. Read it. Read it now. Read it again if you’ve already read it. And appreciate it.

Critically Rated at 17/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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