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