Sachar_-_Holes_CoverartBenji’s “Review”: Jake is the Newbery Pie hero this week. The plan was for me to finish a recently published book, Nevergrim, by Matthew Jobin while Jake was reading Holes, and hopefully reread through Holes pretty quickly, since I had read it before. Well, Nethergrim took me longer than expected, and I’m trying to learn to play the ukelele, so I  spent several hours this week  trying to learn how to switch from an f to a blasted g chord, (unsuccessfully I might add) when I would normally be reading. Anyways, I failed. I did not get Holes reread. I have read it before, so I don’t feel too bad, and I can still mark it off of the Newbery challenge but it has been years, so I’m not going to attempt a real review. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads, but I have very fond memories of the book, and I definitely have it in my top five Newberys of all time.

Four out of five Newbery Pies

Jake’s Review: I thought the Disney TV show, Even Stevens, was one of the only funny shows on the Disney channel, mostly because Shia Lebouf was a gifted and hilarious young actor (not to say bacon-loving Beans didn’t help). So when I saw he’d be starring in this movie, Holes, I thought, “Sure, why not?” and was equally pleased with how good a live-action Disney movie could be. Ironically, this is what made me not want to read the book. I’m a book-before-movie sorta fella. I don’t mind watching movies after reading the book and am actually good at refraining from saying stuff like, “Hey! That didn’t happen in the book!” Reading books when I already know the general story, however, isn’t very fun to me. As my eyes rove side-to-side, I like to have no idea what’s coming next. Having said that, I was still eager to cross the book off my Newbery checklist and was reminded, as I read, that an author’s writing style cannot be conveyed through film, Louis Sachar’s being pleasantly unique and comical. I won’t go over the plot, but suffice it to say that it is very original, telling the story of very colorful, likeable characters (even when they’re taking advantage of our more likeable underdog protagonist) and reminding us that weird coincidences aren’t always weird coincidences: sometimes we are meant to cross paths. It’s also one of those stories where several seemingly unrelated plotlines are offered, all converging to reveal a beautiful, completed puzzle in the end. I also love the theme that friendships can be forged in the most unlikely of people and circumstances as well as that comfort and strength can be found when two outcasts join forces (kinda like Benji and I). I can happily give this story 4.5 newbery pies, holding back half a pie on the basis that one might really have to pay close attention if they want to see how all the puzzle pieces connect (and cause I’m stingy about pie). I hate to give out high another score, but we’ve just been reading/perhaps subconsciously choosing good books lately.


Newbery Extras:

Here is Travis Jonker’s remake of the Holes cover. Not bad, Travis. Not bad at all.