Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Exciting mystery is often intense but occasionally funny.

Holes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 10+

Great Book, but Not for Younger Children

I read the book to my own children (now grown) and have watched the movie several times, but I am also a teacher and have read this book to my 5th grade class. A fellow teacher read it to her 2nd grade class, but I wouldn't advise that. There are several violent incidents, sadistic characters, bullying and racism. For older kids, though, it is a great story about friendship, perseverance, and has a lot of funny moments that older kids will appreciate.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 12+
The book was good. The flashback in chapter 25 and 26 is definitely for older kids.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17):
Kids say (116):

As Louis Sachar's edgy plot weaves between intersecting stories, past and present, the author creates a unique mystery, full of twists and danger. This novel includes violence and cruelty, and it may be somewhat intense for some young readers. However, there are funny moments, too, and mystery lovers will be fascinated as the story unfolds. It's also a great book for parents and teachers to introduce simple concepts of literary analysis and use of language, as the word "holes" has multiple meanings in the book.

This Newbery winner is often a hit with fourth and fifth grade readers who are ready for something that's intellectually a little bit challenging, as well as a fair bit darker than most novels for their grade level.

Book Details

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