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Holes is one of those books that everyone things is only for children, at least that's how everyone I knew thought about it, so I was surprised when it came up on my University Reading List for Prose Fiction. Thankfully, this is a popular book for the younger teen audience so it was not hard to get my hands on, nor was it expensive. I bought my copy second hand for the grand sum of £2, though it would obviously cost more than that new.
The story is one that surprised me, even though it is supposed to be aimed at young teens there are a lot of things going on. It jumps backwards and forwards in time throughout, from the present day to well in the past, but that's really not much of an issue because it's done in such a way that it is clear which time you are in. As well as the clever time jumps there are several undercurrents in this book, which gives it a much more powerful message than the obvious one of keeping promises. It covers both racism and prejudice in the present day and in the past with such ease that a reader might almost not see them at first. I only noticed on the second reading in class.
I think that this book is definitely worth reading, or buying for children to read. It makes for great light reading for the adult, though it does not last long. I read it in a day. It would be good bedtime reading for a child as the story is not too heavy or hectic. Though, they might not want to stop reading and actually go to bed! Definitely worth the money.