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No Holes In This Plot: TSS Reads 2015

In honour of World Book Day, April 23rd, special activities took place as part of the 14th Annual TEAM School Reads. In each of the high school English classes, voting was conducted to select this year’s TSS Reads Selection. The final list of nominees included Holes by Louis Sachar, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and The Hydrofoil Mystery by Eric Walters. The book chosen as the TSS Reads Selection for 2015 was Holes by Louis Sachar. This makes it two years in a row for Young People’s Fiction with last year’s winner being Hatchet by Gary Paulsen after a long run of graphic novel selections.

Holes has been on the final ballot on three previous occasions but always fell short of victory. Much in the same way with Hatchet, students that supported Holes reported that it was a landmark reading moment in elementary school as well as an excellent story. As Nick said, “It’s just a great book.” This sentiment resonated with nearly two thirds of the voters as others too identified Holes as a significant part of becoming an interested young reader.

Published in 1997, Holes won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for American Literature for Children. The story revolves around Stanley Yelnats, an overweight teenager, and his wrongful imprisonment in Camp Green Lake, a juvenile disciplinary facility in the middle of a desert. The subplot details the adventures of Stanley’s great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, explaining exactly how it is that Stanley and his family have come to be cursed. The two plots run parallel toward a highly satisfying conclusion.

Thanks to all the students, staff, and teachers who participated in our annual festivities. A complete list of reading recommendations was distributed in English classes and it is hoped that students take the time to investigate some of the recommendations for future reading.