'Holes' is much more gritty than the average middle school novel. Its is definitely not all fairies and unicorns. There are some somewhat harsh scenes in the story but they are important part of the book . 'Holes' is a story about overcoming adversity and a deep message about good triumphing over evil.
As for the cast of characters in the novel they are definitely unique. With names like Armpit, Zero, and X-ray how could they not be. This story is told with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. The whole thing with Stanley talking about his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather is just hilarious. It's also really funny about that whole thing with Stanley's name being spelled the same both backward and forward.
I am not sure why I never heard of this book until recently. I am on a mission to read as many of the Newbery winners as possible and that's how this novel came to my attention. I loved the story and it is definitely a book that I would like my own kids to read. I have read that this book had been banned. I'm not really sure why unless it was because of the small amount of violence in the novel. If this is true it really pains that the whole point of the novel as a positive message can be so misunderstood and misinterpreted