Why did Zero steal the sneakers?

Last semester we read and studied Holes by Louis Sachar. We used the characters, setting, and storyline to help us with our detective duties from the books. We looked at the Disney film version of the book to compare them.

I asked you to explain your understanding of the similarities and differences (at least three), what was your favorite part of the book and the movie (with reasons), what would you change about both versions, and to explain which one was better in your opinion


image via Seventeen

A little while ago we touched on the concept of homelessness. Holes is very clever in the way he portrays Hector Zeroni’s former life. Zero and Stanley are discussing Laney Park, a place where Zero’s mother allegedly left him while she looks for a way to earn money. Stanley laughs at how much he enjoyed himself in this same park. It is at this moment that Hector responds in no uncertain terms by describing the tunnel in which he slept at night. This offers a stark comparison between Stanley’s average yet happy home and Zero’s desperate attempt at survival that really appeals to the issue of homelessness which affects not only adults but children as well.


Stanley Yelnats IV is a teenager from a poor family who has bad foot odor. He was also cursed by his great-great grandfather, who didn’t honor an elderly woman with magical powers. His father tries to find the cure for Stanley’s problem and hopes it will bring good luck to the family. Unfortunately, he is framed for stealing baseball star Clyde Livingston’s shoes and ends up in Camp Green Lake instead of prison as he should be.

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Stanley Yelnats is a teenager who has been accused of stealing a pair of sneakers. He is sent to Camp Green Lake, where he meets Mr. Sir, one of the camp supervisors and someone Stanley should watch out for. We also meet Mr. Pendanski, another camp supervisor who tells Stanley about Warden Walker and his strict rules at the campground. As we learn more about Camp Green Lake (the food they eat there tastes terrible, showers are limited), we learn that Zero (who is actually Hector Zeroni) was brought to Camp Green Lake because he is related to Madame Zeroni; years ago he cursed Stanley’s family when they stole her pig from his ranch in Mexico.

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