Holes | Study Guide

Louis Sachar

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Holes | Characters

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Character Description
Stanley Yelnats IV Stanley Yelnats IV has been cursed because his great-great-grandfather made a big mistake. Stanley is wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to a juvenile detention facility called Camp Green Lake, where a series of good choices and improbable coincidences lead him to defeat the curse and bring good fortune back to his family. Read More
Zero Zero Zeroni is an inmate at Camp Green Lake. His real first name is Hector, but no one calls him that. Almost everyone considers Zero stupid and unimportant, but in truth he is a smart boy who turns out to be the key to ending a generations-old curse on Stanley and his family. Read More
X-Ray X-Ray, whose real name is Rex, is the dominant boy in Stanley's tent at Camp Green Lake. He gives Stanley a nickname, Caveman, and welcomes him into the group. Read More
The Warden The Warden is a hard, cruel woman who runs Camp Green Lake. She uses the boys at camp to search for buried treasure that once belonged to an outlaw known as Kissin' Kate Barlow. Read More
Armpit Armpit, whose real name is Theodore, sleeps in Stanley's tent at Camp Green Lake.
Attorney General The Texas attorney general is an official in charge of the state's legal system. When the officials at Camp Green Lake fail to cooperate with Ms. Morengo's official court orders releasing Stanley, she brings the attorney general to the camp to witness the irregular activities there.
Barf Bag Barf Bag is the boy who slept in Stanley's cot before Stanley arrived at Camp Green Lake. He purposely got bitten by a rattlesnake so he would be sent away from the camp.
Igor Barkov In Latvia, long before the main plot of Holes begins, a middle-aged man named Igor Barkov offers a fat pig for the right to marry a girl named Myra Menke. Later, when Elya Yelnats offers a fat pig too, Myra doesn't care which man she marries—and Elya tells her to marry Igor.
Miss Katherine Barlow Some 110 years before the man plot of Holes begins, Miss Katherine Barlow (Kissin' Kate Barlow), a sweet, white schoolteacher, falls in love with an African American man named Sam. When Sam is murdered for kissing her, she goes crazy and becomes a famous outlaw named Kissin' Kate Barlow.
Bo Bo is a man from the old town of Green Lake who buys onion juice from Sam to ward off attacks by poisonous yellow-spotted lizards.
Bus driver A bus driver brings Stanley to Camp Green Lake. The driver complains about the nine-hour drive to and from the camp in the Texas heat.
Derrick Dunne Derrick Dunne is a bully from Stanley's life before Camp Green Lake. He is much smaller than Stanley, so adults usually don't believe he can do anything to hurt Stanley.
Guard Besides Stanley, the only passenger on the bus to Camp Green Lake is a guard. The guard holds a rifle on his lap.
Dr. Hawthorn Dr. Hawthorn is the official doctor in the town of Green Lake, long before the main plot of Holes begins. People see Dr. Hawthorn for medical advice, but they also go to Sam, the onion man, who gives them remedies made from magical onions.
Jesse Jesse is a man from the old town of Green Lake who buys onion juice from Sam to ward off attacks by poisonous yellow-spotted lizards.
Judge The judge who convicts Stanley calls him "despicable" for stealing shoes that could have raised money to help the homeless. The same judge gives Stanley the choice to go to jail or Camp Green Lake.
Clyde Livingston Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston is a famous baseball player with terrible foot odor whose changing relationship with Stanley mirrors the change in Stanley's fortunes throughout the story. Stanley is facing an 18-month prison sentence for stealing Livingston's shoes at the beginning of the story, but by the end of the story, Livingston is a friend of Stanley's family who knows the conviction was a mistake.
Clyde Livingston's wife Clyde Livingston's wife makes a brief appearance at the end of the story. She complains about how bad her husband's feet smelled before Stanley's father invented a product called Sploosh to eliminate foot odor.
The Lump On Stanley's first full day at Camp Green Lake, he trips over the leg of a boy he thinks of as "the Lump." This event nearly sparks a fight, but the other boys from Stanley's tent intervene and help Stanley out of a bad spot.
Magnet Magnet, whose real name is José, sleeps in Stanley's tent at Camp Green Lake. One day he steals Mr. Sir's sunflower seeds and ends up getting Stanley in trouble.
Myra Menke In Latvia, long before the main plot of Holes begins, the teenage Elya Yelnats falls in love with a beautiful girl named Myra Menke. He offers a fat pig in exchange for her hand in marriage but gives up and leaves for America when he realizes Myra has no particular interest in him.
Myra Menke's father In Latvia, long before the main plot of Holes begins, Myra Menke's father tells Elya Yelnats he would "rather have a fat pig" than a loving husband for his daughter. This prompts Elya to seek the help of his friend Madame Zeroni, who gives him a pig to offer for Myra's hand in marriage.
Ms. Morengo Ms. Morengo is the lawyer Stanley's parents hire after Stanley's father makes a fortune on a new invention. Ms. Morengo proves Stanley is innocent, rescues Zero from Camp Green Lake, and helps Stanley keep the treasure.
Mr. Pike Mr. Pike owns the general store in the town of Green Lake long before the lake dries up and the town's land becomes a juvenile detention camp.
Hattie Parker Long before the main plot of Holes begins, a racist woman named Hattie Parker lives in the thriving town of Green Lake. Hattie tries to bring God's punishment on Miss Katherine Barlow and Sam for kissing.
Jim Parker Jim Parker is the butcher in Green Lake long before Green Lake becomes a juvenile detention camp. Jim is blamed for giving food poisoning to a little girl, Becca Tennyson.
Mr. Pendanski Mr. Pendanski, also known as Mom, is the counselor in charge of Stanley's tent at Camp Green Lake. He acts friendly and claims to want to help Stanley and the other boys, but he is cruel to Zero and even takes part in a plot to erase Zero's files when the adults believe Zero is lost in the desert.
Sam Long before the main plot of Holes begins, the people of Green Lake have a complicated relationship with Sam, "the onion man." They respect his ability to make medical cures from magical onions, but they also discriminate against him for his dark skin, and they attack him for kissing Miss Katherine Barlow.
Mr. Sir Mr. Sir is an unpleasant man who works at Camp Green Lake and often tells the campers they aren't at "Girl Scout camp." A former smoker, Mr. Sir constantly eats sunflower seeds to manage his nicotine cravings.
Sheriff In the old town of Green Lake, long before the main plot of Holes begins, there is a sheriff who gets drunk and helps a mob attack Sam after he kisses Miss Katherine Barlow. Miss Katherine later murders the sheriff and begins a 20-year campaign as the famed outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow.
Squid Squid, whose real name is Alan, is one of Stanley's tent mates at Camp Green Lake. He teases Stanley for writing letters home, but later he asks Stanley for help contacting his own mother.
Becca Tennyson Becca Tennyson is a little girl in the old town of Green Lake who gets sick from eating bad meat. Her mother, Gladys Tennyson, refuses help from Dr. Hawthorn and instead cures her daughter with a tonic made by Sam, the onion man.
Mrs. Gladys Tennyson In the old town of Green Lake, long before the main plot of Holes begins, Mrs. Gladys Tennyson is a friendly woman who thanks Sam, the onion man, for curing her daughter's illness.
Twitch Twitch, whose real name is Brian, arrives to fill an opening at Camp Green Lake after Zero disappears. Twitch brags about stealing cars and shouts advice at Stanley when Stanley tries to steal the water truck.
Linda Walker Before the main plot of Holes begins but after Green Lake dries up, Linda Walker helps her husband, Trout Walker, torture Kissin' Kate Barlow for information about where she buried her treasure. Linda and her husband blame Kissin' Kate for the drought that has befallen Green Lake and destroyed their property, but their town's racism and brutality are the real reasons for the curse of this drought.
Trout Walker In the old town of Green Lake, long before the main plot of Holes begins, Charles "Trout" Walker is the arrogant, entitled son of the richest man in town. Trout leads a racist attack that brings a curse on the town and leads him to lose all his money.
Walter Walter is a man from the old town of Green Lake who buys onion juice from Sam to ward off attacks by poisonous yellow-spotted lizards.
Elya Yelnats Elya Yelnats is the "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather" of Stanley Yelnats IV. Long before the story begins, Elya sets the plot of Holes in motion when he forgets a promise he made to a friend and brings a curse down on himself and all his descendants.
Mrs. Yelnats Stanley's mother, Mrs. Yelnats, is a practical woman who doesn't believe in curses.
Stanley Yelnats I Stanley Yelnats I is the great-grandfather of Stanley Yelnats IV. Long before the main plot of Holes begins, Stanley Yelnats I makes a fortune in the stock market but loses it all when he gets robbed in the desert by Kissin' Kate Barlow.
Stanley Yelnats III Stanley's father, Stanley Yelnats III, is an inventor who has remained poor all his life because none of his inventions work out. His bad luck seems to be the result of a curse placed on his great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats.
Madame Zeroni Madame Zeroni is a friend of Elya Yelnats. She gives Elya a runt pig and a magical method for making it grow big and strong, but when he forgets to repay her for this gift, she curses him and all his descendants.
Zero's mother At the end of the story, the newly rich Zero Zeroni, now called by his real name, Hector, hires a team of private investigators to find his mother, who disappeared when he was a child. The mother makes a brief appearance at the end of the story, looking "weathered" and "weary" but clearly glad to be reunited with her son.
Zigzag Zigzag, whose real name is Ricky, sleeps in Stanley's tent at Camp Green Lake. He gets angry and picks a fight with Stanley when Zero digs part of Stanley's hole.
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