Holes, by Louis Sachar (1998)Read about the other books on the list.
Camp Green Lake is a place for bad boys, and it has but one philosophy: “If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” But Stanley Yelnats is not a bad boy; he just has bad luck. And now he’s been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and must serve his time at the boys’ detention center. But, as Stanley soon realizes in this funny and quirky tale, the hole-digging isn’t just about improving the boys’ character—the mean and powerful warden is looking for something. Can Stanley actually figure out what it is and clear his name?
Holes is among Ross Montgomery's top ten books for young danger lovers, Phil Earle's top ten zeros-to-heros in stories for children and young adults, Leah Hyslop's six best beverages in books, and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald's top ten books featuring grandparents.