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Louis Sachar

Perry Hagopian

Newbery Award–winning author Louis Sachar is the creator of the entertaining Marvin Redpost books as well as the much-loved There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, winner of 17 child-voted state awards.

Louis Sachar’s book Holes, winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, is also an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick, an ALA Notable Book, and was made into a major motion picture.

A Few Words From Louis Sachar
Of all the characters from Holes, why did you choose to revisit Armpit in SMALL STEPS?
LS: I tend to write about underdogs. It seemed to me that life would be tough for an African-American teenager from a low-income family with a criminal record. Especially someone stuck with the name, "Armpit."
Although this new book is about a character from Holes, the two books are very different. How would you explain to a fan of Holes what to expect from SMALL STEPS?
LS: I can't. I'm no good at describing my books. Holes has been out now for seven years, and I still can't come up with a good answer when asked what that book is about.
Could you imagine future novels about any of the other boys?
Do you think about what Stanley is up to now?
LS: I don't think too much about Stanley or Zero. I left them in a good place. Although money doesn't bring happiness, or give meaning to someone's life, the problems Stanley and Zero face now (and I'm sure they do face many problems) are less interesting than those faced by someone like Armpit.
Plenty of teenagers fantasize about what it would be like to be a young rock star.
You portray it as lonely. Tell us about that decision.
LS: The media tends to portray the teenage world as one where drinking and sex is taken for granted. In fact, I think most teenagers don't drink, are unsure of themselves, and feel awkward around members of the opposite sex. I thought it was important to show Kaira, a rock star no less, as such a person. Her situation, in many ways, is made more difficult as she has no social contact with anyone her age. She is trapped in a world of agents, record producers, and hanger-ons.
I'm imagining that off all the books you've written, Holes is the one that has changed your life the most. Not only did it win the Newbery Medal, it's also simply a popular sensation. Is this assessment accurate? What is this novel's continuing impact on your life? Would you consider it the book that you are proudest of?
LS: Not counting Small Steps, I think Holes is my best book, in terms of plot, and setting, and the way the story revealed itself. It hasn't changed my life, other than that I have more money than I did before I wrote it. I'm still too close to Small Steps to compare it to Holes.
Why do you typically write only two hours each day?
LS: Small steps. Every time I start a new novel it seems like an impossible undertaking. If I tried to do too much too quickly, I would get lost and feel overwhelmed. I have to go slow, and give things a chance to take form and grow.



PRAISE

THE BOY WHO LOST HIS FACE
“Readers will empathize with David’s troubles and cheer his triumph in this delightful, funny book.”—Publishers Weekly


DOGS DON’T TELL JOKES
“Readers will laugh at Gary’s good jokes and groan at his clunkers while they cheer his transformation from goon to legitimate comedian.”—Booklist


HOLES

—A Newbery Medal Winner
—A National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Award Winner
—A Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner for Fiction
—An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
—An ALA Notable Children’s Book
—An ALA Quick Pick
—A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
—A Horn Book Fanfare
—A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
—A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
—A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year

“We haven’t seen a book with this much plot, so suspensefully and expertly deployed, in too long a time. . . . Louis Sachar has long been a great and deserved favorite among children, despite the benign neglect of critics. But Holes is witness to its own theme: what goes around, comes around. Eventually.”—Starred, The Horn Book Magazine

“A multitude of colorful characters coupled with the skillful braiding of ethnic folklore, American legend, and contemporary issues is a brilliant achievement. There is no question, kids will love Holes.”—Starred, School Library Journal


MARVIN REDPOST: WHY PICK ON ME?
“The hilarious portrayal of grade-school relationships has tremendous child appeal.”—The Horn Book Magazine


MARVIN REDPOST: IS HE A GIRL?
“Sachar writes for beginning readers with a comic simplicity that is never banal. Here he gets a lot of fun out of the identity confusion, and kids will love the frankness about grade-school gender wars and social taboos.”—Booklist


MARVIN REDPOST: ALONE IN HIS TEACHER’S HOUSE
“Sachar’s finely tuned sense of how children think and feel make this fourth book about Marvin and his comic misadventures entertaining.”—The Horn Book Magazine


MARVIN REDPOST: A FLYING BIRTH DAY CAKE?
“Clipped sentences and short paragraphs are not only just right for new readers, they’re just right for the story-a smart, funny mist on the new-kid theme, reminding us that everyone feels alienated at one time or another.”—The Horn Book Magazine


THERE’S A BOY IN THE GIRLS’ BATHROOM
“A humorous and immensely appealing story.”—Kirkus Reviews


Author Bookshelf

Marvin Redpost #6: A Flying Birthday Cake?

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Amy Wummer

Marvin and Stuart get to sleep over at Nick Tuffle’s house for Nick’s birthday. They set out sleeping bags in the Tuffles’ backyard. Stuart and Nick fall right to sleep, but Marvin tosses...

Marvin Redpost #4: Alone in His Teacher's House

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Barbara Sullivan

Illus. in black-and-white. Marvin's friends think he's the luckiest boy in the world when his teacher asks him to dog-sit for a week. He gets to be alone in Mrs. North's house! But pretty soon it starts to look as...

Marvin Redpost #8: A Magic Crystal?

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Amy Wummer

When Marvin Redpost agrees to go over to Casey Happleton's house, he doesn't know what he's in for. Casey shows him the magic crystal she has just found and offers to give Marvin a few wishes. Is the crystal...


Marvin Redpost #5: Class President

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Amy Wummer

It's no ordinary Thursday for Marvin Redpost and his class...

It's "hole day," and even Mrs. North and Principal McCabe are wearing their very worst clothes. It seemed like a fun idea...

Dogs Don't Tell Jokes

By: Louis Sachar

Twelve-year-old jokester Gary Boone knows he was born to be a comedian, it's the kids in his class who think he's just a goon. Winning the school talent show would be Gary's dream come true, but on the big night his dream...

Holes

By: Louis Sachar

This winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award features Stanley Yelnats, a kid who is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since...


Marvin Redpost #3: Is He a Girl?

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Barbara Sullivan

Will kissing his elbow really turn Marvin into a girl? Casey Happleton claims it's so, and Marvin starts to believe her after his lips "accidentally" brush his elbow.


From the Trade...


Marvin Redpost #1: Kidnapped at Birth?

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Neal Hughes

Illus. in black-and-white. Marvin Redpost has finally figured out why he doesn't look like anyone in his family. He's not really Marvin Redpost--he's Robert, the lost prince of Shampoon!


From...


Small Steps

By: Louis Sachar

Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it’s hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who...


Marvin Redpost #7: Super Fast, Out of Control!

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Amy Wummer

Many have tried to master the slippery slopes of Suicide Hill on their bikes. Marvin's older brother has conquered the hill, but Marvin has steered clear. Until now. The word at school is that Marvin will...

The Boy Who Lost His Face

By: Louis Sachar

DAVID IS ONLY trying to be cool when he helps some of the popular kids steal Old Lady Bayfield’s cane. But when the plan backfires, he’s the one the “old witch” curses. Now David can’t seem to...

The Cardturner

By: Louis Sachar

From Louis Sachar, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Medal for HOLES, comes the young adult novel THE CARDTURNER, an exploration of the human condition.
 
How are we supposed to be partners? He can’t see...


There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom

By: Louis Sachar

Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous,...

Marvin Redpost #2: Why Pick on Me?

By: Louis Sachar
illustrated by: Barbara Sullivan

Illus. in black-and-white. Marvin is shunned by his classmates, best friends, and teacher after he is unfairly fingered as a nose-picker by the class bully.


From the Trade Paperback edition....


The Marvin Redpost Series Collection

By: Louis Sachar

Meet Marvin Redpost, the Master of Mayhem!
 
Kidnapped at Birth?: Marvin Redpost has finally figured out why he doesn't look like anyone in his family. He's not really Marvin Redpost—he's Robert, the lost prince of Shampoon!

Why...