Small Steps (Holes Series)

by Louis Sachar

Paperback, 2008

Call number




Ember (2008), Edition: Reprint, 257 pages


Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.

User reviews

LibraryThing member eduscapes
In this follow-up to the award-winning Holes, Sachar focuses on the character of Armpit from Camp Green Lake. Armpit must make the "small steps" needed to survive in today's world. Also returning is X-Ray who tempts Armpit with the prospect of easy money. New characters include a young neighbor and
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a famous singer. Although lacking the interesting historical connections of Holes, this book once again explores authentic issues facing young adults.
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LibraryThing member ChrisRiesbeck
This is more a spin-off than a sequel to Sachar's best-selling Holes, with 2 non-central characters from that book, now in their teens. Meant for a slightly older audience, it's much more straightforward in the telling, without the loopy humor, irony, and creativity of the previous book. It does
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however have a better developed main character in Armpit, a thoughtful, honest, hard-working African-American male. Armpit is back to digging holes, but for pay this time. Armpit is trying to follow the advice he was given to take small steps to avoid being swept away by the current of life. Armpit has just five simple goals, one of which is to lose the nickname Armpit. The other character from Holes is X-Ray, a decent at heart scam artist who looks for too many shortcuts and drags Armpit down with him. But X-Ray is just the engine for the plot. The real second character is a rising young spoiled female pop singer whose path eventually crosses Armpit's. Unfortunately, this character rarely rises above the cliche. Far more interesting is Ginny, Armpit's 10-year neighbor with cerebral palsy and wisdom beyond twice her years. Equally interesting, if only briefly met, are two more women of perception: Cherry Lane, the mayor, and Debbie Newberg, the detective. The plot, of which there's quite a bit, hums along and resolves quickly but satisfyingly. Recommended for fans of YA and Holes, but don't as many laughs.
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LibraryThing member LAteacher
Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to start a new better life. But it is hard when you have a record, and everyone thinks that you are bad. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old partly disabled neighbor. Together,
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they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a friend from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a plan to get rich. This turns into a situation where they could meet with a teen popstar, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life is all different from before.
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
This is a sequel of sorts to Holes. One of the characters, Armpit, is back home with his family. He befriends a young disabled girl and meets a famous pop star, with whom he has a brief romance. It was a very strange book and I think Sachar should have let Holes stand alone.
LibraryThing member MSLMC
This sequel to "Holes" focuses on Armpit, and is completely different than Holes. The story does have just as many twists and comes together in a happy ending, so readers who loved Holes will probably like this one as well.
LibraryThing member Bartender13
This is one of the best books i have ever read it is about a guy who is going to help; his friend sell tickets to Kira DeLone concert but he needs to have two of the tikets but his friend is not ready to give up so read the book and find out what happenes.
LibraryThing member IsaacW
This isn't excactly a sequel to Holes (another book by Louis Sachar) but it does have some of the same characters. The book takes place two years after Armpit gets released from Camp Green Lake. It is a very itneresting book and I liekd it a lot!
Louis Sachar did a very good job of wriing this and
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portraying the characters emotions.
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LibraryThing member su_library_student
Nice easy read. This continues the story of one of the characters from Holes--Armpit. Armpit is away from Camp Green Lake and trying to turn his life around, which is often much harder than you would think. X-Ray, also a character in Holes, plays a large part of the story mainly making Armpit's
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life more difficult. Armpit, otherwise known as Theodore, has many adventures along the way and learns that he must take small steps to reach his goals instead of trying to take big ones that sweep him off his path to good.

I would highly recommend this book especially if you like Young Adult fiction. This book was extremely easy and entertaining. The story flowed easily and was suspenseful enough to keep you wanting to read more.
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LibraryThing member shifrack00
I love Louis Sachar all the time, and this is no exception. Not as clean as "Holes" but more to chew on than his other books. Geared a bit older than some of the other ones.
LibraryThing member ROSS8
A companion to the novel Holes, by the same author.
LibraryThing member hackmac
Woah! Honestly, I didn't expect the "sequel" of Holes to be something of this sort. Holes seems like a children's book in comparison. Well, it's just that Small Steps deals with much more serious problems and issues, and is therefore intended for slightly older readers. All the same, it's
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wonderfully-written. I'm still a no. 1 Louis Sachar fan!
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LibraryThing member ennie
"Armpit" is attempting to put his life back together when his orbit intersects with a teen pop star and complications ensue.
LibraryThing member meggyweg
It was hard to follow up Holes, but Sachar has indeed produced another winner. I like how although they share some of the same characters, both books can stand alone on their own quite nicely. Armpit's struggle to stay on the straight and narrow was realistic and his relationship with Ginny was
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touching. Kiara's life showed the reader the downside of being a teen pop star—although she wasn't a drugged-out nympho train wreck like some real pop stars I know of, her life was not her own, everyone around her was using her and she did not know who she really was. I would highly recommend Small Steps to readers who liked Holes. I think it might be suited to a slightly older age group though, since it's a bit darker.
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LibraryThing member ThorneStaff
In this companion (or sequel?) to Louis Sachar's acclaimed "Holes", "Small Steps" follows the story of Armpit (who prefers to be called Theodore now), one of the kids from Camp Green Lake, as he tries to lead his life after being released.

Of course, his path is not quite so smooth as he had hoped,
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and his old acquaintaince from Camp Green Lake, X-Ray, shows up with a get rich quick scheme for Theodore's hard-earned money. Their plan is foiled, but in the process Theodore meets a famous pop star, and is given first class treatment. But no story of Sachar's would be complete without some twists and turns that turn a run of the mill story into a great page-turner. And, if you're curious, you'll discover how Armpit got his nickname.
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LibraryThing member SheilaDeeth
Take Armpit, X-Ray, a teen star and a little girl called Ginny. Add a well-meaning mayor, parents who don’t understand, other parents who do, and one who doesn’t even want to. Mix in some ticket scalpers for the teen star’s concert; plus some impossible coincidences that just have to be the
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way they are because that’s how the magic of Sachar’s stories works. And rest assured it works, beautifully, un-put-down-ably and, just like Holes, delightfully memorably too.
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LibraryThing member jacobnbensmom
This is the sequel to Holes. Armpit and X-ray are trying to get on with their lives after Camp Green Lake. Armpit works for a landscaper, is trying to do well in school and is friends with the disabled girl next door. His life almost falls apart when X-ray convinces him to scalp tickets for a Kaira
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DeLeon concert. Kaira and Armpit have a good time together until she finds out about the tickets. When Armpit foils her stepfather's plan to kill her, he becomes a hero. A fun book to read and it keeps your interest all the way.
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LibraryThing member TiffanyAK
This is a good continuation of the story of Armpit from 'Holes'. While you don't need to read 'Holes' to read this book, it would help you understand the references to Camp Green Lake and help you know about who Armpit and X-Ray are and how they know each other.

Armpit is now home from Camp Green
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Lake and trying hard to get his life back together. He has an honest job and is going to summer school in order to hopefully graduate someday. Dedicating himself to the philosophy of taking small steps towards a better future, he's doing well. But then, his old friend X-Ray shows up with a get-rich-quick scheme, and the ensuing events will launch Armpit on yet another adventure, and put him in danger of legal trouble once again.

If you liked 'Holes', then this is a good read. While I wasn't happy with the ending, I would recommend this book for young readers.
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LibraryThing member shimmer_droplet
Last we saw Armpit, he was digging holes at Camp Green Lake. Now, Armpit (nicknamed for a wasp bite on his armpit) is still digging holes, but now he's getting paid for it, working for a landscaper in his hometown of Austin, TX. Armpit (or Theodore, as he prefers to be called) is trying to
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straighten his life out after two years of juvie, while everyone is expecting the worst of him. The only person who believes in him is his feisty ten-year-old neighbor Ginny, who has cerebral palsy. He is earning honest money and going to summer school and trying to stay on the straight and narrow. His life is slowly beginning to get back on track when X-Ray, his old buddy from Camp Green Lake, shows up, with a double-your-money ticket-scalping scheme. Armpit fronts him the money, and ends up taking Ginny to the concert. An incident at the concert vaults him and Ginny into arms of teen pop star Kaira deLeon - and into more excitement that Armpit expected.

There are certain books that come together perfectly, as if the author has stumbled across the secret - and it is almost certain that, even though they will write other excellent books, they will never hit upon that secret to perfection again. Holes was one of those books, and as such, Small Steps is not. It is, however, quite a good book on its own. It is a quieter book. It lacks the excitement and magic of all the pieces coming together, of a generation-spanning curse and a rags-to-riches happy ending. But it has something possibly much better. Armpit never gets the happily ever after. What he has are the small, more realistic steps on the way to a happy life. He is realistic and world-wise, and even as Sachar keeps telling us that he has violent tendancies (what sent him to Camp Green Lake in the first place) we keep seeing his gentle side. His relationship with Ginny (especially in contrast with his relationship with Kaira) is wonderful to read, and I'd love to read a Ginny-centric book. I especially enjoyed the lack of a happily ever after ending. Armpit is not a character who would be comfortable with a fairy tale ending. Armpit is a character who wants to work his way to a succesful life on the straight and narrow, and as such, he is a character we can sincerely care about and relate to, and cheer for every step of the way.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
Fans of Holes will enjoy seeing what happened to Armpit after he leaves Camp Green Lake.
LibraryThing member LizzySiddal
Follow-up to "Holes" in which Armpit and X-Ray try to put their lives in order, not always very successfully. Doesn't quite have the edginess of its predecessor, but still a worthwhile read.
LibraryThing member CareBear36
Louis Sachar is such an amazing writer. He is so talented in switching from humorous writing to serious writing. This novel follows Armpit after his release from Camp Green Lake. I absolutely loved Holes and this was an amazing followup. Sachar did an excellent job of tying in heavy messages about
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race and people who are differently-abled in a way that is easy-to-understand for young readers.
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LibraryThing member pussreboots
Small Steps by Louis Sachar is a companion piece to Holes. Theodore is home and wants to improve himself by taking "small steps." These steps include avoiding violence and getting rid of the nickname "Armpit." His only problem — X-Ray continues to be up to no good and is trying to drag him
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Theodore's best friend is a learning disabled girl who lives next door. He wants to take her to a concert staring her favorite singer, Kaira DeLeon. X-Ray though messes things up and Theodore and his friend end up in a whole heap of trouble.

But as is so often the case in a Sachar book, trouble is always just the beginning. Bad things lead to tangents and magical moments.

It was nice to spend time again with "Armpit" and get to know him better as a strives to better himself. Although I had read Holes first, Small Steps stands alone just fine.
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LibraryThing member 15soojis
This book is about two boys name Armpit and X-ray (they are nicknames) who get involved in situation when they need strong personal empowerment. X-ray wanted to make more money by reselling the famous teenage star, Kaira DeLeon. X-ray persuaded Armpit to help him. He gets into many troubles such as
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low benefit of his money, friendship and reputation. After Kaira’s concert, everything happened to be twisted and they are involved with police, illegal ticket sellers and Kaira Deleon. Armpit is trying to resolve these problems. He wanted to be erased in the record of being sent to Camp Green lake( for punishment) and keep up with his school work that he missed, as well as live normal life.
I really like this book because it contains a lot of interesting scenes and many risky situations. I like Armpit in this book because he is striving to resolve problems with relationship with Kaira Deleon, illegal ticket selling and his school life. I was moved by the message at the very end of this book which was when everything collapsed and restart everything with Armpit’s situation. “Just take small steps. You are just slowly moving forward not backward”. After reading this last line of the book, I become to like this whole story. The pace of this book was moderate. I liked the pace because when one thing happens, shortly after they give another interesting situation.

Recommendation: 9/10
Small step is MUST!!!! You will not regret it!! Don’t give up and read utile the end!!!
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LibraryThing member ctmstogo
Small Steps, by Louis Sachar was a good book that I enjoyed reading. Although it had its good points, it also had its bad points and over all I think that this book deserves 3 ½ stars.

Small Steps is the sequel to Holes, by Louis Sachar and is about an African-American who just got out of a
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juvenile hall for getting in a fight. His nickname is Armpit. Armpit is trying very hard to get his life back on track but is almost immediately caught up in the wrong thing. His friend wants him to illegally sell tickets to a concert with him to make money. Armpit is caught with counterfeit tickets and is in big trouble. He ends up meeting and falling in love with the famous pop-singer who was singing at the concert and has to save her life.

This book had some strong points and some not so strong points to it. One thing that I enjoyed about this book was the way that the author made the main character. He is very believable and it feels like he is almost alive. It feels like you are talking to him and meeting him in real person. He is very kind and generous which really makes you want him to succeed in the various conflicts of the book.

One thing that I didn’t like about this book was the plot. It seemed to skip around a lot and never seemed to have a particular path. In addition to this, the end of the book seemed a little anti-climactic. The author tried to leave it at a cliff-hanger but I would have liked a little more information and a bigger ending. This would have made for a better lasting impression on the book.

I enjoyed this book and have read the first book in the series as well. I thought that the first book was excellent and was a little disappointed at the sequel. I rated this book 3 ½ stars.
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LibraryThing member ctmsjaaz
"Small Steps" by Louis Sachar is a great book. It's a story about a group of kids that go to a concert and have an odd experience. The book is filled with twists, mostly in the end, when it gets filled with action. When a gruesome fight leads to death. "Small Steps" is a fantastic book.





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