|ABOUT THE BOOK
Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of
bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a
miscarriage of justice sends him to a boy's
juvenile detention center., Camp Green Lake.
There is no lake, it has been dry for over a
hundred years, and it's hardly a camp: as
punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day,
five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard
earth of the dried-up lake bed. The warden claims
that this pointless behavior builds character,
but that's a lie. Stanley must try to dig up the
The camp is located in a barren region
of Texas, one hundred miles from the nearest
water source. Water is brought in by truck.
Explain why the camp has no fences or guards. Is
there a way the boys might escape? Describe the
desert in a five senses poem: Color, tastes
sights, sounds, smells, feelings.
The boys in the camp have nicknames:
X-Ray, Armpit, Zero, Caveman, Squid, Magnet and
Zig-Zag. Make a list of one of the following:
a) the parts of a car
b) parts of a television
c) pieces of clothing.
Describe one of the boys by using the parts you
Example: Caveman tries to steer an even course,
with engine idling most of the time. His hood of
protection is the window he refuses to open. He
fears the consequences should he touch the
accelerator of road rage.
List as many fictional and real evil
women as you can. Choose five you feel are the
most evil. Read the incident with the warden on
pp 89-91. Add her to your list and rank order
from the most to the least evil.
The desert setting has its dangers:
scorpions, rattlesnakes and worst of all, the
yellow-spotted lizard. As Stanley says, "You
don't want to be bitten by a yellow-spotted
lizard.That's the worst thing that can happen to
you. You will die a slow and painful death."
Read pp 205-206 where Stanley and Zero who have
tried to escape are caught in a hole with dozens
of yellow spotted lizards. Predict how the author
will get them out of this fix.
All of these feelings are experienced by
the characters: loneliness, injustice, anger,
fear, compassion, courage
Choose one and answer these questions as if the
feeling were a person:
1. I am________
2. I dress in_______
3. I need ________
4. I am related to_____
5. I vacation____
6. My job is____
7. I desire_______
Use your answers in a poem.
See the example: Stanley's Lament
I am loneliness
The dark of night is my cloak
I vacation in the arms of solitude
Sadness and depression are the cousins I would
At a welcoming smile.