Small Steps - Louis Sachar

Small Steps is a sequel to Sachar's award-winning, made-into-a-Disney-movie kids' book Holes (which for some unknown reason I don't have reviewed on this site). Armpit and X-Ray, two of the boys from Camp Green Lake, live in Austin, Texas. Armpit is trying to take "small steps"—little goals that will keep him out of trouble and set him on a better path. X-Ray, meanwhile, is interested in a get-rich-quick scheme involving concert tickets for Kaira DeLeon, an up-and-coming pop sensation.

It's not a bad story, but it's not Holes. It's not simply capitalizing on the success of Holes the way Stanley Yelnats's Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake is, but it's also set much more in the real world. Holes had a sort of otherworldly quality to it, a bit of fable and a bit of legend, and just a touch of the fantastic; Small Steps, on the other hand, is about Austin, prejudice and stereotypes, ticket scalping, and embezzlement. Of course, there's action and romance and intrigue which most of us don't live in our day-to-day lives, but there's nothing like the poisonous yellow spotted lizards.

Also, Kaira DeLeon's song lyrics are a bit weak. I suppose compared to many of today's teen pop lyrics, they're probably all right, but since there's no catchy tune to sing along, they fall flat. The characters, particularly Armpit and X-Ray, are interesting and it's fun to follow the story of some minor characters from Holes, but I think the book might have benefited from standing on its own rather than trying to be a sequel.

Fed to jonathan's brain | April 06, 2006 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Remember Me?