Holes, written by Louis Sachar, is a story about a boy named Stanley Yelnats (spelled the same forward and backward), who is mistakenly arrested for a crime he didn't commit. He is sent to a correctional "camp" where he, along with many other boys his age, must dig holes in the horrid Texas heat. It is at this camp where Stanley makes friends, learns discipline, and discovers one of the biggest secrets kept silent for generations.
This is a great book because it focuses on Stanley's character development and how he learns to overcome bad luck to succeed. It has memorable characters, plenty of mystery, adventure, and yellow-spotted lizards!