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Kids' Q&A

Louis Sachar

Describe your latest project.
Although Small Steps tells the story of Armpit (Theodore Johnson) a character from Holes, it is not really a sequel to Holes and the reader certainly doesn't need to have read Holes first. The story takes place two years after Armpit returned home from Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility, and as an African-American with a criminal record, he has come home to a world where everyone expects the worst from him. The only person who believes in him is his ten-year-old neighbor, a white girl with cerebral palsy. Armpit is trying to turn his life around by just taking small steps. 1. Graduate high school. 2. Get a job. 3. Save his money 4. Avoid situations that might turn violent. 5. Lose the name Armpit.

He seems to be on the right track until his friend, X-Ray, talks him into putting all his money into a ticket-scalping scheme for a Kaira DeLeon rock concert. Things spin out of control until Armpit and Kaira find themselves in a very dangerous situation.

  1. Small Steps
    $4.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    Small Steps

    Louis Sachar

  2. Holes
    $4.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist


    Louis Sachar

What is your favorite family story?
Stone Soup.

If you could choose any story to live in, which story would it be?
Harry Potter, but I'd want to be a wizard, not a muggle.

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
I was browsing in a bookstore, when I happened to pick up The Task of This Translator by Todd Hasak-Lowy. Something about his writing style instantly grabbed me. This is very rare for me. Ninety percent of the times I walk into a bookstore I walk out empty-handed. The other great book I found this way was The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro.

What was your favorite story as a child?
Charlotte's Web. My fourth grade teacher read us a chapter every day after lunch, which surprised me at the time because a teacher hadn't read aloud to us since kindergarten or maybe first grade. I remember very little about fourth grade except that the teacher read us that book, which I think goes to show the importance of reading aloud to students. That memory has stuck with me for over forty years.

What do you do for relaxation?
I'm an avid bridge player. You can find me almost every day at the Bridge Center of Austin.

What is your idea of bliss?
I like to ski; although living in Texas, I don't get to do it very often. My family usually goes to Utah or Colorado for a week during the early spring. I love the feeling of standing atop a ski slope, looking down at the run, just before I take off.

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Yom Kippur. It is the holiest of all the Jewish holidays. I'm not a religious person, but the holiday causes me to reflect upon my life over the previous year. It is a time for asking forgiveness from anyone you might have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, and for forgiving others. It seems to cleanse the soul of feelings of ill will. spacer

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