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Home > Reading Comprehension > Holes 2 (ch. 2 and 3)

Literature-based Skill Building:
Holes by Louis Sachar

Chapters Two and Three

Learning Log (optional)


A theme is "a subject or topic of discourse or artistic representation" (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth ed.); in other words, a theme is a big idea worth thinking and talking about.

In Holes, one theme is something called perseverance. Perseverance means continuing to try, even though what you're trying is hard, things get in the way, or it's discouraging, or all three.

It takes perseverance to run a marathon -- not just the day you run in it, but all those days before that when you are running to get ready. Lots of people say they're going to run in a marathon but never end up even at the starting line.

Thomas Edison is famous for his perseverance. He had to try thousands of different things before he found one that worked. One of his most famous quotes is

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Accordingly, a 'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework."

Notice that he puts "genius" in quotes, because it's what you're calling someone (whether really a genius or not).


1. For the picture below, describe how the person needed to have perseverance to do what he or she is doing.

2. In one of Aesop's Fables, _The Tortoise and the Hare_, how does perseverance help the winner of that race?

(You can find a short version of the story at:

and a rhyming, fun-to-read-aloud version at: that has a printable version, too.)


3. How do you know Stanley's father has perseverance?



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