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Descriptions du produit


A rusted Honda Civic drove noisily down the street and parked across from the mayor’s house. Armpit had finished digging his trench and was attaching PVC pipe. The mayor had gone back inside.

The driver-side door had been bashed in, and it would have cost more to fix than the car was worth. The driver had to work his way over the stick shift and then exit on the passenger side.

The personalized license plate read: X RAY.

“Armpit!” X-Ray shouted as he crossed the street. “Armpit!”

The guys at work didn’t know him by that name, but if he didn’t say something X-Ray would just keep on shouting. Better to answer and shut him up.

“Hey,” he called back.

“Man, you’re really sweating,” X-Ray said as he came near.

“Yeah, well, you’d sweat too if you were digging.”

“I’ve already dug enough dirt to last one lifetime,” said X-Ray.

They had met each other at Camp Green Lake.

“Look, don’t call me Armpit around other people, all right?” Armpit said.

“But that’s your name, dawg. You should never be ashamed of who you are.”

X-Ray had the kind of smile that kept you from hating him no matter how annoying he was. He was skinny and wore glasses, which were now covered with clip-on shades.

He picked up Armpit’s shovel. “Different shape.”

“Yeah, it’s for digging trenches, not holes.”

X-Ray studied it awhile. “Seems like it would be harder to dig with. No leverage.” He let it drop. “So you must be making a ton of money.”

Armpit shrugged. “I’m doing all right.”

“A ton of money,” X-Ray repeated.

Armpit felt uncomfortable talking about money with X-Ray.

“So really, how much you got saved up so far?”

“I don’t know. Not that much.”

He knew exactly how much he had. Eight hundred and fifty-seven dollars. He hoped to break a thousand with his next paycheck.

“Got to be at least a thousand,” said X-Ray. “You’ve been working for three months.”

“Just part-time.”

Besides working, Armpit was also taking two classes in summer school. He had to make up for all the schooling he’d missed while at Green Lake.

“And they take out for taxes and stuff, so really I don’t take home all that much.”

“Eight hundred?”

“I don’t know, maybe.”

“The reason I’m asking,” X-Ray said, “the reason I’m asking is I got a business proposition for you. How would you like to double your money in less than two weeks?”

Armpit smiled as he shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

“I just need six hundred dollars. Double your money, guaranteed. And I won’t be taking out any taxes.”

“Look, things are going all right for me right now, and I just want to keep it all cool.”

“Don’t you even want to hear me out?”

“Not really.”

“It’s not against the law,” X-Ray assured him. “I checked.”

“Yeah, you didn’t think selling little bags of parsley for fifty dollars an ounce was against the law either.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault what people think they’re buying. How is that my fault? Am I supposed to be a mind reader?”

X-Ray had been sent to Camp Green Lake for selling bags of dried parsley and oregano to customers who thought they were buying marijuana. That was also why his family had to move from Lubbock to Austin shortly after he was released.

“Look, I just don’t want to do anything that might screw things up,” Armpit said.

“That’s what you think? That I came here to screw things up? Man, I’m offering you an opportunity. An opportunity. If the Wright brothers came to you, you would have told them it’s impossible to fly.”

“The Wright brothers?” asked Armpit. “What century are you living in?”

“I just don’t get it,” said X-Ray. “I don’t get it. I offer my best friend an opportunity to double his money, and he won’t even listen to my idea.”

“All right, tell me your idea.”

“Forget it. If you’re not interested I’ll find somebody else.”

“Tell me your idea.” He actually was beginning to get just a little bit curious.

“What’s the point?” asked X-Ray. “If you’re not going to even listen . . .”

“All right, I’m listening,” said Armpit.

X-Ray smiled. “Just two words.” He paused for effect. “Kaira DeLeon.”

It was eleven-thirty in Austin, but it was an hour later in Atlanta, where Kaira DeLeon, a seventeen-year-old African American girl, was just waking up. Her face pressed against Pillow, which was, in fact, a pillow. There wasn’t much oomph left in the stuffing, and the edges were frayed. The picture of the bear with a balloon, which had once been brightly colored, had faded so much it was hardly visible.

Kaira groggily climbed out of bed. She wore boxer shorts and was unbuttoning her pajama top as she made her way to what she thought was the bathroom. She opened the door, then shrieked. A thirty-year-old white guy, sitting on a couch, stared back at her. She clutched the two halves of her pajama top together and slammed the door.

The door bounced back open.

“Doofus!” Kaira shouted at the man, then closed the door again, making sure it latched this time. “Can’t a person have some privacy around here!” she screamed, then made her way to the bathroom, which was on the opposite side of her bed.

Over the last three and a half weeks she’d been in nineteen different hotel suites, each with no fewer than three rooms, and one with six. So really, it was no wonder she went through the wrong door. She didn’t even remember what city she was in.

She suspected that Polly, her psychiatrist, would tell her she had done that on purpose; something about wanting to show her body to her bodyguard. Maybe she was better off not telling Polly about it. Everything she said in her therapy sessions was supposed to be confidential, but Kaira suspected that Polly, like a parrot, repeated everything to El Genius.

She had no privacy–not in her hotel room, not even in her own thoughts.

The problem was that, except for Polly, there wasn’t anybody on the tour she could talk to. Certainly not her mother. And not her doofus bodyguard. The guys in her band were all at least forty years old, and treated her like she was a snot-nosed little kid. The backup singers were in their late twenties, but they seemed to resent her being the center of attention.

The only time she felt at peace was when she was singing. Then it was just her and the song and everybody else just disappeared.

Her concert tour would take her to a total of fifty-four cities, so she wasn’t even half done yet. She was now on the southern swing. From Atlanta they’d be going to Jacksonville, then Miami, Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, Little Rock, and Baton Rouge, and on to Texas: Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Originally the tour was supposed to include San Antonio instead of Austin, but that was changed at the last minute due to a monster truck rally at the Alamodome–not that Kaira cared, or even knew about the change.

Other people took care of things like that. Other people took care of everything. Kaira had accidentally left Pillow behind in New Haven, and Aileen, the tour’s travel coordinator, took a flight back to Connecticut and personally searched the hotel laundry until she found it.

_ _ _

Kaira emerged from the bathroom thirty minutes later wearing a hotel robe. She called room service and ordered a glass of orange juice, pancakes, a cappuccino, and French fries. It would have to last her until the concert. If she tried to eat before the concert she’d puke. After a concert she usually had a bowl of ice cream.

She got dressed, then stepped back out to the sitting area. Fred, her doofus bodyguard, was still there, going through her mail.

“As soon as I turn eighteen, you’re going to be the second person I fire.”

Fred didn’t even look up. It wasn’t the first time he’d heard it.

The television was on CNN. Kaira changed the station to the Cartoon Network.

The first person she’d fire would be El Genius. He was her business manager and agent, and also happened to be married to her mother. They had gotten married shortly before the tour. His real name was Jerome Paisley, but he actually wanted people to call him El Genius. No matter how hard Kaira tried to sound sarcastic when she used that name, he always took it as a compliment.

Her father had been killed in Iraq. His name was John Spears. Kaira’s real name was Kathy Spears, but there was already a famous singer with that last name.

El Genius had come up with the name Kaira DeLeon.

“You mean like Ponce de León?” Kaira had asked him.


Some genius.

Kaira explained to the genius who Ponce de León was, which was why her first CD was titled The Fountain of Youth El Genius thought it looked classy for DeLeon to be spelled as one word, with a capital letter in the middle.

Kaira had learned all about Ponce de León when she was in fourth grade and living at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. She had to learn the history of Florida. By year’s end she was living at Fort Myer, where they’d been studying the history of Virginia all year. She had never spent an entire school year in the same place.

“So, anything from Billy Boy?” she asked Fred.

Fred shook his head.

“Aw, too bad,” Kaira said. “He writes such charming letters.”

“It’s not funny,” said Fred.

“I think it’s hilarious,” said Kaira. She sang, “Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?

Billy Boy had sent her four letters so far. He told her he thought she was lovely, she sang like a bird, and someday he would kill her.

El Genius hired Fred after the first letter. Kaira wouldn’t have been surprised if El Genius had actually written the letters, to scare her into staying confined to her hotel room. He was such a control freak. She was sure Fred told him everything she did.

“You got another marriage proposal,” Fred said.

“White or black?”

A photograph had been sent with he letter. Fred looked at it. “White,” he said.

“What is it with you guys?” asked Kaira.

It was her seventh proposal, and every one had been from a white man.

Fred carefully put the letter and the photograph in a plastic bag.

“What are you doing that for?”


“He said he wanted to marry me, not kill me,” Kaira pointed out.

“For some people, it’s the same thing,” said Fred.

Kaira glanced at him, surprised. The Doofus had actually said something kind of profound.

“Let me see what he looks like?”

Fred handed her the plastic bag.

Kaira laughed when she saw the picture. “He looks like you!” The photograph was that of a very muscular man wearing no shirt. The only difference between him and Fred was that his hair was long and wavy, while Fred had a buzz cut.

“You ought to grow your hair out,” Kaira told him as she handed the plastic bag back to him.

Seven marriage proposals, and she’d never had a boyfriend.

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"Louis Sachar is magic to the toughest circle of critics: librarians, children’s booksellers, teachers – and, most of all, kids."
USA Today

"Sachar’s touch is as deft as ever and the book is a page-turner."
Detroit Free-Press

"Mr. Sachar's gentle but surefire approach nails down challenging issues such as racism, teen romance and drugs."
Dallas Morning News

"Sachar has a talent for creating realistic relationships between unlikely friends. Although that's a staple device of children's literature, it often works by drawing on clichés. Sachar's characters, though, are never stereotypes, but always vividly alive."
Los Angeles Times

His prose is clear and relaxed, and funny in a low-key, observant way."
New York Times

"Part of what makes Small Steps so believable and appealing is that its characters do have insecurities, and they aren’t ashamed to let them show."

"Sachar is a master storyteller who creates memorable characters."
School Library Journal

"Cleverly wrought…heartwarming, witty and suspenseful."
Time Out New York Kids

Praise for Louis Sachar’s Holes:

"A dazzling blend of social commentary, tall tale and magic realism."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A brilliant achievement."
–School Library Journal

"A smart jigsaw puzzle of a novel."
The New York Times

"Imaginative plotting and memorable characters make this novel a winner."
Book Magazine

From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • CD: 5 pages
  • Editeur : Listening Library (Audio); Édition : Unabridged (10 janvier 2006)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0307282236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307282231
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,1 x 2,9 x 14,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 992.565 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par TeensReadToo le 31 août 2011
Format: Broché
Remember Armpit, from HOLES? It's been two years since he was released from Camp Green Lake Juvenile Correctional Facility, and ever since, he's been trying to stay clean. In order to stay clean, he's established for himself five small steps:

1. Graduate from high school.
2. Get a job.
3. Save his money.
4. Avoid situations that might turn violent.
5. Lose the name Armpit.

(By the way, this is not a sequel to HOLES; you don't need to read HOLES to enjoy this book.)

At first, everything goes smoothly, but, slowly, every single one of those steps will be challenged.

For the past year, Armpit has been working for a landscaping and irrigation company, and he has saved almost a thousand dollars. But one day, his friend from camp, X-Ray, tells him that he has the perfect plan to double his money. Rock singer Kaira DeLeon is going on tour, and her next stop is their own town. X-Ray's plan is to buy twelve tickets and resell them for double the money. But since X-Ray doesn't have any money, he asks Armpit for all his savings. Armpit is not sure that this plan is such a great idea, but he doesn't want to let his friend down. So after giving it a lot of thought, he decides to do it.

When I read that I went: What? Is he stupid or what? Of course he's never going to see his money again! Or is he?

Well, unfortunately that's all I can tell you. Oh, wait! There is something else I can tell you -- somehow, Armpit and his 10-year-old neighbor, who suffers cerebral paralysis, get to meet rock star Kaira DeLeon. But you'll have to read the book to learn how that neat twist unfolds.

To me, SMALL STEPS was like a good meal that left me completely satisfied. The story kept surprising me with its unexpected turns.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par D Garofano le 2 août 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
After having read Holes by Louis Sachar we (my 10 year old son and I) were keen to read another tale featuring one of the inmates of camp greenlake. Max and I usually enjoy the book together, me reading and him relaxing. Having 'fallen out' because I'm such an evil mother for not buying him a new pair of Nike trainers, my lazy pre-pre-teen is now reading the book independantly so I miss out! I think I can live with that!!!
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Amazon.com: 228 commentaires
42 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Major Departure, but a FANTASTIC book. 15 mars 2006
Par Blake Petit - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book, the follow-up to Sachar's blockbuster Holes, is a major departure from the first novel. It's not exactly a sequel, but rather a new story about two of the minor characters from the earlier book. (Folks holping to find out what happened to Stanley or Zero will be disappointed -- they're not even mentioned in this book, except for Armpit referencing that "Sploosh" was invented by the father of someone he was at Camp Green Lake with). Set two years after the earlier novel, Armpit is now trying to graduate from High School, working and staying on the straight and narrow. Until his old buddy X-Ray shows up with a way to make him some real money... just some old-fashioned ticket scalping.

Like I said, this is VERY different from Holes. That book was part mystery, part generational novel, even part western. This is more of a straightforward story -- no mystery, a hint of crime drama. While Holes dealt with some heavy issues, such as race relations and juvenile detention, this book goes even further, dealing with drug issues, cerebral palsy and even (briefly) sex. None of this is intended as a criticism, but it is important that parents getting this book for their children realize how much more mature this book is than the earlier novel.

That said, this is a really strong book. Armpit and X-Ray were mostly placeholder characters in the first book. Here they're fleshed out very well and joined by other strong characters. You find out why they were in jail in the first place (and unlike Stanley in the first book, they were not falsely accused), and you see that good people can do stupid things sometimes. The ending is more bittersweet than Holes as well, but it leaves you with a real sense of hope at the same time.

It's hard to believe this is the same Louis Sachar who once gave us Sideways Stories From Wayside School, and while at times he tries a little too hard to be "relevant," he's really emerging as a strong, intelligent writer, one who gives young readers a lot more to think about than most writers out there. I'll be anxious to see what he gives us next.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
surprisingly well-done 7 mai 2006
Par sarah voss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
a couple of years ago, i read a book whose plot involved the protagonist going underground and finding a colony of humans living with giant insects. it sounded really stupid, but i was at camp with nothing to read, and when i did read the book, i found it surprisingly plausible. and that's the mark of a good author - an author who can make you believe anything.

i was equally dubious with Small Steps. I mean, boy goes to concert, meets rockstar, they get romatically involved, and he ends up saving her life? please. but it all made sense. not only that, it was moving, and showed some really good character developement. my favorite character was Ginny, Armpit's neighbor who has cerebral palsey. she's younger than Armpit, about nine or ten i guess, and they have some very cute conversations. and kaira was just the right mixture of rather spoiled star and sympathetic character.

the book is a lot deeper than holes, and it doesn't have holes' winning random wierdness. it's more of a book for kids to relate to, rather than just laugh at - which is not to say that Small Steps doesn't have plenty of humour:

"You should be a lawyer," said Ginny.
"A lawyer," said X-ray as he mulled it over. "Now you're talkin'. I'm good at the art of verbal persuasion."
"Otherwise known as BS," said Armpit.(p.252)

The point is, the only thing in common between Holes and its sequal is two characters, and that they're both really great books. Small Steps stands alone, as a great YA novel.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This book is amazing 26 février 2006
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Reader's Workshop Paragraph-Michael Brailovsky

Small Steps by Louis Sachar, author of Holes is a book about a boy named Armpit. Armpit was one of the campers from Camp Green Lake, the camp in which Stanley Yelnats, from Holes went for stealing a pair of shoes. Armpit, the main character in this book was one of Stanley's roommates at the camp, and is now back at home and working for a landscaping company.

One day, his friend X-Ray from Camp Green Lake, drives up to him and asks him if he would like to make some money by buying tickets to a concert for sixty dollars and then trying to sell them for almost three times as much. Armpit agrees, but already regrets his choice, when he had almost made one thousand dollars in two months. Armpit accidentally meets Kaira DeLeon, the singer to whose concert they purchased tickets to, and falls in love with her. As they spend time together, Armpit makes the wrong choices over and over again.

I think this is a great leisure book for teens ages 12- 15 because the book is about subjects that teens are interested in and have no trouble understanding. The story is very attractive because there is always something exciting going on and every chapter that you finish, leaves on a cliffhanger. I would compare this book to Holes by Louis Sachar because in the way that it is written in, it describes every element of the story very well. Go read it!
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Great Story About Learning Life's Lessons 1 février 2006
Par KidsReads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It's no exaggeration to say that SMALL STEPS is one of the most eagerly awaited sequels in recent memory. It's taken Louis Sachar eight years to follow up his Newbery Award-winning novel HOLES, which was also made into a popular feature film. To call SMALL STEPS a sequel, though, is not entirely true; instead, the book is more of a companion to Sachar's earlier novel, following some of the same characters but written in a fundamentally different style.

Theodore "Armpit" Johnson is back in the real world after finally being released from Camp Green Lake, the horrific juvenile detention center that was the setting for HOLES. Living in Austin, Texas, Armpit is determined to finish school while using his shoveling skills in a good job for a landscaping firm. He's learning a lot, saving some money, and taking small steps toward becoming a respected member of society again.

Armpit's life is going pretty smoothly until X-Ray, another former Green Lake detainee, comes on the scene with a get-rich-quick scheme. Pop singer Kaira DeLeon is coming to town, and her show is sure to sell out. X-Ray's plan is to buy twelve tickets and resell them to the highest bidders. He needs Armpit's help (and his bank account) to buy the tickets, and he promises to share the wealth with Armpit.

Not surprisingly, the plan backfires on all cylinders, as Armpit learns lessons about economics, ethics and the law. About the only good thing that comes out of the plan is that Armpit and his young neighbor Ginny (who has cerebral palsy) actually get to meet Kaira DeLeon. Armpit and Kaira have instant chemistry --- Armpit is attracted to Kaira's beauty and intelligence, and Kaira is pleasantly surprised that Armpit likes her for herself. But will Kaira feel the same when she finds out about Armpit's ticket scalping fiasco?

Readers who are expecting SMALL STEPS to contain more of the story of Stanley Yelnats and Zero, the protagonists of HOLES, may be disappointed. Those who are anticipating the tall-tale, almost mythic quality of HOLES's storytelling may also take some time to adjust to the more straightforward, traditional storyline of SMALL STEPS.

Nevertheless, Sachar does manage to elicit sympathy and interest in two of HOLES's more minor characters with this follow-up tale. The story, particularly the doomed ticket-scalping plot, is also well constructed, even though the final violent scenes involving Kaira's unscrupulous manager/stepfather are somewhat over the top. Sachar does include plenty of humor and even some subtle commentary about race and class (both Armpit and Kaira are African American). In short, readers will enjoy SMALL STEPS if they are able to view it as a novel in its own right, and not as a repeat performance of Sachar's beloved HOLES.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
36 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Kevin J. Loria - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Louis Sachar the award-winning author of over twenty fiction and educational books for children including the Marvin Redpost and Wayside School series. Holes, won the prestigious National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, sold 6 million copies, and was successfully translated to film. Now we finally learn what life is like AFTER CAMP GREEN LAKE. "Small Steps" is a follow-up to Holes, it features ARMPIT aka Theodore Johnson, still digging holes, but now as a landscaper, trying to finish up high school. Armpit's new life is turned upside when X-Ray shows up with a ticket scalping scheme involving teen pop star, Kaira DeLeon. Armpit, who has been trying to take his own "small steps" to the straight and narrow, finds himself once again running afoul of the law.

Eight years after Sachar's breakout hit with Holes, he needs to take big steps to fill "sweet-feet's" proverbal shoes. Does Sachar manage it? Yes, mostly, "Small Steps" is a good book, but not a great one. Sachar's voice is just as clear, and the situations are more realistic. He is most successful with relationships, like Armpit and Ginny a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose family lives on the other side of his family's East Austin duplex. The publisher should have resisted the temptation to call "Small Steps" a "companion to Holes" to reduce heavy expectations... especially since the obvious follow-up would be the story of Stanley, Zero and their newfound millions, instead of focusing on one of Camp Green Lake's less appealing characters.

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