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Camp Green Lake is neither a camp or a lake. Juveniles dig holes each day in the lake bed that has been dry for over one-hundred years. After getting falsely accused of stealing sneakers, teenager Stanley Yelnats (whose namesake is the same spelled forwards and backwards), goes to this boot camp for bad boys.

Stanley finds more than punishment at Camp Green Lake. He makes friends with a boy named Zero and together they discover secrets from the past of the lake and mysteries of their own family histories.

If you like a good adventure where the story is a puzzle which you as the reader piece together, then give this book a try–whether you are an adult or a reader in the middle grades.


As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.