It really is a remarkable book, for a children's book. It takes place in multiple time periods and has interesting, well-drawn characters. It is a good fable. For children, it has literary merit.
The novel is well constructed and its main character, Stanley, is clearly a character with dimension. The novel follows a series of carefully constructed clues to allow the solution of the Yelnats' lives and history to be revealed. The story deals with different time periods and cultures. I think it will stand the test of time as a book for children.
There are many things in this book that give it value to teachers, but I doubt it will ever make the "classics" list. It's a great read, it deals with issues relevant to youth today, and it's always fun to see the bad guy get his poetic justice.
The book is definitely an interesting read, it appeals to students because the story is so engaging. I do think that it has literary merit, there are valuable lessons in the story.
Like a good folk tale or legend, the story keeps the two story lines closely linked and provides an interesting path to discovering how the two settings come together. Like an entertaining fairytale, it has a happy ending.
"The first of these is the emotional reality of the book—its institutional setting, the sense of injustice, the importance of peers, and so on."
"This dramatic intensity is balanced by the final element critics single out for attention in Sacher’s work: its sense of humor. From the boys’ nicknames to the jokes that they and the Yelnats family tell throughout the novel, humor is praised as a welcome and effective relief."
This is a good novel to study with younger students in order to introduce them to writer's craft. The language is simple and the parallel plotlines are easy to follow. Along with this, it is an entertaining read that appeals to both girls and boys even though the plot centres mainly around a correctional facility for boys. The main female characters are strong and independent.
It is a great novel to study to look at the differences between American and British English. This is a good 'spin-off' project.
There are plenty of themes that are relevant and interesting to younger pupils. It is a novel that allows for plenty of discussion and debate.