Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats has lived a life full of bad luck and it's all because of his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather." Now his bad luck has reached an all-time low. After being wrongly accused of stealing a pair of sneaker belonging to baseball legend Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston, Stanley is shipped off to Camp Green Lake.
At first the thought of Camp Green Lake didn't scare Stanley in the slightest. How bad could a summer camp be? It was when he began to approach the camp did Stanley realize the truth. There was no lake and nothing here was even slightly green. Every day Stanley had to carry out his sentence by digging a hole. The hole must be five feet deep and five feet wide on both sides. If the burning desert sun or the digging itself didn't kill him, Stanley was certain the rumored deadly yellow spotted lizards would finish him off.
Stanley becomes friends with his fellow prisoners, all of whom go by nicknames like Zero, Armpit, and X-Ray and soon he is known as Caveman. Every day they dig their holes in hopes of discovering something that might interest the Warden and result in the rest of the day off. When Stanley discovers a fossilized fish in one of his holes and gets no reward for it, Stanley begins to wonder just what the Warden is looking for.
As far as dark comedies go, Holes is top-notch. Intertwining the history of Green Lake, Stanley's relatives, and the horrible truth behind the Warden's ulterior motives of the camp, Sachar creates a story of self-realization, friendship, and coincidences destined to be a favorite for years to come.