Hole in My Life
Jack Gantos writes
about his high school years and how he wants to be a writer. He keeps a log of ideas. He moves to St. Croix with his family during his junior
year in high school and works instead of going to school. He builds shipping crates for those shipping goods and household
items back to the United States when an uprising begins. Gantos
ends up working with a drug dealer because he is promised $10,000 that he thinks will help him go to college. A drug bust
and misunderstandings send him to prison. He intends to do well so that he can leave prison sooner than the court expects.
He works as an X-ray technician in the prison and keeps out of the lime light of the disturbances in the prison. He eventually
has help applying for parole. Gantos is told he can only be paroled if he has a job, a place to stay, and an acceptance into
a college program. Jack obtains all of this and is released from prison. He has written other books for children.
book is very entertaining. Although he is in a tough situation, he chooses to make the best of it. He realizes that he made
the biggest mistake of his life and will have to work on his dream later. He gives the reader hope that even though you make
a mistake, with determination you can turn your life around and make the best of the situation. He makes the reader realize
that you should never give up on your dream. Gantos records in a makeshift journal in a prison book in the space between the
lines hoping that he can one day use it. He is forced to leave the book behind when he leaves prison, but lets the reader
know that what he has written will remain a part of him.
One book reviewer
writes, “Gantos manages to write in a way that dismisses the dubious "romance" of prison, drugs, and "life on the edge"
without ever sounding didactic or heavy-handed. Older teens will appreciate his candor and sheer willingness to give them
the straight story. Vigorously recommended” (amazon.com).
states, “Knowing that the narrator is destined to land in jail keeps suspense at a high pitch, but this book's remarkable
achievement is the multiple points of view that emerge, as experiences force a fledgling writer to continually revise his
perspective of himself and the world around him. The book requires a commitment, as it rambles a bit at times, but it provides
much food for thought and fuel for debate. It will leave readers emotionally exhausted and a little wiser” (amazon.com).
A student reader comments, “"You learn a lot of lessons that inspire you to head down the right
path in life . . . Excellent" (http://www.greenwichschools.org/ems/bookclub/aagantos/).
Gantos, Jack. 2002. A Hole in My Life. New York:
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Amazon.com Book Reviews. http://www.amazon.com. Accessed 29, July 2005.
Greenwich Schools Book Club. http://www.greenwichschools.org/ems/bookclub/aagantos. Accessed 29 July, 2005.