The holes quiz: 5 questions by Preston
Holes is sweet and charming, but it is also darker and scarier than your other books. The Warden, for example, mixes rattlesnake venom in her fingernail polish and threatens to scratch Stanley. Was it your intention to write a frightening tale? My daughter, Sherre, who was in 4th grade when Holes came out, surprised me when she told me that the Warden was scary. I had never really thought of the Warden as scary or that the scene as especially disturbing. Rattlesnake venom, well, it's almost cartoonish.
We get the shivers just thinking about the Warden. This scary lady is a descendent of Trout and Linda Walker, the original owners of Green Lake, and just like them, she's greedy, selfish, and has a one-track mind. The Warden, of course, is the villain of the story. She's the one who calls the shots at Camp Green Lake, the one whose cruelty sets the tone for the camp's horrible treatment of the boys. As Mr. Pendanski tells Stanley early on, "The person you've got to worry about is the Warden. What's so scary about the Warden?