Read Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos Online


From the Newbery Award–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt, this is a memoir about becoming a writer the hard way. A Printz Honor and Sibert Honor book.In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loFrom the Newbery Award–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt, this is a memoir about becoming a writer the hard way. A Printz Honor and Sibert Honor book.In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.In Hole in My Life, this prizewinning author of over thirty books for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one crazed moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a criminal, and his time in prison.But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos—once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell—moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how dedicating himself more fully to the thing he most wanted to do helped him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life.This title has Common Core connections.Jack Gantos is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. His book The Trouble in Me is an autobiographical novel about a fourteen-year-old Jack Gantos, and his book Dead End in Novelt won the Newbery Medal, the Scott O'Dell Award for historical fiction.Praise for Hole in My Life:“A memoir, by turns harrowing and hilarious, about a huge mistake.” —Miami Herald“His account is remarkably free of both self-pity and self-censorship. . . . This is a tale of courage and redemption, proving that a bad start in life does not have to lead to a bad life story.” —The New York Times Book Review“Gantos really is Everyman, but an Everyman who has landed himself into a deeper pit than most. What separates Gantos is the determination that took him out of his dreams and into a successful life as a writer. Those writerly skills are in full evidence here, in this thoughtful and provocative memoir as valuable to those who have never heard of Gantos as to those who have read all of his books.” —Hyde Park Review of Books“The ultimate cautionary tale.” —Smithsonian“This true tale of the worst year in the author's life will be a big surprise for his many fans. . . .This is a story of mistakes, dues, redemption, and finally success at what he always wanted to do: write books.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred ReviewAwards for Hole in My Life:School Library Best Books of the YearBooks for the Teen Age, New York Public LibraryBank Street Best Children's Book of the YearMichael L. Printz Award - HonorALA Best Books for Young AdultsNYPL Books for the Teen AgeALA Popular Paperbacks for Young AdultsAmerican Library Association Best Books for Young AdultsBulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon AwardMassachusetts Children's Book AwardAmerican Library Association Notable Children's BooksHorn Book Magazine Fanfare ListAmerican Library Association Popular Paperbacks for Young ReadersParents' Choice Award WinnerRobert F. Sibert Award - HonorSchool Library Journal Best Books of the YearALA Notable Children's BooksBooklist Editors' Choice...

Title : Hole in My Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312641573
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hole in My Life Reviews

  • Joe
    2018-11-04 10:29

    Dear James Frey,This, my good man, is how you write a harrowing memoir about an endless string of bad decisions involving drugs that results in time spent in the pokey.Kisses and cuddles,Joe

  • Sara
    2018-11-06 14:29

    This book isn't as well-known as it should be. For one thing, most children's book authors don't admit to a criminal past. But Jack Gantos had the guts to do so, and it's a great story. Honest without being brutal, and always with that Gantos edge of detail and humor, I can close my eyes and still remember when I first encountered this book. I was impressed then, and I still am.

  • James
    2018-10-28 16:29

    You always hear tragic tales that involve drugs and you never think it could apply to you. Why would it? You're a decent person that knows right from wrong, it can't happen to you. When we are young, we all believe we are invincible, some of us still do.Jack Gantos recounts his struggle starting as a young high school student aspiring to become a writer. He has plans for college so he can become a better writer but feels he has nothing to write about. Through his search for inspiration and lack of common sense he goes from naive teenager, casual pot user, drug trafficker, inmate to someone who is aware of his place in the world and is grateful for it.An interesting read that shows how good people can easily get mixed up in the drugs and into prison. Gantos narrates his story in a casual, reflective tone amusing himself about the stupidity of his teenage years and how if it wasn't for him ending up in prison he would never be the writer he is today. Take something out of the mistakes you make in life, learn and grow from them and don't let those mistakes define who you can be.

  • Patricia
    2018-11-14 15:30

    This young adult autobiography is a candid account of a young man whose aspirations to become a writer would not be fulfilled before he made some bad decisions and suffered the consequences. While I think the book was well written and not an apology for his mistakes, I would not recommend hole in my life for the middle school students I teach. Gantos’ experiences with drugs, smuggling, and self-doubt are more appropriate for young adults. The quote from Oscar Wilde sums up why this IS a good biography for young adults to read, but is not good for sixth graders. “I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.” With a subtle sense of humor and self-effacing comments, Gantos tells his story of vulnerability: a story that too many young adults will relate to as the temptations and distractions of our society lead them into the middle of trouble. Without enough direction and self-confidence young people are tempted to drift into seemingly harmless activities like pot-smoking, drug-using, and unintentional drug-smuggling and dealing. Gantos had the mind for writing, but like many did not have the drive and confidence he needed. So, he allowed himself to drift, trusting those he met who would take advantage of him, drinking and smoking to escape. However, he couldn’t escape forever. And he told of his arrest and subsequent incarceration in a pragmatic way, not blaming others for the trouble he had gotten himself into. Throughout the autobiography, I did not sense an attitude of entitlement, nor a bitter revengeful stance. He had the basic values he would need to grow up and become successful. He made mistakes but in telling his story, he showed how one does not need to wallow in self-pity and give up. He worked his job in prison, learned his lesson, and avoided future temptations. This is a good story that many young people drifting around jobless and directionless should read. He did do something wrong, but as Wilde noted that it is what one becomes as a result of wrong-doings that matters, and Gantos has become a writer, a good one. Perhaps his experiences solidified not only his desire to be a writer, but his understanding of human nature and his creativity. As a young person, moving around a lot as a renter, he met a lot of people and found people interesting. On Reading Rockets he tells of the development of Rotten Ralph, the cat character based on a cat he once owned. He really is a person who gets involved in life and life’s characters. Hole in my life is a must read, but a must read for older students.

  • Jonathan Kranz
    2018-11-18 13:22

    I met Jack Gantos back in the early to mid '90's when he was an instructor in Emerson College's MFA program. He stood out from the pack. For starters, he was (and judging by his videos today, still is) a snappy dresser, a notable departure from the running-shoe and tired jeans look favored by many writers. His advice was uncommonly practical, with an emphasis on story structure that has proven very useful. And above all, there was his manner: unassuming, yet compelling; witty, but never deprecating. There were rumors about Jack having done time in jail, something related to drugs, that seemed absurd, so completely out of place with his character. I dismissed the rumors as the usual student body bullshit. Then I discovered this amazing memoir: yeah, Jack was involved in a drug deal, shuttling 500 pounds of hash from St. Croix to Manhattan. And the venture, not surprisingly, did not go well: Jack ended up in jail for about a year, the "hole" in his life. I love this book, not just because the core story is genuinely remarkable, but because Jack tells it with perfect pitch. He neither moralizes nor excuses; he's forgiving of his younger self without ever indulging him. By the end of the book, it's clear that this isn't some "misery memoir," but the story of a young writer finding a resolve and a voice he hadn't known before. When I finished "Hole in My Life," there was a little one in mine because I missed the narrator so much. I recommend the book to anyone 14 and up.

  • Amy
    2018-11-14 16:29

    Jack Gantos, a children's author, writes a memoir about his last year of high school and how he ends up in prison. I picked it up because I thought it looked interesting and I wondered why it was in a middle school library. After reading it I would say it belongs in a high school library because of the drug references, prison violence, and prison rape. The moral of the story is a good one and it is nice to see him succeed after being in prison. It is a cautionary tale but a little too harsh for the younger kids.

  • Jeffrey
    2018-11-05 13:46

    A good friend gave me this book and told me it would be a fast and humorous read. She was right about fast, and she was right about funny. She didn't tell me how profound the book would be, how insightful and applicable. Before Gantos became an award winning author of young adult novels, he was a kid struggling to find himself. This book takes us on his journey, from his young life in Florida to his higher teen years in the Virgin Islands where his family moved so his father could find work. What makes the story so remarkable is the candor with which Gantos writes about his mistakes, and the insight he has into his own psyche.Gantos's story, and the reason for the book, takes a turn when he agrees to crew a boat loaded with drugs from the Virgin Islands into New York City. This is his way to earn the money he needs for college, so he thinks, and he determines to make the best of it. He is young and foolish and believes in some way in his own invincibility, until it all comes crashing down around him in the form of a federal indictment on drug smuggling charges. In prison, Gantos wallows in self pity, until a series of fortunate events land him a job as an X-ray technician and he begins to see the way out. What strikes me here is that despite his determination to receive parole and the work he puts into getting into college, Gantos the author remains insightful about Gantos the character in the book, and that character's blindness to his own indomitable spirit. Part of him still believes he's nothing but a messed up loser kid who now can add ex-con to his name. But another part of him, the part that makes it through to the end of the book, is the part that recognizes that it's not the mistakes of our life that define us, but what we learn from those mistakes and how we move forward from them. When he is let out of prison, Gantos is forced to give up the journal he kept of his time there. The journal was written in notes of the margins of The Brother's Karamazov, and the loss of this journal, I think, is the turning point for Gantos the character, and Gantos the author. It's a terrible blow for any writer, or would be writer, to lose his or her writing. But it can also free a writer to recognize that the words are just words, and that they exist both on paper and, more importantly, inside. In losing the journal, Gantos is able to reflect more deeply on the mistakes of his past and move forward from them. In an interview with Matt de la Peña printed at the end of the book, Gantos talks about his work with young people and the connection he has made with at-risk youth who are incarcerated. He says, "You can make a mistake, but it doesn't have to ruin your life or entirely define who you are as a person, and you can recover from it, move on, be accomplished, remain proud, and do something great with your life and become the full person you imagine yourself to be in your heart and mind and through your actions." That, for me, is the biggest take away from this delightful little book.

  • Katie
    2018-10-21 14:50

    I read this quickly and with moderate interest as to what would happen to young Jack in his journeys, both literal (as he ferried drugs) and figurative. I was especially struck by his story because he was a high school senior and then graduate, by the skin of his teeth, struggling to find his way in life. It wasn't that he was utterly lost--he knew he wanted to be a writer, and the maddeningly idealistic way in which he hopes, pines, and bounces around hoping to witness something great while working menial jobs to stay afloat reminds the reader of that--it was more that he faced the seemingly immutable influence of poverty on his best version of his own dreams. Throw into the mix our culture's largely ambivalent view of recreational drug use and you have a lost, poor, bright, depressed, self-medicating, big-dreaming teenager making the choices that seem smartest to him at his quite young, immature, unworldly age of 19. His honest, unflinching yet not gratuitous descriptions of "going down" for his crimes and facing prison are realistic and resonant. Despite thinking vaguely, "Boy, dude, that was a dumb decision," the reader can simultaneously sympathize with nearly every decision he makes--which surprised me, as someone who could never imagine doing what he did. But I was easily able to remind myself: "You never had to consider it." He did. His reflections on the experience come off not as a trite, "here are my lessons learned" commentary, but an honest retelling of his evolution as a writer and a person. Oh the irony: the juicy, pathos-laden, true-grit tale he sought to exploit was his own.

  • Kelsey Dangelo-Worth
    2018-11-06 18:51

    “I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.” ~Oscar Wilde“Someone once said anyone can be great under rosy circumstances, but the true test of character is measured by how well a person makes decisions during difficult time.”“I was armed with books the way the navy goes to sea armed to the teeth.”Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (200 pages)Jack Gantos, author of children’s books, writes his autobiographical account of how, lost and adrift after high school, basically homeless, poor, and envious of great authors like Kerouac and Hemmingway, longing for adventures, he agrees to help pilot a boat from the Virgin Islands to New York, smuggling drugs. Gantos’ account is unabashed, unsentimental, unapologetic, unsympathetic for his own self, which is refreshing for the genre and the young adult audience. He makes no excuses (except stupidity, despite being a brilliant reader) for his behavior, the consequences of which are truly disturbing and disquieting. His voice is haunting in this respect. An excellent read for mature readers: an accessible, powerful, and strong narrative that has a great message without being didactic or preachy. Grade: A

  • Kate Schwarz
    2018-11-11 13:23

    When a book starts with a whopper of an open line such as "The prisoner in the photograph is me" and the pages following that line tell a harrowing, incredible, true story of a foolish but likeable young man (with years of self-reflection between his mistakes and publication) and how one huge, bad decision goes down... Well, that requires a reader like me to read the book in one long inhale. But Gantos' impressive writing slowed me down-- many passages were so good I had to read them twice. He is an honest narrator who tells his story so to teach others to choose more wisely than he did, but he manages to do this without preaching or wagging his finger once. Very, very good. Though when my boys read it I sure hope they read the parts about the consequences as closely as the adventurous chapters!

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2018-11-04 14:21

    I really enjoyed this story of a man who is willing to just unflinchingly own his mistakes and foibles. I wish that this biography was utilized more fully in high schools these days. I do understand that it is somewhat dated, but the message is perfect. The idea that one bad decision can alter your course and the lives of others around you but that your life need not continue to follow a negative path but you can choose to make the best of things is powerful. I am grateful for whoever recommended this book to me and will be passing it along to people that I think could benefit from his message. And I look forward to reading his fiction work now. A couple of powerful thoughts:"I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong.,but what one becomesas a consequence of it." -Oscar Wilde"I began to write stories - secret stories about myself and the restless men around me. While among them, I may have feigned disinterest, but like my father I watched them closely and listened whenever they spoke. Then back in my cell I would sit on the edge of my bunk with my journal spread open across my knees and try to capture their stories with my own words. For some paranoid reason the warden would not allow us to keep journals. He probably didn't want the level of violence and sex among both prisoners and guards to be documented. My secret journal was an old hardback copy of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky, in which I spent hours writing in a tiny script between the tightly printed lines. I kept the book like a Gideons' Bible on top of my locker and, as far as I know, its true purpose was never discovered.""Dostoyevsky had spent some time in prison. He wrote about it in House of the Dead. And I guess knowing that only encouraged me to use Karamazov for my journal. I read the book first. Then I began to record my own lines between his lines. Naturally, his were better. But mine were mine, and it didn't take long to find out I had plenty to write about."

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-09 15:46

    This is an incredibly enthralling book about Jack Gantos' time in prison for drug smuggling. If you read that sentence you may be turned off but I assure you that this award winning young adult author's "life of crime" was isolated to one time. In this book, you will learn of the circumstances involved that lead to his crime which were unbelievably incredible. For instance, I had no idea about the "white exodus" in certain areas of Florida due to the Black Panthers taking over certain towns thus putting many people out of work. Anyway, there were many contributing factors that lead to Gantos agreeing to help sail that boat. Mostly he wanted money to pay for college so he could become a writer. I listened to the audio which Gantos himself narrates which made this story all the more poignant. He does not excuse himself and he does not justify his actions. What he does is lay out the facts, explain all the circumstances, and gently describe how he changed so that by the end of the book you can see how much growth he has experienced.

  • Ryan F
    2018-11-15 11:51

    I think the book was good it had everything you would need to make a good book. Jack did an amazing job telling the story of his life and didn't leave out a detail. There was the perfect amount of comedy, suspense, action, and horror. When he was in jail I could feel his worry and want to get out. All things considered the book was an awesome work of literature.

  • Arminzerella
    2018-11-12 12:25

    Jack Gantos is just twenty years old when he gets into trouble with the law. He decides to make some quick money ($10,000) for college by sailing a shipment of hash from the Virgin Islands to New York City. He and his partner make it all the way to NYC and up the river where they stash the hash and then start breaking it up for sale. Gantos has his 10K in hand when a bunch of feds bust into his hotel and take his partner into custody. He flees the law and escapes to Florida, where he calls his father. Apparently, his family has been hassled almost constantly by the feds since Gantos left – they know who he is, they know what he’s done, they just can’t find him. Gantos’ dad says he’s got him a lawyer and the best thing to do is turn himself in. So he does.The judge who hears Gantos’ case doesn’t have any sympathy for him. He may be young, and he may have been stupid (and he may be really sorry now), and he may really not want to go to jail, but the judge knows that mostly Jack Gantos is sorry because he got caught. Not sorry because he really regrets what he did. He gives him a youth sentence, which means that Gantos will serve anywhere from 60 days to 6 years for breaking the law.His first night in prison, Gantos is accosted by another prisoner who offers him his protection if Gantos will be his bitch. It scares the hell out of Gantos. Another man involved in the operation is repeatedly raped by a gang of prisoners and can barely walk when Gantos meets up with him again. These experiences horrify him. Thankfully, he’s transferred to another prison, where it’s discovered that he has lice. He has to stay in the hospital, in an isolated cell, while they delouse him and at the end of his tenure - before he’s to be sent down to live with the rest of the men - he asks for and receives a job (and a place to stay) in the hospital.Possibly, this is what makes all the difference. While Gantos still endures incarceration, he’s separate from his fellow prisoners and doesn’t have to face any of the dangers that come from living among a bunch of violent, scared, screwed up men. In fact, prison gives him time and material to do the one thing he’s always wanted – write. He spends hours, days, writing in the margins of books (journals aren’t allowed in his prison) - telling the stories of the things that happen to him, the things that happen to the other men around him. He’s able to find his voice and discovers that he has a wealth of material available to him.You can feel Gantos’ frustration when he reads his case file and realizes that there is little he can do to convince his parole board that he’s actually changed. They don’t know him. They don’t care about him. They don’t ask him the questions he expects, and he can’t marshal his feelings. He can’t show them what they want to see. And as a result, he feels that they will never grant him a reprieve. Gantos eventually does make it out of prison - somewhat earlier than the date of his next scheduled parole board meeting – by getting a new caseworker, and making a deal with his parole board. He applies and gets accepted into a college writing program. His parole board agrees to let him out early as long as he has a place to live and a job to support himself.This is a short, fast, gripping read (4 discs, if you get the audio CD). It details Gantos’ crime and his punishment – heavy on the events leading up to and the commitment of his crime, and lighter on the jail time Gantos does. Reluctant readers should eat this up.

  • Adar
    2018-11-09 12:34

    The autobiography, A Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos was a very good book, but also very confusing and hard to piece out because of the many, many characters that Jack encounters. Also, because if you knew nothing about court, you knew nothing about what jack was competing with. The use of great words and the plot were beautiful and helped you learn a lot. Jack Gantos was a main character who was oh so confused with what to do with his life, he wanted to write but could never get himself to actually complete something. While he is in jail, he feels a lot of self regret, and self loathing for what he did to himself. But ends up with him being happy that he got out and very understanding that what he did , was wrong and it wont happen again. The main conflict of the story was when Jack didn't have enough money for college, so he ended up being desperate and sold Hash. And that ended him up in jail. which that was when he had to deal with jail... and to deal with himself. Jack traveled a lot by boat, and on foot for when he was selling the hash and traveling to gather the hash. The plot of the story was Jack getting thrown in jail where he had to deal with the consequences. that inspired his writing so when he got out, he pursued his college life and writing.With all of the characters jack met while traveling, they all played a part in his journey. with all of the steps he had to accomplish with jail proves that he had many consequences with what he did. It was confusing because of all of the court scenes and informational scenes, i had sometimes no idea what was going on. I recommend this book for teenagers who are very responsible and mature because of the sexual content, use of alcohol/drugs, and foul language. also this book has very foggy, hard parts to comprehend, and very high level language.

  • Alex
    2018-11-02 11:37

    Jack Gantos's memoir, despite being promoted as the story of one big mistake is really an exploration of how a string of small mistakes can land you somewhere you never wanted to go. Gantos's downfall started with a seemingly innocent decision to accompany a friend to a party and smoke some weed. From there, Gantos makes a string of increasingly foolish decisions, spurred on by "friends" who aren't really friends at all, and unchecked by his parents, who are largely absent from the narrative. With the first page, you know where Jack is going to end up, but it takes most of the book to get him to that point, where he realizes that he has made a mistake, lumping all his smaller mistakes into the one big one, taking a job smuggling hash into New York. When Gantos ends up in prison, it isn't a surprise, but his reaction is a pleasant one. Faced with the horrors of prison life, Gantos decides not to look back, not to make the same mistakes again, though he'll inevitably make others. And that is where this book gets its value. It would be a mistake to hand this book to a young teen, and even older teens may need guidance to deal with some of the more difficult aspects, but in the end, Gantos's experience brought him to the realization that drugs are not a valid life choice. Some may find fault with the reasoning he employs, or even question the reliablity of the narrator, but the sweep of the narrative leads the reader to a good place in the end.

  • Amy
    2018-10-30 15:34

    Very thought-provoking. This would be a great book club selection. Here are some of the things it made me think about:-The efficacy of the prison system. Gantos was relatively lucky in that he worked in the prison hospital as an x-ray technician, so he learned a valuable skill - but not all prisoners had similar opportunities. It seemed liked Gantos' prison experience (outside of his hospital work) was pretty oppressive and not at all helpful in terms of making positive life changes. He was in prison in the early 70's, but I kind of doubt our prison system has improved much since then.-Is there any benefit to sending young people to prison for non-violent crimes (ie, crimes that essentially amount to making a dumb mistake)? I learned recently that the brain isn't fully developed until an individual reaches 25 years of age. So if someone is under 25 and makes a bad judgement call, I don't think they should be punished so harshly. They should be held accountable to some degree, but in that kind of situation, prison is only going to ruin lives - not save them.-the transformative effect the written word can have on lives. Gantos got through his prison sentence by reading and writing. His goal to become a writer kept him going, and he's a successful author today, despite having a criminal record. I believe very strongly that reading and writing are ways to make sense of our lives and become better people, and this book re-enforced that belief.

  • Kelly
    2018-10-22 10:40

    The compelling story of the author's final year in high school, his brushes with crime, and his subsequent incarceration. Gantos has written much about his early years with his eccentric family, and this more serious book picks up the tale as they moved to Puerto Rico during his junior year. He returned to Florida alone, living in a seedy motel while he finished high school and realized that his options for college weren't great. A failed drug deal cost him most of his savings and he joined his family, now in St. Croix, where he accepted an offer of $10,000 to help sail a boat full of hash to New York. He and his colleagues were caught, and as it turns out, he was in more trouble than he anticipated. Sent to federal prison for up to six years, Gantos landed a job in the hospital section, a post that protected him from his fellow inmates, yet allowed him to witness prison culture firsthand. Much of the action in this memoir-some of it quite raw and harsh-will be riveting to teen readers. However, the book's real strength lies in the window it gives into the mind of an adolescent without strong family support and living in the easy drug culture of the 1970s. Gantos looks for role models and guidance in the pages of the books he is reading, and his drive to be a writer and desire to go to college ultimately save him.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

  • Melissa Voss
    2018-10-22 10:44

    I really enjoyed this. I went the audiobook route since I was traveling this week and Gantos reads it; fun to hear the personal account straight from the writer. What an incredible journey to find his way to writing children's books. I would definitely use this for a HS recommendation.

  • Melissa
    2018-10-20 16:34

    I like this book because it it was about someone that had a good education but didn't get to go to college because of his actions.It was a good book because it tell you what the character went throw in jail.

  • Borax
    2018-10-25 13:38

    Jack Gantos writes children's books. Legit children's books. With illustrations and funny words and touching themes. Award winning children's books.This is not that book. This is the autobiographical account on Gantos's bat-crap crazy life from 1970 - 1973 when he bounces aimlessly around the world, eventually ending up agreeing to pilot a ship full of drugs across the ocean. Oh, and how he ends up going to jail for that.I love this book because it is absolutely entrancing and accessible for young readers while at the same time setting the plate for the more rigorous reading I hope they will embrace by year's end.ONE STAR for Gantos's constant referencing and love for literature. You might be tempted to write off Gantos's referencing to literature (which he just kinda read back in the was never really connected to a curriculum) as pretentious...or to somehow justify him as a writer even back then as he was doing terrible things. But that, I think, is selling his passion way way short. It is clear that Gantos is meant to be writer. But he is done in by that...very similar to DON QUIXOTE. He becomes crazy because of it. His white whale of authenticity pushes him...or acts as a convenient excuse for...terrible actions. I love that ambiguity and love a book focused on classic literature.ONE STAR for Gantos's recollection of the ship voyage. Gantos reads THE ODYSSEY while on it, and it surely has those elements. Gantos is adrift spirtitually like Odysseus. Unlike Odysseus, though, Gantos has no clear aim as to what HOME should be. For Gantos it seems to be just to earn enough money to go to college. But at the same time he constantly has money to fix his car, travel, buy gas, eat food, and take drugs. Again, the narration is a bit unreliable, which makes for a great read.ONE STAR for the buried drugs. I know this is a real story, but the ending plays out like THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. But Gantos makes a different choice. I wonder how many people have tried to dig up those rotten drugs?

  • Wendy Wakeman
    2018-10-29 11:46

    This one had some relevance for the novel I'm writing. Read it for research. It's a very enjoyable read. Gantos writes solid. His story about growing up poor, having to make his own way, and getting caught in a mess of trouble when he runs some hash from St. Croix to New York is really interesting and unusual. I can imagine this would be a great book for a fourteen or fifteen year old boy who finds lots of things dull. Jack Gantos' story isn't dull.

  • Lisandro Padron
    2018-11-07 16:45

    In "Hole in My Life", Jack Gantos is living by himself in Florida trying to write stories. After a while, he decides to move down to St. Croix with his family to be a builder with his dad. When he goes down there, he meets a guy at the dock who asks him of he would like to help him with something. He tells Gantos that if he helps him move 2,000 pounds of hash from St. Croix to New York, he can get $10,000. Gantos, desperate for money to pay for college, accepts and when he gets to New York, he gets busted and he's arrested. He sentenced to 5 years in prison but after a year and a half, he applied for college and he was released from prison. I thought the book was really good because he was Jack Gantos used a lot of imagery and that helped me get a real sense of what he was talking about. I liked the book because it was interesting reading about that and knowing that really happened to someone who writes books for children.

  • ChrisA.
    2018-10-29 10:43

    This Novel was interesting but didn't catch my eye as I believed it would. I expected a little more excitement on every page. The book was was boring on some scenes and exciting on others. But the is overall very good. It just wasn't really for me but i recommend it still.

  • Cristian F
    2018-11-01 17:48

    I think it was a really interesting and really good book. It was interesting and every time you read the book, it just makes you want to read more. The book was action packed and it had a story that you could understand, and the book really told a story unlike other books.

  • Nelson S
    2018-11-02 14:42

    I really liked this book because it made you keep reading.Many things were happening at once which is a thing I really like.If you like crime this is a book for you.In the book, he really tries to change himself.I really enjoyed this book and I think you would too if you give it a try

  • Agnė
    2018-11-10 17:31

    3.5 out of 5In his memoir Hole in My Life, Jack Gantos looks back on his early adulthood, the darkest time in his life, when a string of bad decisions landed him in federal prison. Although I really liked reading about the author's prison experience, the rest of the book (first three quarters) was rather slow.

  • Rachel Polacek
    2018-11-04 11:29

    I enjoyed hearing Gantos's story on how a bad mistake led him to learn more about himself, and make himself more determined than ever. I will be book talking this next school year!

  • Jake Williams
    2018-10-21 17:21

    Gantos' memoir Hole in My Life can be succinctly boiled down to a proof of the Oscar Wilde quotation printed before the first page of the book. Wilde states,"I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it." The memoir recounts Gantos' experiences as he sputters through his final year of high school, stumbles into a drug smuggling job, gets caught, gets incarcerated, and gets out. With this narrative as backdrop,Gantos describes his personal, inward journey of finding inspiration to write. Long desiring to be a writer, Gantos keeps a journal that he fills with ideas for writing, ideas that only amount to false-starts and half-baked thoughts. Drifting aimlessly, sometimes literally on the windless ocean, Gantos struggles to find the words to be put on the page. He reads voraciously. His experiences while running drugs from St. Croix to New York seem to be the stuff that makes up adventure novels. He witnesses horrors while incarcerated. Yet none of these experiences bring him to write. Finally, after a moment of stark reminding of the inescapability of the walls around him, the consequences of his big mistake, Gantos desperately searches for somewhere to escape. He begins to record memories of childhood, of happier times. As his memories flood the page, they serve as the catalyst of what will become his literary career. Hole in My Life was a decent read. At times Gantos' plight piqued my interest. At other times I felt like I was with Gantos and his captain bored as the Beaver floated stagnantly on without wind in the sails. Gantos' experiences in prison are bad, occasionally shocking, but most of the time they fall flatly. Perhaps a reader that had grown up reading Gantos' children-geared fiction would have enjoyed seeing the evolution of a favorite author. But for me, I finished the book, shrugged my shoulders, and thought to myself, "Well, alright." I believe Hole in My Life will soon be a book I don't remember much about. The author's struggles may be relatable to a youth in crisis, but I don't believe the author's experiences have enough heft to dissuade those already going down a dangerous path. The writing is accessible, even to those who may struggle with reading. However, I don't believe Hole in My Life has enough in it to bring a struggling, uninterested reader to pick up another book. I do not see much use for Gantos' book in the classroom.

  • Michel Guido
    2018-11-11 14:21

    Hole in my life is autobiographical story of jack gantos during his younger years when he first started to get in trouble. He was a young men with little supervison so he had a lot of freedom without people telling him what he can do or not do so in that case that played a big role in his trouble life. he moved from florida to puerto rico and back. he stayed out of school for a while because he couldn't go to private school becuase he didn't have enough money so he worked for a while instead. he never finished 11th grade in florida but the school he went to as his senior year didn't know that. he's new school used to be a prison and was turned into a high school becuase the place was very poor. He worked at a grocery store to maintian a hotel room at the kings court. the thing i like about the book is that everytime something bad happens he always finds a way to make it funny. the thing i disliked about the book is that it's getting that much credit for what it should get because the book is very good. The other thing i liked about it is how he was basically alone for the most time and he worked at a young age and got out of schoola and still found the strength he needed to go back to finish high school. the book was amazing i really enjoyed it.