Stanley Yelnats the 4th is accused of stealing a pair of sneakers donated to charity by a famous athlete, Clyde Livingston. He is sentenced to 18 months at Camp Green Lake, a boys’ juvenile detention center in Texas. There, each boy must spend his day in the desert, which contained a lake during the 1800s, digging a hole five feet deep and five feet in diameter. The Warden and counselors at Camp Green Lake tell them that they are digging to build character and break them of their criminal habits, but Stanley eventually finds that the warden is searching for the treasure hidden by the outlaw Kissing Kate Barlow.

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