This was originally a book. It was written in 1998 by Louis Sachar. It was produced by Yearling. It won the following awards:
- Newberry Medal
- National Book Award
- Boston Globe- Horn Book Award
- ALA Best Book for Young Adults
- ALA Notable Book
- ALA Quick Pick
- Christopher Award for Juvenile Fiction
- New York Times Book Review Notable Childrens Book of the Year
- A Horn Book Fanfare
- Publishers Weekly Book of the Year
- Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
- School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
It was dedicated "To Sherre, Jessica, Lori, Kathleen, and Emily and to Judy Allen, a fifth-grade teacher from whom we all can learn."
The book was adapted into a movie in 2003 with Shia LaBeouf starring as Stanley. Louis Sachar actually took part in the creation of the script for the movie, which is why the book and movie are similar.