The abandoned street child
Zero is one of the main characters in Louis Sachar’s novel Holes. He is an inmate at Camp Green Lake. His real name is Hector Zeroni. He is a member of Group D, just like the main character, Stanley Yelnats IV. He is the smallest there and the last in the ranking order before Stanley's arrival at the camp. Just like X-Ray and Armpit, he is dark-skinned. But the color of his skin is irrelevant to the social structure in the camp. In the group, Zero represents the outsider.
Zero grew up together with his mother in extremely poor circumstances. When Zero was a toddler, they could still afford to rent a small apartment. Shortly after, however, his mother became homeless and from then on had to live on the streets with her boy. The two had to steal to survive(Part 2, 55%).
Zero's mother, who Stanley later notes looks like a woman who "had seen too many things in her life that she didn’t want to see" (Part 3, 100%), had to leave her son alone on the street several times. Once she told Zero to wait for her in a park, she never returned to him (Part 2, 69%).
After waiting in the park for over a month, Zero realized that his mother had disappeared. From that point on, Zero was completely on his own. But he was too independent and self-reliant to seek help - he certainly did not want to become a "ward of the state" (Part 2, 55%). In order to survive, he kept asking different women to pretend to be his mother during bad weather so that he could be temporarily housed in the home for street children (Part 2, 55%).
Stealing to survive
Zero is arrested one day after Stanley, but arrives at Camp Green Lake one to two months before him because Stanley's trial has been delayed for a long time. Zero is the actual thief of Clyde Livingston's sneakers. He did not know that they belonged to the famous baseball player, and therefore stole them from the home for street children because he needed new shoes. It wasn't until people started looking everywhere for the shoes were searched that Zero realized there must be something special about them and put them on the roof of a parked car (Part 2, 56%). A day later, Zero was arrested when he tried to steal a pair of new sneakers from a shoe store.