Posts Tagged ‘r.l. stine’

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to share The Girl’s thoughts on a book she read last year, Spell of the Screaming Jokers, part of R.L. Stine’s Ghosts of Fear Street series.  This review originally appeared on Jenn’s Bookshelves last October as part of Jenn’s Fright Fest event.

Do you like to play cards? Yes? Then pick a card. Uh-oh. Brittany picked a joker. And it’s no laughing matter. Because these jokers are deadly.

On your way home from school – riding your bike – even in your hall closet – they attack! Each time, they stamp a card suit on your arm – first a club, then a diamond, then a heart – then a spade. That’s when the game really starts … when you get all four suits. Because that’s when the joker plays for keeps! (publisher’s summary)

Thoughts by The Girl (age 10 at the time):

The book, Spell of the Screaming Jokers, is about 4 kids, Brittany, Frankie, Louisa, and Jeff. Their principal tells them that they have to visit this sick kid named Max. His mother, Mrs. Davidson, takes them to his room. Max wants to play cards. Frankie draws a joker. On the way home, a kid hurts him and gives him a bruise shaped like a club. Then weird things start happening.

I recommend this book for ages 8 and up for kids who like creepy stories. I loved this book and hope to read more from the series.

Disclosure: The Girl bought her copy of Spell of the Screaming Jokers at a library sale.  I am an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

The Girl (age 11) is really enjoying her 6th grade reading class because her teacher believes in letting the kids choose what books they want to read so they will enjoy reading.  Every weeknight for homework, she has to read for 30 minutes, log the number of pages she read, and get my signature.  So this is the first of many books she hopes to share here during the school year.

She recently finished Hit and Run by R.L. Stine, reading the same tattered copy I had when I was around her age.  I’d forgotten it was in a box of books I’d passed on to her and was surprised when she pulled it out of her (massive) R.L. Stine collection.  She wanted me to ask her questions, rather than write up a review.

First, here’s the back-of-the book summary:

Eddie, Scott, Winks, and Cassie.  They went out for a drive one night.  Just to practice, so Eddie would be sure and get his license.

Then Eddie had a little accident.  Now four friends share a terrible secret.

Because Eddie hit someone and killed him.

Didn’t he?

Tell us about Hit and Run in 5 sentences or less.

Hit and Run is about four very close friends, who are all getting ready to take their driver’s tests.  Eddie is the most scared about the test, so one night they use his parents’ car to practice driving.  A man is standing in the road in front of them, frozen in fear, caught in the headlights.  They feel a bump; they hit him.  They don’t want to get caught by the police, but they don’t want to leave the body in the road.

What drew your attention to this book?

It’s by R.L. Stine, who is one of my favorite authors.  The back cover sounded interesting.  And the blood stain on the front cover is cool.

Tell us something interesting about the main character(s).

My favorite of the characters was Winks because he always played funny practical jokes on Eddie.  One time, he got an eyeball from Eddie’s cousin, who works at the morgue.  Winks pretends that his eyeball falls out and holds it in his hand.

How did this book compare to those in the Goosebumps series?  Was it scarier?

I didn’t think the book was scarier, but I thought it was one of the best R.L. Stine books I’ve read so far.  It’s definitely for an older audience than the Goosebumps books.

Did you like the book?  Would you recommend it to your friends?  Would you recommend it to adults?

I did like it.  I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend it to readers who like thrillers with a twist.  Some adults might enjoy it, too.

Have any of you read the book? What did you think?

Disclosure: The Girl read my old copy of Hit and Run, which I purchased so long ago I didn’t even remember I owned it. I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

Courtney is a total show-off.  She thinks she’s so brave, and she’s always making Eddie and his friends look like wimps.  But Eddie’s had enough.  He’s going to scare Courtney once and for all.  And he’s just come up with the perfect plan.  He’s going to lure her down to Muddy Creek.  Courtney believes that silly rumor about Mud Monsters that live in the creek.

Too bad Eddie doesn’t believe the rumors.  Because it just might be true… (publisher’s summary)

Here’s what The Girl (age 10) thought about R.L. Stine’s You Can’t Scare Me! (IndieBound, Amazon):

This book was okay.  It was a little slow for my tastes.  But I did like the end.  It had a nice strong ending.  It was only okay because I didn’t find it scary.  My favorite scene was when Eddie and his friends tried to drop a tarantula on Courtney’s head.  My least favorite scene was when Eddie and Herbie were trapped in the science room.  The scene had suspense, but it was a little long.  If you’re looking for a creepy story, I would choose a different Goosebumps book.

Disclosure: We received a copy of You Can’t Scare Me! from Scholastic. My mom is an an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

The Girl (age 10) read Slappy New Year!, book 18 in R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps HorrorLand series, at the end of 2010, but things have been so hectic, we’re just getting around to this post.  She wanted me to ask her some questions about the book to help refresh her memory.

Slappy New Year! isn’t the first book you’ve read about the wooden dummy, Slappy.  What do you find so fascinating about him, given that he’s extremely creepy?

The comments he makes are really funny.  Here’ s one from this book:

I’ll tell you what’s funny, Jumbo,” Slappy rasped.  “You’re trying to lift yourself out of a chair.  It’s like the Goodyear BLIMP going up!

The dummy tossed back its head and let out a long, ugly laugh.

“Ray — stop it!” Mom cried.  “Why are you saying those awful things?”

“Apologize to Daniel!” Dad said.

I’m sorry you’re such a fat, disgusting cow!” Slappy exclaimed.  (page 90)

I know those aren’t nice things to say to people, but I think it’s funny that a stupid, wooden dummy is saying these things.

Can you tell us what Slappy New Year! is about in just a few sentences?

The main character, Ray, gets Slappy at a store in HorrorLand. He gets in a lot of trouble because Slappy comes to life after Ray reads the special words, and Slappy breaks things, makes a mess, and says mean things that Ray is blamed for.  Ray wants to throw a New Year’s Eve party, but his parents say he has to be nice to his brother.  Slappy makes the whole situation hard for him.

Did you think the book was scary or creepy?

No.  It was funny and sometimes hilarious.

Who was your favorite character?

Slappy because he’s funny.  I didn’t like Ray very much.  I thought he was annoying.

Did you like this book?  Was it your favorite of the books about Slappy?

Yes, I liked the book because it made me laugh, and it gave me something to do when I was bored in the morning at day care over winter break.  It wasn’t my favorite Slappy book.  My favorite so far is Night of the Living Dummy.

You have a huge collection of Goosebumps books.  In fact, they take up an entire shelf in my bookcase.  What do you like about this series?

I find them entertaining.  Some are creepy and some are funny, and those are the kind of books I like.

Do you enjoy them more after meeting R.L. Stine last year at Book Expo America?

Totally!  It was a neat experience.  He hugged me and complimented my hat, and now I always wear it.

Any last words?

I want to say, “Hello, peeps!” to your readers.  Thank you for reading my reviews.  🙂  I’m going to go read now.

Well, there you have it.  Hopefully The Girl will share her thoughts here more often.  Lately, she starts a new book almost every day…she loves the thrill of a new book.  We’ll see when she actually finishes one.

Disclosure: We received a copy of Slappy New Year! from Scholastic for review purposes. I am an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

The Girl (age 10) was thrilled to be asked by Jenn to guest review a horror book for her month-long Halloween Fright Fest event.

To read The Girl’s thoughts on R.L. Stine’s Spell of the Screaming Jokers, visit Jenn’s Bookshelves.  (Boy, that’s a creepy book cover!)  Thanks, Jenn!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate.

© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

I’ve had trouble finding time to blog with all the back-to-school chaos, busy days at work, and hot days that only help to fry my brain.  If I’ve been scarce on the blogs, I apologize and am trying to get back in the swing of things.

In the meantime, The Girl (age 10) would like to share her thoughts on a book she chose as one of her two required summer reading selections:

Night of the Living Dummy is the first book in a three-book series.  Two girls named Kris and Lindy find a ventriloquist dummy in a dumpster near a construction area.  Lindy keeps him and names him Slappy.  Kris is jealous and upset when her father says the dummies are too expensive for him to buy one, but a few days later he finds one in a local shop.  Kris names her dummy Mr. Wood.

Lindy started her ventriloquist talent at kids’ birthday parties.  Kris is jealous, but she gets a job to perform at a summer concert.  Weird things happen, and Mr. Wood makes rude comments to her teacher.  She gets in trouble, and no one believes her when she says Mr. Wood said those things on his own.  Are Mr. Wood and Slappy real?  Will they make Kris and Lindy their slaves?

I really liked this book, but I wish it was scarier.  I also wish it hadn’t taken so long for the action to start.  But I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

Disclosure: I bought my copy of Night of the Living Dummy. My mom is an Amazon associate.

© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

Night in Werewolf Woods is #5 in R.L. Stine’s Give Yourself Goosebumps series, sort of like the Choose Your Own Adventure books I remember from my childhood.  Published in 1996, the book gives readers a series of choices as the story progresses.  Told in the second person and geared toward children in the 8-12 age range, Stine makes young readers feel as though they are part of the story.

The idea behind Night in Werewolf Woods is that you (the reader) are taking a summer vacation with your family to WoodsWorld, where according to legend, werewolves walk the woods at night.  Your parents force you to be nice to Todd Morris, the son of their best friends, who are sharing the cabin with your family.  But Todd is a bit nerdy and a bit whiny.  As Todd is unloading the car, the Murphy brothers steal the red tin box that contains Todd’s prized collection of pewter figures.  You don’t really like Todd, but you don’t hate him.  In fact, you feel a bit sorry for him, so you offer to attend the Kids Only Campfire and get his collection back from the Murphy bullies.

At this point, readers are given their first choice — to ditch Todd and attend the campfire alone or let Todd tag along.  There are more than 20 possible endings to the Night in Werewolf Woods, and you can bet that The Girl made any risky decision that would put her face-to-face with the werewolves.  We stayed up late one Friday night last month reading this book together.  We took turns answering the puzzle questions and making decisions about where to go and what to do next, but The Girl was quick to voice her opinion if she thought my choices would end the story too soon or weren’t scary enough.

The Girl is a big R.L. Stine fan, a lover of scary, creepy stories.  I tell my husband that when she gets older, he’ll finally have someone in the family who enjoys watching horror movies as much as he does.  (For now, I have to keep telling her that the scary movies she sees advertised in the commercials are not appropriate for her innocent eyes.  I can’t even stomach most of them.)  But honestly, this book wasn’t as creepy as the R.L. Stine books I remember reading as a kid.  Granted, this was the first time I read a book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series and we only saw one way the story could go, but it seemed that Night in Werewolf Woods was exciting simply because there was something to do, some action to take at the end of every page that kept the story from slowing down.  Even The Girl wished it had been scarier.  I think the scariest part was when we decided to turn off the lamp and read using a little book light — and my overstuffed bedroom closet popped open without any (human) help.  What a funny coincidence!

Here’s what The Girl (age 9) had to say about Night in Werewolf Woods:

Night in Werewolf Woods could have been scarier.  I personally like books that scare me and make my spine tingle.  Night in Werewolf Woods lets you choose your own adventure.  Me and my mom made the scariest possible choices.  I would like to re-read the book because I want to see what would happen if I let something bad happen to one of the characters (Todd).  The sentence I just said might sound mean, but he was annoying.  My favorite part when when the action happened.

Disclosure: The Girl purchased her copy of Night in Werewolf Woods at a library sale.  I am an Amazon associate.

© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »