As an adult in college a recurring question is ‘what author or titles has shaped you?‘. Now it’s very easy and instinctive to say the usual culprits: Harry Potter, Narnia or The Hate U Give. However, let’s take a moment and go a little farther, back to simpler times. I remember in elementary school taking my hour long library break to scour the shelves to find any copy of Goosebumps. I avidly remember re-reading copies, reading the most battered copies my library had to offer and of course having trouble sleeping at night! R.L.Stine’s voice was alluring as it was frightening, and frankly I can’t imagine my love of books without him. So on his birthday, let’s give him his much deserved roses.
Like most kids, it was the thrill that kept me coming back to Goosebumps. You wanted to see how would he trump the last ghoul, monster or just wild scenario. Certainly stayed up past curfew a few times, sorry mom. Chances are you saw the classics at your school’s library: Say Cheese and Die!, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, The Girl Who Cried Monster (a favorite of mine) and The Haunted School just to name a few. R.L.Stine published Goosebumps in 1992 (Welcome to Dead House) and since then has built an empire. It spawned two main series, five spinoffs, a television show and feature films. Stine ruled the 90’s (and the genre); mainly because he didn’t hold back when delivering his frightening tales. He was a storyteller who treated his majority children base audience as lovers of horror first and foremost, not as babies.
R.L.Stine is most definitely a forefather in this genre and paved the way for the titles we have today. Have a very spooky birthday Mr. Stine! Happy reading!