Another month, another edition of Goosebumps! I believe I received this book for Easter when my mom was obsessed with putting Goosebumps in my Easter basket. From what I can remember, a girl discovers her teacher (?) is a monster and no one believes her. It’s the same format as most Goosebumps books. R.L. Stine really liked to exploit the childhood fear that adults won’t believe you and are inherently useless in an emergency, huh? I remember being very creeped out by this story because as a kid you tend to think that teachers/people in positions of authority aren’t going to hurt you, and to have that challenged and proven wrong is just one of the events that chips away at your innocence
Childhood Rating: 5 out of 5 sessions with a child psychologist
12-year-old Lucy Dark loves to tell her little brother Randy scary stories. She takes such joy in his fear that she pretends to see monsters all the time. Now that it’s summer and all of Lucy’s friends besides Aaron left for vacation, she has more time than ever to concoct new monster stories to terrorize Randy. When she’s not scaring her brother and being lectured by her mom, Lucy goes to Reading Rangers, a summer reading program, at the local library. Once a week she meets with the librarian, Mr. Mortman, and tells him about the book she read that week. Lucy’s parents forced her into Reading Rangers, and she isn’t even allowed to read scary mystery books like she wants to. Mr. Mortman forces her to read classics.
As if being forced to read boring books wasn’t enough, Mr. Mortman is also creepy. The library is a dusty, cobwebbed mess because he can’t keep up with cleaning, his eyes are beady, and his hands are always wet. He keeps a pan of turtles on his desk as pets. After she meets with Mr. Mortman to discuss Huckleberry Finn, Lucy gets a strange feeling as she leaves the library and realizes she forgot her Rollerblades inside. When she goes back into the library to see if anything is happening, she sees Mr. Mortman’s eyes bugging out of his head as he eats handfuls of flies. She runs home and desperately tells her parents that Mr. Mortman is a monster. Instead of supporting her, she gets another angry lecture about telling scary stories to Randy. Lucy decides she has to prove to her family that she’s telling the truth this time. Will she be able to get the evidence she needs without falling into the monster’s hands?
R.L. Stine put quite a twist on Aesop in this Goosebumps. I didn’t feel too sorry for Lucy because it seemed like her lame obsession with monster stories was really getting on her parents’ last nerve. Their refusal to believe her was well-deserved karma. After a few failed attempts at proving her story to them, I was semi-anxiously anticipating how she would ever gain their support. The rising action of the story built up suspense, but I was seriously let down with how it turned out, including the out-of-left-field nonsensical twist in the final pages. What a letdown…
Adulthood Rating: 2 out of 5 turtles