A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series lives up its name. These well-written, spooky mysteries assume the paranormal is normal, that parents eat dinner guests, or kids turn into lizard-faced creepers. That premise aside, these books reflect the reality of young readers' worlds: They go visit relatives, or are bullied at school, or fight with a sibling or parent, or feel misunderstood, and the writing can pack an emotional hit. The kids in these fast-paced horror stories are in real danger -- from, for example, monsters trying to take over the world, or murderous ghost children trying to create more playmates in the afterlife -- and sensitive readers could take that danger to heart.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Each book is a standalone story in the GOOSEBUMPS series. Kids who are minding their own business find themselves stalking a mutant librarian, or hiding from a possessed parent intent on killing them, or coming face to face with ghosts, or any number of other terrifying paranormal situations. The kids have to find a way to stay alive and solve whatever problem they face alone, since the adults in their world are either unaware, unapproachable, or possessed. Issues are resolved at the end of each story, but not always wrapped up neatly, which only adds to the suspense.
Is it any good?
These stories will captivate any reader who likes suspense, horror and fantasy. Goosebumps doesn't have much academic content or positive messaging, although the kids usually try to do the right thing while solving a mystery. But the books are creative, rich examples of how to write a captivating story. Readers who are learning to be writers can see how to hook a reader, how to pace a story, and how to have fun with the writing. The books are written the way kids this age think and speak, and have an age-appropriate amount of tension and violence -- just remember, they're designed to scare.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: R. L. Stine
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic
- Publication date: September 1, 2003
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 123
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 16, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love horror
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.