Updated: Aug 16
There is something about reading children's books, particularly from your own childhood, that brings a sense of nostalgia. At least in theory, childhood is a simpler time, a time when the lines between good and bad are a little clearer, when imagination shines a little brighter, and when the joy of discovery can completely transport you. As adults, it can be a challenge to hold on to that simplicity. But rereading those books, or reading new ones from then, can help you recapture at least some of that ineffable feeling. Join us for the Book Nostalgia Book Club as we reread our childhood and maybe some of yours. Next month's title is Welcome to Dead House by RL Stine. We hope you join us.
Goosebumps #1: Welcome to Dead House
by RL Stine (1992)
11-year-old Josh and 12-year-old Amanda just moved into the oldest and weirdest house on the block--the two siblings think it might even be haunted! But of course, their parents don't believe them. You'll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends. But the creepy kids are not like anyone Josh and Amanda have ever met before. And when they take a shortcut through the cemetery one night, Josh and Amanda learn why. -- Publisher Description
Ask Yourself This...
Was that your first Goosebumps book? If so, why did you decide to read it?
This was one of the stories that eventually were adapted to the television series. Have you watched it? Do you think it was a good adaptation?
What do you think that the characters were charismatic or relatable?
Do you think that killing the dog was too harsh?
Was there any passage that struck you while you were reading?
The community of living dead in this book is very different from other depictions, what do you think of them?
In the end, Amanda thinks that she saw Mr. Dawes once again, do you think it was him or someone else? Do you think the evil was finally put to rest? What do you think of her parting line?
If you could change just one thing about the book, what would it be?
How did your memory of the book compare to your adult experience? Still as scary? Why or why not? Do you think the series will stand the test of time?
Many of the books were updated in the early-2010s, supposedly without the author's input. Do you think it helped or wasn't needed? How do you think kids today react to the series? What could cause issues for future generations reading this book?
Did you like being scared as a kid? Has that changed? Why do you think that is?
Stine purposely placed surprise endings at the end of every chapter and book. What were some of the surprises that stuck with you the most?
Goosebumps created quite the stir when it first came out. Parents were up in arms about children reading horror. Others were concerned about possible occult or demonic themes. After reading this book, do you agree with this concern or not?
They say that part of the importance of fear and violence in books is so that you don't need to experience it to understand and learn from it. It's just a matter of being at the level the individual can deal with. Would you agree or not?
A key concept in Goosebumps books is that children will always triumph over evil. The main protagonists always make it to the end and put the evil to rest, or at least escape from it. Thoughts?