03 September 2018

Mini Review: Stay Out of the Basement by R.L. Stine

Series: Goosebumps, #2
# of Pages: 144
Publication: 1992
Source: Library Audiobook
Genre: Children's Horror
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Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, he says. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they...meet...some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plant like tendencies. In fact, he is becoming distinctly weedy-and seedy. Is it just part of Dr. Brewer's 'harmless' experiment? Or does Dad have more than just a green thumb...?

Stay Out of the Basement is the second book in the classic Goosebumps series. When I was younger these books served as my go-to horror books for children. While most of the books are written in a style that can be considered formulaic, I think that they are a great starting point for children who are really interested in reading independently before they move on to bigger chapter books. The narrative of this book in the series focuses on a dad and his two kids. The dad, Dr. Brewer has lost his position at work and now spends most of his time creating experiments on his plants. While this doesn’t seem out of the unusual, Dr. Brewer begins to act a little plant like and starts to look a little like a plant. His two children, Casey and Margaret, notice the changes that their father begins to go through and they plead with him to tell the truth about what is going on.

What I loved most about this book is that it gave me a sense of nostalgia. These books meant the world to me when I was younger, so I found it fascinating to be immersed back into the world. R.L. Stine writes with such an ease that assists children in becoming engrossed in the story. Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was that fact that it made my skin crawl. I’m not afraid of plants or botanists by any means, but the whole idea of someone turning into a plant definitely made me feel more uncomfortable than comfortable. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was easy to read and had an ending that I did not expect. It was fun returning to a Goosebumps series; however, I do think that the writing is built upon a certain formula and it makes it less interesting than it could be.

I also listened to this book on audio which made it fun and even more dynamic. If you haven’t had the chance to listen to them on audiobook I would highly recommend giving it a shot.



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