Goose­bumps Most Wanted: The 12 Screams of Christ­mas - R.L. Stine’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BOOK REVIEW - By Clau­dia Elei­box

The first of the ‘Goose­bumps’ se­ries was pub­lished in 1992. R.L. Stine and Scholas­tic struck gold with this se­ries: ‘Goose­bumps’ ti­tles are still be­ing writ­ten and printed.

Any­one twenty-one years and a lit­tle older, who had the slight­est in­ter­est in read­ing would remember go­ing to the li­brary to pick up ‘Nancy Drew’, ‘Hardy Boys’ or ‘The Se­cret Seven’. Only if you dared, if you had more than an ounce of brav­ery and could weather more sus­pense than usual, would you choose ‘Goose­bumps’ or ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’

Maybe you would even watch the tele­vi­sion ver­sions, with­out read­ing the book first. Now that you are a few years older you may (or may not) re­al­ize that ‘Goose­bumps’ wasn’t that scary at all (but don’t tell that to any­one still fright­ened by it).

In the ‘Goose­bumps Most Wanted’ se­ries R.L. Stine pro­duces ‘The 12 Screams of Christ­mas’. It has all the sta­ples of a usual ‘Goose­bumps’ ti­tle: thrill, ex­cite­ment, hor­ror, sus­pense and the urge to keep read­ing more. You can count on R.L Stine to add a pinch of scary to a Christ­mas story.

‘The 12 Screams of Christ­mas’ starts off in­tro­duc­ing the ghosts of this chil­dren’s story. An en­tic­ing, fright­en­ing out­line is drawn when eightyear-old Flora falls down a well in her fam­ily’s new yard. R.L. Stine leaves you won­der­ing what hap­pens next as he fast-for­wards to an­other time pe­riod and a to­tally dif­fer­ent story, or at least so it seems. The new pro­tag­o­nist is Katie, who sees ghosts pe­ri­od­i­cally dur­ing her el­e­men­tary school years, earn­ing her the ti­tle “Ghost Girl”. When her teacher or­ga­nizes the school Christ­mas play, and she au­di­tions, Katie has no idea of the num­ber of ghosts she has signed up to meet.

As part of the class get­ting into char­ac­ter, the stu­dents sleep over at a sup­pos­edly haunted house for a few days. The drama teacher tells them the story of that par­tic­u­lar house and why no one stays in it any­more. He re­counts the story of a lit­tle girl fall­ing down the well in the back­yard and scream­ing, “Get me out!” twelve times in a row be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing. It has been over a hun­dred years and no one knows what hap­pened to Flora. That is where the school’s play ‘The 12 Screams of Christ­mas’ orig­i­nated. No one in the class is scared, be­cause they don’t be­lieve in ghosts. Ex­cept Katie, who be­gins to see all the ghosts of the an­cient fam­ily. When the ghost fam­ily asks her to take up a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity that would help them rest in peace for­ever, Katie re­al­izes that her abil­ity to see ghosts is a gift, af­ter all.

‘Goose­bumps Most Wanted: The 12 Screams of Christ­mas’ is a great chil­dren’s read. If you’re no longer a child and you just want to re­mind your­self of your child­hood lit­er­a­ture, it’s per­fect too. Al­though it has a Christ­mas theme, the best thing about ‘Goose­bumps’ is that they can scare your socks off at any­time.

This book is avail­able at The BookYard. Visit us to­day or email us at bookyard@stlu­ci­as­ or call the STAR 450-7827 for more de­tails.

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