Goosebumps was a series of classic horror books for kids written by R. L. Stine. They were extremely popular when I was growing up. Even these days, the volume sales of the series as a whole is second only to the more recent Harry Potter series. Before I gave these old books away, I decided to reread the books I had and write my thoughts on them. An interesting thing about Goosebumps was that both my sister and I liked it. My sister and I never got along, so it was rare sight for something to interest both of us. In fact, my sister originally got the first Goosebumps book. I only got into it after borrowing the books from her.
Let’s Get Invisible had an interesting peer pressure theme. Throughout the book, the main character was a little nervous about using this magical mirror but did it anyways because his friends pressured him. It seems that kids crave attention, so they are more vulnerable to peer pressure. I know as a kid, I never wanted to try new things but did anyways many times just to look good. I didn’t want to be the only one to not go on the scary ride. I didn’t want to be the only one to follow the rules and stay where the parents told us to be. As I got older though, I learned more about my likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses.
Now I am perfectly happy focusing on my likes and my strengths, while avoiding my dislikes and weaknesses. I don’t really care too much what other people think. As long as I am doing my best as a Catholic, it doesn’t matter if someone is faster than me or smarter than me. I use my strengths the best I can while not worrying about my weaknesses.
It has been interesting these first few Goosebumps books how the boys and girls seem to hang out together. Maybe it was different where l lived, but boys and girls didn’t really hang out together at these ages. We were past the point of “cooties”, but not yet old enough to be interested in friendships with the opposite sex. I remember a few kids invited the whole class to their birthdays, but for the most part boys hung out with boys and girls hung out with girls. They would sometimes hang out together at recess, but outside of school that never happened until around fourteen or so when dating became common.
Maybe what I remember was true, and the author wrote the books this way to be more inclusive. He would want girls and boys to both be interested in the books, so he would make sure to write in both male and female prominent characters in each story. That makes sense to me.
Something I never saw the first time I read this book was the foreshadowing. Early in the story, a softball almost broke a mirror. Later on that actually happened. At a certain point, the main character mentioned that some of his friends looked differently. It took me a few chapters to “get it”, but once I did the ending wasn’t much of a surprise. I think I am much sharper now that I am older. I catch details that I didn’t when I was a kid.
The ending to the book had a nice twist, though I predicted it several chapters ahead. However, I wish the author had wrapped up more about the magic mirror. I would have liked to know why this mirror was in their attic, how it got to be there, who made it, and for what purpose. It wasn’t just the mirror that was magical. A special light was needed. It was clearly a two piece setup. I wish there could have been more explanation here. Other than that, this book had great pacing.