Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #21: Go Eat Worms!

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.

Go Eat Worms! was a really fun story. It wasn’t all that scary but very interesting. It was the same length as the other books in the series, but it was packed with action from cover to cover. The first half was focused on the main character, Todd’s, science project, a worm farm made from a dollhouse cut into a cross section with clear glass for viewing. The second half was where the horror started. Worms started appearing everywhere in Todd’s belongings. It turned out to be caused by something mundane, but there was a nice scare at the end of the book.

There was one thing I didn’t get though. Todd’s friend Danny supposedly won first prize for the science fair, but the book never gave any reasoning for this. It was a total surprise because his project was the most cheaply done out of everyone, as far as the book described it. If that was the case, then why did he win? The book never explained this.

Danny’s project was a solar system with painted balloons for planets pasted on a piece of cardboard. This reminded me a project I did in school. I did a solar system mobile. My mom liked arts and crafts, so she took me to a store with that kind of stuff. We got these big styrofoam balls. They were actually made for sticking plants in, but my mom helped me paint them into each planet. We then hung them with wire and string. After the assignment was done, I kept that mobile hanging in my room for probably a decade. I thought it was a pretty cool at the time.

It was interesting reading about the science projects. The only projects we had to display were state and country projects. It wasn’t a competition though. The teachers would go around and grade every project, but I don’t remember anyone getting a prize. I think we all just got grades for how good they thought it was. It was set up like a gallery. Students and parents could look at the projects on their free time, but there wasn’t a performance aspect with people in the bleachers watching to see who would win.

At one point in the book they visited an abandoned house. I thought it was creepy, but they never went back. I think it would have been cool if the author worked it more into the story. He could have had the worms somehow be coming from this house. Maybe they explored it and found someone lived there who ate worms or maybe bred worms. Then he would be the one hiding worms in Todd’s things to scare him into not collecting anymore worms and releasing the ones he had. I guess it was a nice surprise that the plot didn’t go in this direction. That story would have been similar to some of the previous Goosebumps books.

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