It Came from Ohio!: My Life as a Writer

STINE, R.L., Joe Arthur, & . 160p. photos. reprods. Scholastic. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545828918; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780545828901.
Gr 4–6—As a tie-in with the Goosebumps film slated for release in October 2015, this mildly self-effacing memoir, originally published in 1997, has been rereleased with a light edit and three new chapters by coauthor Lurie. Until he hit the big time with "Fear Street" and subsequent series, Stine led an unremarkable life—except that his account of a writing apprenticeship demonstrates that his fluent, seemingly effortless prose and plotting are really the result of years of hard work, from a series of homemade joke books begun at age 12 through stints at a college magazine, an industry journal, and Junior Scholastic. The new material, which includes references to overseas tours, new series, and excited comments about the upcoming movie, fits seamlessly with the old. The gags, the hokey snapshot photos strewn throughout, the fan mail quotes ("Dear R.L. Stine, I've read forty of your books—and I think they're really boring!"), and the closing authorial FAQs haven't dated at all.
VERDICT A sure hit with "Goosebumps" fans and certain to be a popular choice for biography assignments, too.

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