Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales

Feiwel & Friends. (Stinetinglers: Bk. 1). Aug. 2022. 224p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250836274.
Gr 3-6–Another collection of tales from the most trusted name in kids’ horror. This collection of short stories by “Goosebumps” creator follows 10 ordinary-seeming preteens as their lives collide with the supernatural. Smartwatches that stop time, evil twins, and hallucinatory bugs are just some of the weird and creepy events these characters face. One notable tale is about a basketball player who becomes unexpectedly clumsy, only to find that his skin is slipping off like a snake’s. Although Stine makes references to the modern with smartwatches, cell phones, and more, these entries have a nostalgic tone, as if they were set in the small-town or suburban past. These tweens travel freely around their neighborhoods without much parental supervision, benefitting the plot. Short introductions about the story’s inspiration preface each chapter, which may inspire some future young authors. These notes also serve to tamp down the horror level as readers are reminded that these are inventions and not real events. Similarly to his previous series, Stine’s latest collection is unsettling, and the vignettes’ endings will stay with kids long after they’re done, especially since the author does not shy away from an unhappy denouement. However, the horror elements still stay within the bounds of what is expected for this audience.
VERDICT A must-have volume wherever Stine’s other work has a following.

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