#978 My Hairiest Adventure by R.L. Stine

My Hairiest Adventure by R.L. StineMy Hairiest Adventure by R.L. Stine

Larry is in a band with his friends. A battle of the bands is coming up and Larry and his group are practicing, but they find an old bottle of tanning lotion and decide to try it out. None of them turn out any more tan, but Larry starts growing hair in strange places. He shaves it off and he’s afraid to tell anyone.

One of the band members disappear and his family is gone. That is strange. Then another band member disappears and her family is caught leaving. There is a dog that seems familiar and wears Lily’s pirate gold necklace. What in the world is going on? When Larry finally asks his parents about it, what he finds out is something he never expected.

What I liked

If any Goosebumps book could be straight-up about puberty, it’s this book. Hair growing everywhere? Being super awkward and embarrassed about everything? Yep, sounds like puberty.

What I didn’t like

As much as I kind of like this book basically being like an example for puberty with a twist ending, I also don’t like this book for being basically about puberty. Reading this book like was like going through puberty and cringing about body hair the whole time. Hair just grows all kinds of weird places, especially when you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder. I grew a lot of hair as a teenager and it sucked, in addition to all the other things that suck about puberty, acne, being weird shaped, awkwardness, embarrassment about everything and so forth. Why does there have to be hair? Why hasn’t science figured out a way to make people go bald on their bodies and not their heads? Just switch about that bald thing and make it happen to my legs and everywhere else, except my head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Hair is awful.

Body hair was probably a close contender for the worst thing I dealt with during puberty.

Overall

Get your razors ready.

Weigh In

Where did body hair rate in your worst things about puberty list?

Did body hair make you self-conscious as a young person?

#975 Water Song by Suzanne Weyn

 Water Song by Suzanne Weyn Water Song by Suzanne Weyn

Emma and her mother were trying to go back home to their family estate, but then the war happened and Emma’s mother was killed. She ended up on her own back at the large family estate, but the war comes there too. She gets a letter from her boyfriend breaking up with her because everyone thinks her mother ran off from her father while he was away at war. This wasn’t the case; it was a planned visit. She throws her family locket, with the boyfriend’s picture, into the well and almost immediately regrets it. How will she ever get it back?

Meanwhile, there is a man in the war and his unit is under a gas attack. He finds the water, as he always does, and he gets away. He happens to end up in the bottom of Emma’s well. She hears someone down there and helps to get him out, but is immediately confronted by the enemy. The two must pretend to be husband and wife while making plans to get away. The man asks for a kiss and Emma doesn’t want to give it, but more hardships come and Emma learns more about things that are important.

What I liked

This was a retelling of The Frog Prince and it was an interesting take. I liked the more romantic part of this. The story made Emma out to be less of a brat than the princess was in the book, but Emma was still a bit of a brat. I would have never thought about placing this story during a World War. I think that was an interesting way to make this story more modern than it actually is while still giving it a little enigma of age.

What I didn’t like

This is one of those “Oh you’ll like me eventually” sort of love stories. That doesn’t always work out. Maybe if you are patient, someone would like you eventually, but you know, maybe not. Maybe their opinion of you always considers that you’re a friend, or annoying, and they’re not going to love you. You cannot simply annoy someone until they decide to like you. If anything, annoying them would probably make them less likely to like you.

Overall

She kissed a frog! Aw, how sweet!

Weigh In

If you knew that kissing a frog would turn him into a prince that liked you, would you do it, even though you knew you would get Salmonella poisoning?

What does kissing a frog mean to you?

#972 The Ghost Town Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Ghost Town Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Ghost Town Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens have left their home in Connecticut and gone out west, to the mountains, where they come to find that their Grandfather has bought an entire town, a ghost town. Nobody lives there these days, but the place was once known as Tin Cup, for the creek of the same name where silver and gold used to be mined. They stay at a boarding house, which has sub-par food, much to Benny’s disappointment. They go and visit the ghost town only to see what they think is a ghost. Could there really be ghosts in this ghost town? What’s up with the person who keeps offering Grandfather a lot of money for the town?

What I liked

I liked that this story was about a ghost town. I actually used to live near a ghost town, although it wasn’t that impressive. I used to live near an old gold-mining town called Auroria. It’s not out west, it’s in Georgia actually. It’s also supposed to be haunted, but I never saw anything there. Nobody really thinks of ghost towns in the east, but there are ghost towns in the east as well. Just think of the town of Centralia, where everything underground is on fire.

What I didn’t like

I feel like Grandfather just hoards things. He owns all these things, including this entire ghost town without a chance for anyone else to use them. I get that he’s got the money and he can buy whatever the heck he wants until he runs out of money, but it’s kind of sad that people aren’t experiencing something because one person owns it, but on the other hand, this ghost town is something that would be highly vandalized and broken into if people did know about it.

Overall

It’s an entire town of ghosts. They make ghost food and pay for it with ghost money. Mo’ ghost money. Mo’ ghost problems.

Weigh In

Would you live in a ghost town?

If you were a ghost, would you live in a ghost town full of other ghosts? Or would you live out by yourself in the country?

#971 Attack of the Mutant by R.L. Stine

Attack of the Mutant by R.L. StineAttack of the Mutant by R.L. Stine

Skipper loves comic books, a lot. There are many of them he leaves in the packages and never reads because that will make them worth less. His favorite comic book is about mutants. The main villain can rearrange his molecules into anything.

One day skipper meets a girl on the bus. She likes comic books as well, but not about super heroes. When he’s in her part of town, Skipper sees the headquarters for the nastiest villain in the comic book series he reads and wonders if it’s real. It looks exactly like the building in the comic books. Maybe he should go back and check it out.

Skipper soon finds that some of the things in his comic books might just be real and he’s not entirely sure what he should do about it.

What I liked

The idea of fictional stories coming to life, or being real in the first place, is interesting. Imagine if some fantastic thing you’ve read about is really real; it would be great, hopefully. We’re all still waiting on our Hogwarts letters, after all.

What I didn’t like

I am not a huge fan of comic books so I don’t get the whole obsession with comic books that Skipper has. I’m sure if I did have some comic book characters that I really liked and I found out that they were real, I would be super excited, possibly. Comic book characters being real would have some serious repercussions in the real world.

Overall

If you see a building you thought was fictional, go in, and see what happens.

Weigh In

If you did see a building you knew only as a fiction, would you go inside of it?

How would you feel if a favorite fictional character turned out to be real? child

#970 The Mystery of the Hidden Beach created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Mystery of the Hidden Beach created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Mystery of the Hidden Beach created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are going to the Florida Keys so Grandfather can visit a friend. While he’s visiting, the children are going to a sea-side camp. Each Alden finds something interesting they want to study at camp. They get to collect fish in pails and examine them for a while before putting them back. Someone starts stealing coral and other sea life from the area. Who could it be and why?

What I liked

I’ve never been to the Florida Keys. I would like to visit sometime. I also kind of want to say that I ate Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys.

What I didn’t like

It kind of sucks that someone would go around stealing marine life right out of the ocean, but it’s done all the time, so it’s not exactly something that anyone can combat to any large degree. I get that marine life should probably stay in the ocean, but at the same time, collecting marine life can lead to preservation efforts when a particular area of the sea has gotten too polluted.

Overall

Leave the coral alone.

Weigh In

Would you go to a camp to learn about sea life?

What do you think Grandfather got up to while the kids were at camp?