It’s fair to say that children’s stories have played a huge part of everyone’s childhood. Yep, even you! When you were younger, your mother or your father probably read you a bedtime story to get you to sleep. As you made your way into the education system, you were probably encouraged to read children’s books for fun and to improve your learning. But what did you read? Well, we bet there were a few Goosebumps books on your bookshelves – because they were epic. Yet, does anyone know behind the story of the Goosebumps book series?
Who wrote the Goosebumps book series?
The Goosebumps books were written by the famous children’s horror author, Robert Lawrence Stine. However, you might know him by a few of his pen names. He often writes under R.L. Stine, Eric Affabee, and even Jovial Bob Stine. Also known as the ‘Stephen King of Children’s Literature’ (what an achievement), R.L Stine was the name behind the incredible horror book series, the first of which was published in 1992. In fact, Stine wrote a whopping 62 Goosebumps books in the original series between 1992 and 1997 – and that’s not including the hundreds of spin-off books and series’. So, he’s kind of a big deal.
What are the Goosebumps books about?
The Goosebumps books series has proven to be so incredibly popular because the storylines are so darn epic. Although these are horror stories, R.L Stine ensured that every single story in the series had funny and humorous aspects to them. Amazingly, all of the Goosebumps books featured different main characters and different storylines – but many of the plot themes and structures were incredibly similar. They normally featured a main character who finds themselves isolated from the rest of the world and faced with scary creatures and monstrous supernatural beings.
What inspired the books?
Although the Goosebumps books are entirely original, R.L Stine took inspiration from many pop culture references to create his characters, his settings, and his storylines. In fact, his famous character, Slappy the Dummy, was actually inspired by the incredible story of Pinocchio (he’s a real boy!) Stine also used his own experiences and memories to form new and improved stories for kids to read. For example, the idea for The Haunted Mask came after his son got a creepy Halloween mask stuck on his head. Apparently, Stine thinks of the title of his next book before he gets started on the content – smart!
How successful have they been?
It’s no secret that the Goosebumps series has been immensely popular, but many people don’t realize how popular they really were. After the release of the first book, it had sold a whopping 1 million copies within the month, which is a massive achievement. By the mid-’90s, four million books were being snapped off the shelves every single month! Over the course of their run, the books have also been in numerous best-seller lists, including the 2001 Publishers Weekly bestselling children’s books of all time – where 46 of the books in the series were included in the list.
You probably read the Goosebumps series when you were a child, but did you know where it all began? Well, now you have an excuse to read them all over again….