The movie Groundhog Day and Wendy Mass’ book 11 Birthdays have each tackled the topic of one day happening over and over, so It’s the First Day of School…Forever! by R.L. Stine does not start with a wholly original topic, but he does put a unique spin on the idea, as 6th-grader Artie not only faces the first day of school over and over, but the first day of school as the new kid.
He’s plagued by all the things that concern kids across the nation on the first day of school: what to wear, who to eat with at lunch, which desk to sit in, how to navigate the school, how to avoid getting into trouble. Unfortunately, even if he’s trying to avoid it, trouble is coming for him. He gets off on a bad foot with the principal when his dog follows him to school and for breaking the dress code by wearing a hat.
Artie is pretty lovable. You have to root for this kid who is trying to do everything right, but ends up doing everything wrong, even when he’s lived through it once or twice!
The bulk of the book is taken up with the telling of the first first day, but I still wondered how he would keep it fresh as the same events repeated themselves. Well, he did. Artie’s observations and strategies on the subsequent days add life and humor to the story, and of course, there are the zombies.
Zombies? That’s right, this is R.L. Stine after all. I was never a Goosebumps reader, so this was my first exposure to him, and I was thinking that this was a pretty normal school story for someone who was supposed to be the master of horror for little ones, until the zombies and giant scorpions appeared. In truth, the zombies aren’t really all that terrifying or gross. Maybe it’s because it seems less real due to the repetition of the story.
I wondered how the story was going to resolve, and I was impressed with Stine’s creative explanation that is likely to sit well with most kids in this age group. I’m glad that I was able to check out this book, read in a simple straight-forward way by Matthew Brown. If Kyle wanted to read more of R.L. Stine’s books, I don’t think I’d stop him.
We have an audiobook copy of It’s the First Day of School…Forever! to give away to one of you (U.S. shipping addresses only). Leave a comment here if you’d like to win, and we’ll announce the winner on August 24. The Giveaway is Closed.
- The winners of our recent giveaway for the novel This Beautiful Life are # 1 Liz, #5 Bin, and #14 Linda Kish.
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Jennifer Donovan read her fair share of horror as a teen, so she’s not going to turn her nose up if Kyle wants to explore the genre. She blogs about other ways she encourages her kids to read at Snapshot.
Pam Moore says
My son just turned 11. He loves to read as part of our homeschooling, but resists it for pure enjoyment. The past few weeks we’ve discovered the beauty of books on CD (Yes, I’m slow on the uptake), which he is really enjoying. Also, yesterday, we checked out a Goosebumps book and DVD for the first time. I’m trying to encourage a few different genres in hopes of sparking that love of reading. He seems to really like this type of topic. The giveaway would be a perfect fit for us right now. :0)
You won! I’m so glad to be able to add a CD to your collection! Please reply to this email notification with your shipping address.
Have not tried audiobooks but now may be the time.
Some Lucky Dog says
My two adult boys loved the Goosebumps books when they were kids. I think my grandson would love this one!
someluckydog at gmail dot com
A great school-year starter read to use with or pass on to the grands!
Beth C says
I’d love to be entered for this. Sounds perfect for my granddaughter.
I would love to win this. My nephew loves all goosebumps books.
yay for an audiobook copy of It’s the First Day of School…Forever! luv the listening kind of reading”)
Martha C says
I have a son starting 6th grade and he may enjoy this!
Kristin G says
My 3rd graders would fight over R.L.Stine books, they loved them!
Kimberly aisha Hashmi says
I am 40, have read each and every single Goosebump book and have every single one of his movies that my kids love to watch! I had gotten all of his books for my nephew right when Goosebumps started out, in the late 80’s-early 90’s, and have just kept purchasing them for my own children. I am a die-hard fan and am BEGGING to be the winner! I really loved it when they had the tv series, and that it why i own all the movies that were made from the books, like the Nancy Drew series that came on tv in the early 80’s… I used to drool over every episode and that is what happened with the Goosebumps and the Are you afraid of the dark? series. I hope I win, if not, I will get this book too! R.L. Stine RULES!
I’d love to win this for my young cousin — I know he’d really enjoy the chance to listen to this audiobook!
My 3rd graders love R.L. Stine and would love to start the school year with this new story!
Looking for anything to interest a 5th grade boy who doesn’t enjoy reading! 🙂
My children and I use to read these book’s by R.L. Stine all the time when they were younger. Would love to read this one to my grandchild.