Cover image for What's so scary about R.L. Stine?
What's so scary about R.L. Stine?
Jones, Patrick, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xxvii, 249 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.T4837 Z74 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this spirited defense, Patrick Jones examines Stine's genius for writing pop culture, a craft that has its own skills and value. Jones proposes that debate about Stine has become a prism through which we view questions about youth and popular reading, particularly horror and other paperback series.

Author Notes

Patrick Jones is a former librarian for teenagers. He received lifetime achievement awards from the American Library Association and the Catholic Library Association in 2006. He is the author of numerous books including Things Change, Chasing Tail Lights, The Tear Collector, and The Gamble.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

YA-Based on interviews and articles by experts in the fields of literature and psychology, this book includes Jones's own viewpoint to build a powerful argument for appreciating and evaluating Stine's style, popularity, and contribution to young adult literature. The well-written introduction sets the tone and subsequent chapters expand on and explore the themes and arguments presented. Jones's perspectives are insightful, but many of the gems in the book are buried in lengthy paragraphs and chapters. While this title is intended as a comprehensive study and analysis of the Stine "phenomena," readers will sometimes wish for Stine's brevity when looking for specific information. Still, this is a sure bet for reports.-Molly S. Kinney, Office of Public Library Services, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Editor's Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Chronologyp. xv
Introduction: Why R.L. Stine?p. xix
1. Don't Go in the Attic: childhood, college, and early writing careerp. 1
2. Joke Teller: humor booksp. 17
3. Plot Twister: multiple storyline booksp. 31
4. A Blind Date: first thriller, Blind Datep. 41
5. Thrills, Chills, and Spills: the appeal of horrorp. 63
6. Horror Master: the Fear Street seriesp. 83
7. Twice the Thrills Twice a Year: Fear Street Super Chillersp. 109
8. Thrillogies: Fear Street trilogiesp. 121
9. Off Fear Street: other YA novels and an adult novelp. 135
10. Number One Without a Bullet: Goosebumpsp. 147
11. The Stine Machine: writing processp. 169
12. What's So Scary About R.L. Stine?p. 183
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 245
About the Authorp. 251