Thursday, 18 February 2016

Review - Rotten School: Dudes, This School Is Haunted!

111 pages; Amazon
Just by reading the title alone, one would think Rotten School: Dudes, the School is Haunted! would be a scary book along the same vein R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books, but, sadly, you would be mistaken. Remember this is the Rotten School series, so the main focus is slapstick humor.

Set in the private boarding school called Rotten School, the series focuses on a troublemaker 4th grader named Bernie Bridges, who is always coming up with some sort of scheme to make money or try to win the heart of the prettiest girl in class, April-May-June.

On a rare field-trip to the Lousy Town Zoo, Bernie's shy friend, Chipmunk, accidentally gets the school bully, Joe Sweety, in trouble and everyone thinks he is a hero. Well, all except for chipmunk, who wants to just hide underneath his bed in fear that Joe might hurt him.

After learning that Joe is afraid of scary movies, Bernie has the perfect plan to scare the living daylights out him. First, he tells Joe a little white lie that Rotten School is haunted by a student who was bullied by another student named Joe. Eventually the student became so scared that he died, but he returns every five years to haunt a new student that happens to be named Joe.

Joe Sweety becomes spooked by the story, which sets into motion a few pranks by Bernie and his pals.
Final Thoughts: It's been awhile since I read this book, so I didn't remember one single thing about it. Unlike the previous installments, Bernie's enemy, Sherman Oaks, doesn't appear; instead the focus is on the school bully, Joe Sweety. Bullying is a horrible thing that occurs in schools; I was bullied throughout junior high and high school during the 90s, and it's a tough thing to get over. R.L. Stine puts his a comical touch on the subject, with Bernie and pals getting revenge on on the school bully. While there are a few funny jokes here and there, the plot here is kind of bland. However, I still liked reading (well, rereading) it.

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