Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Goosebumps Most Wanted: The Lizard of Oz

Scholastic; 154 pages; $6.99; Amazon
I couldn't have a Halloween event on my blog without at least featuring one "Goosebumps" title. R.L. Stine has been scaring kids to death since the early 1990s with his Twilight Zone inspired book series. Each book is written from the point-of-view of a kid between the age 10-13, where he or she would have some sort of scary adventure. Typically, the books would have shocking endings.

The newest entry is titled Goosebumps Most Wanted: The Lizard of Oz (book 10 in the "Most Wanted" series). It begins with a quick introduction by R.L. Stine, who is showing the readers the Most Wanted poster of a lizard in the Goosebumps office. Then the story jumps to point-of-view of Kate Lipton, a twelve-year-old, with a very odd family, and, no, she isn't taking about her little brother, Freddy.

Out of nowhere, Kate's parents had decided to quit their jobs and start a miniature pony farm in Middle Village, Pennsylvania. After that plan failed, they tried to start a miniature pony petting farm, and you can probably guess that that idea didn't work either.

After borrowing money from relatives, the Lipton family travels to Australia. It seems her parents have always been obsessed with lizards, and that's exactly why they are in Australia - so they can get a rare lizard. After meeting a strange man named Dr. Gregg, her parents convinced him to let them buy a Tasmanian Cobra lizard egg to take back home.

Yep, Kate's parents have another great idea. This time they want to start a lizard farm!

Shortly after returning to Middle Village, the little lizard is hatched. Kate is excited about the lizard, well, until it bites her. Her father tells her she will be just fine from the bite. However, Kate begins to worry when lizard skin appears on her arms!

Final Thoughts:  The times have changed since the 1990s; however,  the Goosebumps series has basically stayed the same, though new technology and slang are now used. The cover art with the evil lizard hatching out of it's shell is extremely creepy, though the actual plot has more humor in it than it does scares. R.L. Stine works his magic, giving us readers an interesting main character, Kate, and a surprising ending twist. Overall, Goosebumps Most Wanted: The Lizard of Oz is a fast-paced, fun book that will appeal to younger readers (or older fans).

Note: From my understanding this is the last book in the "Most Wanted" series. Goosebumps Slappyworld will begin in 2017.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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