I have already mentioned my favourite book from my childhood in my day 12 post, the ‘first novel I remembered reading’. In that I discussed James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, alongside many of the other Roald Dahl books. So if you want to know more about that favourite from my early childhood, click on the link provided. Otherwise, read on for my favourite book from the next phase of my childhood…
I am going to fast-forward a little bit to my later childhood, the books I was reading when I was maybe 9, or 10 years old. So, for those of you about my age, born somewhere in the 1980s, growing up in the 1990s…who remembers these books?
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine was a huge part of not just my childhood, but many children around me. These quirky horror stories for kids were immensely popular, and across the 62 books published under this title in its prime during the mid 90s (plus a few more later), some 350 million copies have apparently been sold worldwide, which is quite astonishing. There were also variations on the classic stories, such as the Give Yourself Goosebumps, which were essentially “choose your own adventure” type books, giving you a choice at the end of each page or fragment of the story, telling you to go to another specific page depending on which you choose, and leading to a number of different endings for the stories.
I personally collected maybe ten to fifteen of these books, before they started to become a bit too much the same (even as a child I was becoming picky, it seems). But I loved the ones I had, some of which I read many times over (by memory my favourite was “The Haunted Mask”). They were probably not the best written books ever, especially when one considers just how many of these R. L. Stine churned out during this short period of time, but they captured the reading imagination of a whole generation looking for something different, something gross, something to talk about at school, and were marketed perfectly so as to induce many young buyers to beg their parents to buy the next book in the series every couple of months. Even now as adults, I have met many people who are quite proud of still owning their childhood collection of Goosebumps books.
Did you ever have any series like this you followed as a child? What was your favourite book overall, from all of your childhood? Do you still have that book somewhere?