Fear Street Series
“R. L. Stine is so popular, it's scary,” Jacqueline Blais said, adding that in 1994 Stine sold more books than any author in America.
“When I was nine years old, I discovered a typewriter in our attic,” Stine stated in a teacher's guide to his fiction. “I dragged it downstairs and started typing little joke magazines and books. That's what I've been doing ever since, probably using a lot of the same jokes.”
R. L. Stine's jokes have taken a gruesome twist. Stine—along with Christopher Pike—heads a swarm of young adult writers offering the thrills and chills of Stephen King but with younger characters and age-appropriate topics. Stine has established a niche for himself with two popular series: Fear Street, for teens, and Goosebumps, for their younger brothers and sisters.
A typical Fear Street story is The Wrong Number. Deena Martinson and best friend Jade Smith think it is a harmless prank to make sexy phone calls to the boys from school, but Deena's half brother, Chuck, finds out what they are doing and threatens to tell their parents—unless they let him in on the fun. He begins making random calls and threatening whoever answers. He thinks it is dangerous and exciting. They are all a little bit thrilled when news of the calls gets into the papers. There is a public uproar. Crank calls and false bomb threats are no joke.
Then Chuck calls the number of a house on Fear Street and joshes about murder to the wrong person: a murderer who knows who the callers are. He knows where they live, too, and they have no one they can call for help.