Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, he says. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they… meet… some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plant like tendencies.
It’s hard to properly judge a Goosebumps book. After all, even as a child, while I found the stories entertaining, I never found any of them to be scary. Stay Out of the Basement is definitely one of the books I probably only read once and as my son and I reread it, I could understand why.
For one, the children in the story are about as dense as a two by four. Their scientist father is doing all sorts of experiments in the basement and yet, time and time again, they shrug off his weird behaviors. Let’s just say, if your dad had a head full of leaves, you’d probable pester him to the point of being grounded about what happened. However, they barely even stew over the fact he never answers their questions.
While this book still takes several chapters before you start getting into anything worth while, it didn’t wait until the last six chapters like the previous book. However, I must admit the showdown in the basement lacked any real forethought. For one, Margaret finds herself trying to figure out which “dad” was her real dad, when in reality, it was fairly obvious. Unless her father has completely lost his mind and decided to tie up his former boss, it’s the father who was tied up with him, right? And yet, there are a few chapters dedicated to her looking back and forth, before realizing all she had to do was cut one to figure it out. A bit too over-dramatic for my taste, but as a child, I could see how it might help build up the suspense in order to keep the reader engaged. I suppose I can Stine an ‘A’ for effort and three stars for execution.