R.L. Stine visits New Orleans

Our little Waldorf School of New Orleans won a citywide contest hosted by the New Orleans Public Library for the most pages read per student. The prize? A visit from R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps! books!

Representatives from the library and Channel 6 news, students, parents, faculty, and staff gathered outside–until the rain started! Everyone gamely pulled out umbrellas and dashed into the Sun Room, spirits undampened, where Mr. Stine engaged the kids in creating a ghost story and told a real ghost story from his childhood. When Mr. Stine asked “Who here has seen a real ghost?” most of the hands went up. This is New Orleans, after all.

During question and answer time, the kids had prepped a list of questions, which Ms. Lesley handed to Mr. Stine to choose from. To his credit, Mr. Stine laid down the piece of paper and interacted with eagerly raised hands instead. Double proud moment when my first-grader asked, “How many sentences do you write a day?” and Mr. Stine answered, “Nobody has ever asked that before!” Points for uniqueness!

Fun facts:

  • He writes 2000 words a day
  • His writing room has a human skeleton, lots of eyeballs, horror movie posters, and a 3-foot roach that he likes to say he caught under the sink
  • Each book is plotted and outlined, start to finish, before he gets down to the writing
  • He’s written about 350 books
  • He started writing at 9 years old, and his mom always nagged him to go outside and play, but he said, “Outside is boooring!”
  • Slappy is his favorite character
  • He’s currently working on “Slappyverse,” four new books featuring Slappy; the first one will be “Slappy Birthday to You”

The upside of being rained out was bringing visitors into the school: instruments in corners, choral risers ready for rehearsal, artwork on the walls, and handmade items on the office shelves. Here’s hoping that Mr. Stine’s lasting impression was memorable both for the weather and the amazing group of kids and adults who comprise WSNO!

Tomorrow, the New Orleans Public Library hosts Boucheron Kids Day as part of BoucherCon, a mystery writing convention in town for the weekend. Mr. Stine is moderating a panel about writing kidlit. I’m so there!

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