What would the ultimate horror be? How about if it was the first day of school forever? That’s the premise behind the latest book by the Stephen King of children’s literature, R.L. Stine, It’s the First Day of School…Forever! In it, you’ll read about Artie Howard’s first day as a fifth grader at his new school, Aardvark–no, Aardmore–Middle School, though Artie likes to call it “Aardvark.” It’s a fun, fast-paced, page-turning read, kind of like the comedy movie Ground Hog Day, with Bill Murray, except creepier. You won’t want to put the book down, because you’ll want to keep reading to find out if and how Artie will ever manage to escape from the fate he seems cursed to reliving, day after day–his first, terrible day at Aardmore Middle School.
You think you have had some bad first days of school, but I bet they’re nothing compared to eleven-year-old Artie’s! (However, please feel free to mention any particularly brutal first days you’ve had in the Comments section below, or any other comments about this book or Goosebumps, R.L. Stine, etc.) His day starts off by his falling on the floor when the alarm goes off and bouncing his head on the wood floor. It only gets worse from there–much, much worse!
How could it get any worse? Imagine having a five-year-old brother who delights in causing messes, and, that while putting syrup on his pancakes, he squirts it so that a big glob of it gets in your hair, and your mom tells you there’s no time wash it out: “Go take a towel and try to rub it out as best you can.” How can you just rub out syrup from your hair? Artie wanted to make a good impression his first day of school, and instead ends up going to school looking like a total loser! Not only that, Artie’s dog, Wowser, jumps up on him and shreds the sleeve of his black T-shirt with his nails. He has to run back upstair and quickly choose a different T-shirt, and tries to use a hairbrush to brush the syrup from his hair, but “the hairbrush stuck to my head.”
Artie grabs a Cubs baseball cap before he leaves, to try to hide his matted, syrupy hair. Then, to add insult to injury, he has to walk his brother, Eddie, to his Cyrus Elementary school, and on the way, Artie’s brother jumps in every puddle and splashes water on him. Also, a truck roars by them, splashing yet more water on Artie. That would be enough to ruin almost anyone’s first day of school, but the worst is still yet to come!
Artie’s new principal meets him at the door and tells him that he can’t wear his cap inside. When Artie removes it, some of his hair also gets yanked out of his head, leaving a bald spot. Also, Artie’s dog, Wowser, follows him to school and jumps up on the principal, getting muddy paw prints on his suit and ripping off his jacket pocket. Other terrible things that happen to Artie include his accidently stomping on the star football player, Brick’s, foot, throwing a baseball to a spiky-haired kid that instead hits Brick’s head and knocks him out, not being able to find his class, and winding up in the wrong class and taking Brick’s seat. When Brick confronts him about being in his seat, and Artie gets up to find his class which is across the hall, he accidently takes Brick’s backpack instead of his own.
Once he gets to his own classroom, the only seat left is one by the window close to an aquarium that contains a rare scorpion that the teachers says will be the basis of many of the units they’ll learn about that year. A bee flies through the window, gets down Artie’s shirt, and as he tries to get it out, he accidently knock the aquarium’s lid off and he “watched helplessly as…as…as the rare and valuable scorpion sailed out the window.”
I won’t tell you more about what happens to Artie, because I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment you’ll get from reading this wonderful book. There’s talk about its being made into a movie, also, which Ellen Goldsmith-Vein will produce through The Gotham Group along with Eric Robinson, Yvonne Bernard, and Beth Elise Hawk, and I’m sure whenever that happens, it should be a cool flick that you’ll want to check out! You’d think after you read about Artie’s horrible first day of school, that the first days that follow couldn’t get any worse, but believe me, they do.
It’s the First Day of School…Forever! is a Goosebumps-like book by R.L Stine that is one of his finest yet, about everybody’s worst nightmare, to be stuck repeating your first day of school forever. It’s a book that you’ll want to put on your reading list if you’re already a Goosebumps and R.L. Stine fan, or if you just love reading awesome horror stories mixed with a little bit of odd humor. R.L. Stine has hit another home run with this cool book!