Three children from different backgrounds – one from Tennessee, one New Jersey and one Harlem – came together under a common cause – to share their love of Goosebumps! Two of the children are traditional eye-readers, but 10 year old David reads slightly differently. He reads with his ears due to dyslexia, a language based learning disability.
“What’s your favorite Goosebumps character?” begins their lively conversation.
“Slappy! And I’ve only read the first one – it ends in a cliff-hanger!”
“Oh, I’ve read them all, but don’t worry, I won’t tell you the ending. It’s good!”
Overhearing their conversation, you’d never guess one of the children struggles with reading. David is severely dyslexic, diagnosed at age 7. He is confident in his reading, thanks to Learning Ally’s audiobooks.
“It helps me read cooler books than I can read with my eyes,” confides David. “I think authors need to know that all kids, even kids who are dyslexic, love books and stories.”
And he got the chance to tell his favorite author, Stine, in person. A friend from New York connected the trio with R.L. Stine himself! The three had the chance of a lifetime in the form of a sit-down lunch in New York City with the best-selling king of children’s horror.
As Stine walked in, dressed in his signature all black, the kids prepared their copies of Goosebumps to be signed. In addition to about 8 well-worn copies, David also pulled out his school-issued iPod. He was eager to show Stine how the volunteers at Learning Ally make this world of ghosts and goblins accessible to all little minds!
“See, I push the button, and it highlights the words as it reads.”
“And you traveled all the way from Tennessee to show me this?” asks Stine.
“Yes!” says David.
“I’m very impressed!” replies Stine. “Thank you for showing me. I knew a little bit about dyslexia, but I had not seen this type of highlighted book before. I’m so glad you enjoy my stories!”
Soon after, the conversation easily flows. Stine confides that his own son never read his Goosebumps stories. He laughs it off, saying his grandson, on the other hand, dressed up as the Slappy character for Halloween! One of the most impressive facts they learned is that it only takes Stine about 2 weeks to write a new Goosebumps book! Wow!
While in New York, the young trio also got to visit the Learning Ally New York recording studio, where audiobooks (like Goosebumps) are created. They had fun looking around, meeting volunteers, and even trying out a short recording of their own!
“Seeing the books recorded was so cool,” David said after the trip. “And I can’t believe how easy it was to talk to R.L. Stine. That was the best day of my life! I can’t wait to see if he uses one of my ideas for a future book.”
Do you have a struggling reader who could benefit from audiobooks? Learn more about Learning Ally, a national non-profit, by visiting LearningAlly.org. We have many books written by R.L. Stine in our audiobook library, which includes over 82,000 titles (including textbooks).
– Jules Johnson
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