Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Case Study No. 0292: Mr. Mortman

Goosebumps review on "The Girl who Cried Monster"
this is my review on the goosebumps book "The Girl who Cried Monster" Thanks for watching
Tags: goosebumps
Added: 2 years ago
From: Booshy200
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[scene opens with a little boy holding up a copy of the book "The Girl Who Cried Monster" by R.L. Stine and speaking directly to the camera]
BOOSHY: Hi, it's Booshy again, showing you another review on "The Girl Who Cried Monster" ... It, it's an interesting book, but has some boring parts in it. And it's about a girl who finds out her li-barian is a monster, and she wants proof of it! That's your review on "Girl Who Cried Monster", bye!


From wikia.com:

The Girl Who Cried Monster is the eighth book in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series.

"Lucy likes to tell monster stories. She's told so many that her friends and her family are sick of it. Then one day, Lucy discovers a real, live monster: the librarian in charge of the summer reading program. Too bad Lucy's told so many monster tall tales. Too bad no one believes a word she says. Too bad the monster knows who she is... and is coming after her next."

Lucy Dark is spending her summer vacation scaring her brother and participating in the local library's reading program. She scares her brother Randy by merely mentioning that there might be a monster behind a tree, in a bush, around the corner, etc. Randy falls for this because he is six years old. The reading program at the library is called Reading Rangers, and the deputy of this program is the hideous, bald, sweaty mole-like Mr. Mortman. Mr. Mortman tries to encourage Lucy to read the classics, but the only book she really digs is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. She asks whether White Fang is about a monster and she also asks if Anne of Green Gables has any monsters in it.

One rainy summer evening, Lucy leaves the library and realizes she forgot her rollerblades. She goes back to the library after it has closed and while hiding sees Mr. Mortman reaching into his desk to procure some flies to feed to his pet turtles, which he keeps in a metal pan on his desk at all times. Lucy sees Mr. Mortman's head swell up, his eyes bulge out, and his mouth turn into a gaping black maw. Lucy leaves in a hurry and forgets her rollerblades again and so she heads back to get her rollerblades, but then the door is locked.

She tries to tell everyone who will listen about how Mr. Mortman is a monster, but they don't listen to her because she is always talking about monsters. So a week later, she returns to the library and after Mr. Mortman gives her a new book for the reading club, she hides in the stacks to catch Mr. Mortman in the act. After he escorts everyone out of the building, Mr. Mortman locks the doors, trapping Lucy in the library with him.

Lucy says to herself "This is boring." Then Mr. Mortman turns into a monster again! Then he eats some flies again. Then he picks up a turtle, chews up the shell, and swallows it. Lucy runs to the locked door and realizes the door is locked from the inside. She makes it out of the library again. She runs home and sees her friend Aaron, who she then tries to convince that she saw a monster. He doesn't believe her. She goes into her house and tries to convince Randy about Mr. Mortman, but he too doesn't believe her.

There is a knock on the door. It's Mr. Mortman! He kindly returns Lucy's bookbag, which she had left in the library. He asks if she had stayed behind after he closed up, but she says no. He bids her farewell as her mom pulls up in the driveway.

Her parents won't listen to her, so she enlists Aaron's help. Lucy offers him five dollars in advance to accompany her to the library. Her newest plan involves her and Aaron going back to the library. They hide, he sees Mr. Mortman turn into a monster, and then they plan to both tell her parents. Unfortunately, on the day of the big plan execution, Aaron is nowhere to be found. So Lucy decides She'll go back to the library again.

Lucy again hides in the library, alone, waiting for Mr. Mortman to change into a monster. Except that this time she's brought a camera to snap his picture. Once Mr. Mortman transforms into a monster again, Lucy takes his picture, but forgets about the flash and Mr. Mortman flies into a rage. There's a chase scene and Lucy escapes the library one more time. That night, Lucy's family all goes to the mall to eat at The Chinese Restaurant. Lucy begs her father to get her roll of film developed so she can prove to him once and for all that Mr. Mortman is a monster. After dinner Lucy races to the one hour photo joint to pick up her picture of Mr. Mortman. Except the photo shows an empty desk in the library, Mr. Mortman didn't show up in the picture at all.

Never deterred, Lucy has to come up with a new plan. It still involves hiding and spying, this time her and Aaron are scouting out Mr. Mortman's home rather than the library. The two kids tail Mr. Mortman from the library to his house. Lucy peeks through the living room window just in time to see Mr. Mortman indulge in a series of grotesque meals. First he takes a big handful of fish from his aquarium and shoves them into his mouth. Then Mr. Mortman chews up an entire snail, shell and all. Following that, he slurps up an entire eel like a spaghetti strand. Lucy tries to get Aaron to come peek in the window, but he's off looking for a ladder to see into Mr. Mortman's house better.

Lucy loses her balance and falls from the window. Aaron runs away from the house as Mr. Mortman exits the house and picks her up off the ground. Lucy makes up a story about how she was just there to tell him she wouldn't be at the Reading Rangers meeting the next day. He offers to let her inside so she can call her parents for a ride home, but she doesn't want to go inside.

Lucy's parents won't let her quit Reading Rangers. Forced to attend her meeting with Mr. Mortman, Lucy braves the rain and returns to the library. Before he starts the meeting, Mr. Mortman gets up and locks the door. He tells her he can't let her leave. He starts to make his move towards her when she leaps up and attempts escape. It seems dire but then she comes up with the bright idea of tearing out a drawer of the card catalog, spilling the contents on the ground. Mr. Mortman, though still a monster, is also a librarian and he stops his pursuit of Lucy to organize the cards. Lucy runs out into freedom. She also runs out into Aaron, who had been hiding in the library. Turns out he saw Mr. Mortman turn into a monster and is willing to tell her parents!

Lucy and Aaron tell Lucy's parents about Mr. Mortman and they respond with "Well, I guess we have to invite him to dinner." A few nights later, Mr. Mortman shows up for dinner. The family makes polite small talk with the librarian, who eventually inquires as to what is for dinner and asks the father to re[eat himself. The father says "You are!" again and he starts getting scared then Lucy's parents, who are monsters themselves, eat Mr. Mortman as their children cheer with joy.


From blogspot.com:

Reading Rangers is a summer reading program at the town library that Mom and Dad made me enroll in. They said they didn't want me to waste the whole summer. And if I joined this thing at the library, at least I'd read some good books.

The way Reading Rangers works is, I have to go see Mr. Mortman, the librarian, once a week. And I have to give a short report and answer some questions about the book I read that week. I get a gold star for every book I report on.

If I get six gold stars, I get a prize. I think the prize is a book. Big deal, right? But it's just a way to make you read.

I thought I'd read some of the scary mystery novels that all my friends are reading. But no way. Mr. Mortman insists on everyone reading "classics." He means old books.


By the time I got my Rollerblades laced and tied, I had only five minutes to get to the library. Luckily, it was only six or seven blocks away.

I was in big trouble anyway. I had managed to read only four chapters of Huckleberry Finn, my book for the week. That meant I was going to have to fake it with Mr. Mortman.

I picked the book up from my shelf. It was a new paperback. I wrinkled up some of the pages near the back to make it look as if I'd read that far. I tucked it into my backpack, along with a pair of sneakers. Then I made my way down the stairs — not easy in Rollerblades — and headed to the Timberland Falls town library.
The library was in a ramshackle old house on the edge of the Timberland woods. The house had belonged to some eccentric old hermit. And when he died, he had no family, so he donated the house to the town. They turned it into a library.
Some kids said the house had been haunted. But kids say that about every creepy old house. The library did look like a perfect haunted house, though.

It was three stories tall, dark shingled, with a dark, pointy roof between two stone turrets. The house was set back in the trees, as if hiding there. It was always in the shade, always dark and cold ???

Inside, the old floorboards creaked beneath the thin carpet the town had put down. The high windows let in very little light. And the old wooden bookcases reached nearly to the ceiling. When I edged my way through the narrow aisles between the tall, dark shelves, I always felt as if they were about to close in on me.

I had this frightening feeling that the shelves would lean in on me, cover me up, and I'd be buried there in the darkness forever. Buried under a thousand pounds of dusty, mildewy old books.

But of course that's silly.

It was just a very old house. Very dark and damp. Very creaky. Not as clean as a library should be. Lots of cobwebs and dust.

Mr. Mortman did his best, I guess. But he was kind of creepy, too.

The thing all of us kids hated the most about him was that his hands always seemed to be wet. He would smile at you with those beady little black eyes of his lighting up on his plump, bald head. He would reach out and shake your hand. And his hand was always sopping!

When he turned the pages of books, he'd leave wet fingerprints on the corners. His desktop always had small puddles on the top, moist handprints on the leather desk protector.

He was short and round. With that shiny, bald head and those tiny black eyes, he looked a lot like a mole. A wet-pawed mole.

He spoke in a high, scratchy voice. Nearly always whispered. He wasn't a bad guy, really. He seemed to like kids. He wasn't mean or anything. And he really liked books.

He was just weird, that's all. He sat on a tall wooden stool that made him hover over his enormous desk. He kept a deep aluminum pan on the side of his desk. Inside the pan were several little turtles, moving around in about an inch of water. "My timid friends," I heard him call them once.

Sometimes he'd pick up one of them and hold it in his pudgy fingers, high in the air, until it tucked itself into its shell. Then he'd gently set it down, a pleased smile on his pale, flabby face.

He sure loved his turtles. I guess they were okay as pets. But they were kind of smelly. I always tried to sit on the other side of the desk, as far away from the turtle pan as I could get.


Shadows danced across the wall as I made my way to the main room. A tree branch tapped noisily against the dust-covered pane of a high window.

The library was silent except for the creaking floorboards beneath my sneakers. As I entered the main room, I could hear the steady tick-tick-tick of the wall clock.
The lights had all been turned off.

I thought I felt something scamper across my shoe.

A mouse?

I stopped short and glanced down.

Just a dustball clinging to the base of a bookshelf.

Whoa, Lucy, I scolded myself. It's just a dusty old library. Nothing to get weird about. Don't let your wild imagination take off and lead you into trouble.


I still had that strange feeling. A gentle but insistent gnawing at my stomach. A tug at my chest.

Something isn't right. Something bad is about to happen.

People call them premonitions. It's a good vocabulary word for what I was feeling right then.

I found my Rollerblades where I had left them, against the wall back in the stacks. I grabbed them up, eager to get out of that dark, creepy place.

I headed quickly back toward the entrance, tiptoeing for some reason. But a sound made me stop.

I held my breath. And listened.

It was just a cough.

Peering down the narrow aisle, I could see Mr. Mortman hovered over his desk. Well, actually, I could just see part of him — one arm, and some of his face when he leaned to the left.

I was still holding my breath.

The clock tick-tick-ticked noisily from across the room. Behind his desk, Mr. Mortman's face moved in and out of blue-purple shadows.

The Rollerblades suddenly felt heavy. I lowered them silently to the floor. Then my curiosity got the better of me, and I took a few steps toward the front.

Mr. Mortman began humming to himself. I didn't recognize the song.

The shadows grew deeper as I approached. Peering down the dark aisle, I saw him holding a large glass jar between his pudgy hands. I was close enough to see that he had a pleasant smile on his face.

Keeping in the shadows, I moved closer.

I like spying on people. It's kind of thrilling, even when they don't do anything very interesting.

Just knowing that you're watching them and they don't know they're being watched is exciting.

Humming to himself, Mr. Mortman held the jar in front of his chest and started to unscrew the top. "Some juicy flies, my timid friends," he announced in his high-pitched voice.

So. The jar was filled with flies.

Suddenly, the room grew much darker as clouds rolled over the late afternoon sun. The light from the window dimmed. Gray shadows rolled over Mr. Mortman and his enormous desk, as if blanketing him in darkness.

From my hidden perch among the shelves, I watched him prepare to feed his turtles.

But wait.

Something was wrong.

My premonition was coming true.

Something weird was happening!

As he struggled to unscrew the jar lid, Mr. Mortman's face began to change. His head floated up from his turtleneck and started to expand, like a balloon being inflated.

I uttered a silent gasp as I saw his tiny eyes poke out of his head. The eyes bulged bigger and bigger, until they were as big as doorknobs.

The light from the window grew even dimmer.

The entire room was cast in heavy shadows. The shadows swung and shifted.

I couldn't see well at all. It was like I was watching everything through a dark fog.

Mr. Mortman continued to hum, even as his head bobbed and throbbed above his shoulders and his eyes bulged out as if on stems, poking straight up like insect antennae.

And then his mouth began to twist and grow. It opened wide, like a gaping black hole on the enormous, bobbing head.

Mr. Mortman sang louder now. An eerie, frightening sound, more like animal howling than singing.

He pulled off the lid of the jar and let it fall to the desk. It clanged loudly as it hit the desktop.

I leaned forward, struggling to see. Squinting hard, I saw Mr. Mortman dip his fat hand into the jar. I could hear loud buzzing from the jar. He pulled out a handful of flies.

I could see his eyes bulge even wider.

I could see the gaping black hole that was his mouth.

He held his hand briefly over the turtle cage. I could see the flies, black dots all over his hand. In his palm. On his short, stubby fingers.

I thought he was going to lower his hand to the aluminum pun. I thought he was going to feed the turtles.

But, instead, he jammed the flies into his own mouth.

I shut my eyes and held my hand over my mouth to keep from puking.

Or screaming.

I held my breath, but my heart kept racing.

The shadows lurched and jumped. The darkness seemed to float around me.

I opened my eyes. He was eating another handful of flies, shoving them into his gaping mouth with his fingers, swallowing them whole. " I wanted to shout.

I wanted to run.

Mr. Mortman, I realized, was a monster.

The shadows seemed to pull away. The sky outside the window brightened, and a gray triangle of light fell over Mr. Mortman's desk.

Opening my eyes, I realized I'd been holding my breath. My chest felt as if it were about to burst. I let the air out slowly and took another deep breath.

Then, without glancing again to the front of the room, I turned and ran. My sneakers thudded over the creaky floors, but I didn't care.

I had to get out of there as fast as I could.

I bolted out the front door of the library onto the stone steps, then down the gravel driveway. I ran as fast as I could, my arms flying wildly at my sides, my black hair blowing behind me.

I didn't stop until I was a block away.

Then I dropped to the curb and waited for my heart to stop pounding like a bass drum.

Heavy rain clouds rolled over the sun again. The sky became an eerie yellow-black. A station wagon rolled past. Some kids in the back of it called to me, but I didn't raise my head.

I kept seeing the shadowy scene in the library again and again.

Mr. Mortman is a monster.

The words repeated nonstop in my mind.

It can't be, I thought, gazing up at the black clouds so low overhead.

I was seeing things. That had to be it.

All the shadows in the dark library. All the swirling darkness.

It was an optical illusion.

It was my wild imagination.

It was a daydream, a silly fantasy.

No! a loud voice in my head cried.

No, Lucy, you saw Mr. Mortman's head bulge. You saw his eyes pop out and grow like hideous toadstools on his ballooning face.

You saw him reach into the fly jar. You heard him humming so happily, so . . . hungrily.

You saw him jam the flies into his mouth. Not one handful, but two.

And maybe he's still in there, eating his fill.

It was dark, Lucy. There were shadows. But you saw what you saw. You saw it all.

Mr. Mortman is a monster.

I climbed to my feet. I felt a cold drop of rain on top of my head.

"Mr. Mortman is a monster." I said it out loud.

I knew I had to tell Mom and Dad as fast as I could. "The librarian is a monster." That's what I'd tell them.

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