cover image The Baby-Sitter

The Baby-Sitter

R. L. Stine. Scholastic, $2.75 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-41858-4

Readers may find themselves eagerly turning pages to determine the culprit who threatens the life of sophomore Jenny Jeffers. After she starts a new babysitting job, Jenny receives a series of nightmarish calls. At first it appears that six-year-old Donny is playing pranks with the phone, but tension mounts when Jenny hears strange noises in the yard, then discovers a menacing note. Newspaper reports of recent attacks magnify her fears. Jenny becomes suspicious of Willers, a prowling neighbor and Chuck, the reputed class clown. Discriminating mystery fans will find the horror elements of this novel old hat and may be disappointed by the contrived outcome. Nonetheless, Stine effectively builds suspense and creates an intriguing cast of characters. The secret of the book's appeal may be in readers' willingness to accept the improbable. Ages 12-up. (July)