Sitter [NOOK Book]

Overview

Master of chilling suspense R. L. Stine proves that you never outgrow a good scare. If he frightened you then, he’ll terrify you now. . . .

Ellie Saks is dying to escape the city. She’s sick of dead-end jobs, her mother’s disapproval, her loser ex-boyfriend, Clay, who won’t take a hint, and the memories of a terrible incident that occurred years ago. When her best friend suggests a summer in the Hamptons, full of glitzy parties, cool ...
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Sitter

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Overview

Master of chilling suspense R. L. Stine proves that you never outgrow a good scare. If he frightened you then, he’ll terrify you now. . . .

Ellie Saks is dying to escape the city. She’s sick of dead-end jobs, her mother’s disapproval, her loser ex-boyfriend, Clay, who won’t take a hint, and the memories of a terrible incident that occurred years ago. When her best friend suggests a summer in the Hamptons, full of glitzy parties, cool cocktails, and hot dates, Ellie’s on the first Jitney out. To fund all this glamour, Ellie takes a job as a nanny.

From the outside, the family’s beachfront home is perfect. But then Ellie meets four-year-old Brandon, who hasn’t spoken for months. The boy’s icy stare and demonic laughter make clear to Ellie that he is troubled, haunted by something too horrible for words.

She begins to receive threatening messages and disturbing gifts. But it’s not until she barely escapes a harrowing experience that she realizes her life may depend on figuring out who’s behind it: Clay? Brandon? And why? And every once in a while, in a crowd, she sees a face she hasn’t seen in seven years—the face of a boy who died long ago. It would seem that Ellie’s summer of fun has turned into a summer of horror—one she’ll never forget . . . if she survives it at all.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345464415
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 533,770
  • File size: 385 KB

Meet the Author

R. L. Stine
R. L. Stine began his writing career when he was nine years old, and today he has achieved the position of the bestselling children’s author in history. In the early 1990s, Stine was catapulted to fame when he wrote the unprecedented bestselling Goosebumps® series, which sold more than 250 million copies and became a worldwide media phenomenon.

R.L. Stine has received numerous awards of recognition. He lives in New York, NY.


From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

Goosebumps cast a spell upon children by transforming even the most reluctant students into avid readers. Despite the fact that almost every book has a different collection of characters, the series has one common element that kids can't get enough of: the author!

However believable his plots seem to his readers, Stine insists he has never lived one of his stories. "I've never turned into a bee -- I've never been chased by a mummy or met a ghost. But many of the ideas in my books are suggested by real life. For example, one Halloween my son, Matt, put a mask on and then had trouble pulling it off. That gave me the idea for The Haunted Mask."

Although he never experienced terror first hand, he did enjoy reading about it. "When I was a kid, there were these great comic books called Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror. They were gruesome. I discovered them in the barbershop and thought they were fabulous. I used to get a haircut every Saturday so I wouldn't miss any of these comic books. I had no hair at all when I was a kid!"

His ideas came from two sources: his memory and his imagination. "When I write, I try to think back to what I was afraid of or what was scary to me, and try to put those feelings into books." He also keeps a tribal mask and a skeleton hanging in his writing studio to provide eerie surroundings. Although he handles the writing by himself, Stine says he gets "lots of help from my editors, my readers, and my friends."

Kids reading Goosebumps may be looking for a scare, but the laughs they get are no accident. Before he was R. L., he was Jovial Bob, author of such works as 101 Silly Monster Jokes, and Bozos on Patrol and editor of Bananas magazine. His ability to know what kids will laugh at , as well as what will frighten them, makes the Goosebumps series all the more enjoyable for his readers.

Stine started writing when he was 9 years old! He would write stories and jokes on an old typewriter and hand them out at school. "The teacher would grab them and take them away," Stine says, "but I kept doing it." He wrote for his high school newspaper in Columbus Ohio. After graduating from Ohio State University, he moved to New York City, where he worked on a variety of writing jobs.

Although his books are fun and exciting, writing them is serious stuff. He treats writing "...like a job." To unwind after work he enjoys playing the pinball machine conveniently located in his own apartment.

For aspiring authors, Stine feels reading is as important as writing. He offers this advice: "If you want to be a writer, don't worry so much about writing. Read as much as you can. Read as many different writers as you can. Soak up the styles. You can learn all kinds of ways to say things." As a boy he read Norse legends, Greek myths, Edgar Allan Poe and baseball stories. "And Mad Magazine changed my life." Author biography courtesy of Scholastic, Inc.

Good To Know

In our interview with Stine, he shared some fun and fascinating facts with us:

"My first job in New York was making up fake interviews with movie and TV stars for a group of six movie magazines. I never spoke to the stars I wrote about. I wrote three-to-four "interviews" a day, all out of my imagination."

"'I've written over 300 books but I never learned to type. I use only one finger, the pointer on my left hand -- that's all. Three hundred books on one finger! The finger is very ugly now -- completely bent and curled and callused. When I show it to audiences, they can't believe it! This is my sacrifice for my art!"

"Sometimes kids show up at my country house and ask if my son Matt can come out and play. That's because they saw him mentioned in the back of my books. But they're very disappointed when he comes to the door -- because Matt is in his mid-twenties now! They were reading very old books! Matt is a musician, composer, and sound designer. You can hear his music at my web site, www.rlstine.com."

"I hope my readers get a chance to see my 4-D movie, R. L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse. The movie stars Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Lea Thompson, Weird Al, and others. You can find it playing at four parks: SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia. Watch out -- you might get very wet!"

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    1. Also Known As:
      Robert Lawrence Stine; Jovial Bob Stine
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 8, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      Columbus, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Ohio State University, 1965
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

Two Months Earlier, New York City


What are you drinking?” I shouted.

My friend Teresa stared back at me. We had moved to the bar in the corner of the club, but it wasn’t much quieter over here.

“What are you drinking?”

She squinted at me. “Huh?”

“What . . . are . . . you . . . drinking?” I screamed over the music.

“Oh.” Teresa held up her glass. The ice cubes jangled in a dark liquid, darker and thicker than Coke. “It’s Red Bull and Jägermeister. Here. Try it, El.”

She shoved the glass into my hand. I took a sip, swallowed, and felt my face shrivel up. “It’s disgusting. That’s the worst thing I ever tasted.”

She smiled. “I know.” She took back the glass and raised it, toasting me.

The place was called Beach Club, even though it was nowhere near a beach. We were on Second Avenue on the East Side of Manhattan. It was our favorite club, our subterranean hideaway where we escaped nearly every weekend.

My name is Ellie Saks, and I’m twenty-four years old. Why do I need a subterranean hideaway? Don’t ask.

A long metal stairway, dark and kind of creaky, like a subway entrance, led down to the club. And when we got to the bottom, our heels clicking on the rickety metal steps, we found ourselves in this amazing place, all silver and chrome and lights and mirrors.

Rows of silver tables and booths stretched along both walls, with the dance floor between them. Couples jammed the wide dance floor. Red and white lights pulsed in time to the throbbing dance music.

An enormous ceiling mirror reflected the dancers and the lights. Following Teresa to the curving chrome bar in the back, I had stared up at the upside-down dancers and thought it might be fun to be up there with them, graceful and oblivious, safe from the chaos below.

The bar was full, but two tall, long-haired girls in embroidered red halter tops and short shorts stood up just as we arrived, and we grabbed their high-backed stools. I ordered my usual glass of chardonnay. Then I made the mistake of tasting Teresa’s drink.

I kept swallowing, trying to get rid of the taste. “It tastes like . . . bubble gum and Robitussin.”

Teresa tilted the glass to her mouth and took a long drink. “Hey, you got it. Cough medicine. Yeah.” She laughed.

She has a high, hoarse laugh, sort of like a little boy’s. She doesn’t look like a little boy, though. She’s tall and a little plump, with sexy big green eyes, and piles of long, coppery curls streaked with blond, hair that she’s always playing with, tossing from side to side.

“Everyone’s drinking it. Know who introduced me to it? Ellie, remember Paulo? The guy in the mail room?”

I set my glass of chardonnay down on the bar. “You went out with Paulo?”

Teresa nodded, grinning.

“Does he speak English?” I asked.

“I’m not sure. The bar he took me to was as noisy as this one. I couldn’t really hear a word he said. Then we went back to his place. On Avenue A, I think. But he didn’t talk much.”

I shook my head. “Teresa, why did you go out with him?”

She coiled and uncoiled a thick lock of hair. “I wanted to see the rest of his tattoos.”

We both laughed.

I turned the stem of the wineglass between my fingers. “And? Go on. Tell. Did you see them?”

She nodded. “Yes. But it didn’t work out. When I read one that he had down there—you know, down there—I had to leave.”

“Excuse me? What did it say?”

“M-O-M.”

I shouldn’t have taken a drink. White wine went spewing out my nose. I was sputtering and choking and laughing, all at the same time.

The guy next to me turned around. “Are you okay?”

My eyes had teared up, but I could still see that this guy was drop-dead gorgeous. Sort of a young Brad Pitt, with a curl of streaky brown hair falling casually over his forehead and a stubble of beard over his boyish cheeks.

“I’ll probably survive,” I said, wiping my nose with my hand. I reached for a cocktail napkin on the bar and knocked the wineglass over.

But he caught it before it spilled.

“Wow. Good hands,” I said.

His blue eyes flashed. “I’d better have. I’m going to be a surgeon in another two years.” He slid the wineglass back to me.

Okay.

Teresa and I had been hanging out at this club for months. And yet, somehow this was the first time a movie-star surgeon-to-be had said hello to me. Maybe things were looking up.

He leaned closer, bringing his face close to mine, so close I got a strong whiff of his Gio cologne. He breathed into my ear, “Maybe I could operate on you tonight.”

I knew Teresa was watching this whole exchange intently. I could feel her breath on the back of my neck.

I slid away from the Love Doctor. “Could I offer you some advice?”

His eyes narrowed. “Advice? You mean, don’t ever say that line again?”

I nodded.

We both laughed. He clinked his Heineken bottle against my wineglass. “One-to-nothing, you,” he said. He didn’t take his blue eyes from mine. He didn’t even blink. “You’re kinda pretty.”

I smiled. “So are you.”

He didn’t react to that at all. I guess he hears it a lot.

“You’ll have to cut me some slack tonight,” he said. “I spent the whole day with cadavers.”

I took a sip of chardonnay. “Is that your second-best pickup line?”

I know. I should have been nicer to him. I could feel Teresa’s disapproval, feel her eyes burning through the back of my blouse. She’d been trying her best to find me a new boyfriend, and here I was, letting her down.

I took a sip of wine and decided to show some interest. “Which med school do you go to?” I asked.

He emptied his beer bottle, set it down, and then grinned at me. Perfect teeth, of course. “I’m taking a home-study course.”

I laughed. “You’re getting funnier.”

“Actually, NYU,” he said. He signaled the bartender for another Heineken and ordered another glass of wine for me. He stuck out his hand for me to shake. “I’m Bernie.”

Bernie? With that face? How can he be a Bernie?

“Ellie,” I said. His hand was cold from the beer bottle.

I took a long sip of wine. Someone bumped me from behind. I heard Teresa groan. A hand grabbed my shoulder. “Ellie, hey. Here you are.”

I let go of Bernie’s hand and spun around. And stared into a familiar face, its red cheeks glistening with sweat, eyes cloudy, furry eyebrows moving up and down rapidly, as if alive.

“Clay? What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you, naturally.”

“Whoa, listen—”

Teresa stuck her face between us. “I don’t think she wants to see you.”

Clay blinked several times, as if clearing his head. He frowned at Teresa. “Who are you?”

He swayed a little, still holding on to my shoulder.

Clay’s friends call him Bear because—well, he looks like a bear. He’s stocky and broad-chested, with muscular arms and legs, covered with dark brown hair. He has a round, boyish face, with red cheeks you want to pinch. Wiry brown hair on his head, cut short like fur, and round gray eyes under thick brown eyebrows.

I used to think of him as a cute teddy bear, but I don’t now. After I told him I didn’t want to go out with him anymore, Clay stopped being cute.

He started calling me night and day, following me, showing up at my apartment in the middle of the night, totally wasted and strung out, sending flowers and gifts, flooding me with e-mails, begging, pleading.

It took me a long while to realize he was stalking me. I mean, it’s not exactly something that happens to you all the time.

And then when I finally figured it out, I didn’t know how to deal with him. You see, I never meant for it to get serious.

Clay was one of the first guys I met when I moved to New York. He took me out to restaurants and to Knicks games at the Garden, jazz clubs in the Village. It was great to be living in New York City and have someone to be with on weekends.

He was an intense kind of guy. But I never stopped to realize how serious he was becoming. And then when I knew I had to get out of it, I tried to explain it all to him. I tried to be nice. I didn’t want to hurt him.

I just wanted him to be gone.

And now he had his arms around me, and I tumbled off the bar stool. He was holding on to me, grinning, his eyes glassy, unfocused. “Just one dance, Ellie.”

“Clay, you’re totally wasted, aren’t you,” I said, struggling to loosen his hold.

“Maybe. I guess I’m a little fucked up. Hey, I have some little pills we could share.”

“Excuse me?”

He pulled me with both hands. He was very strong. His shirt was open. I could see sweat glistening on his carpet of chest hair. “Maybe we could talk. You know. Just . . . talk.”

“On the dance floor? Clay, I can’t hear a thing.”

We stumbled into other dancers. His face grew even redder under the pulsing lights, like a bomb about to explode.

The music repeated:

Y’all ready for this?

Y’all ready for this?

No, I’m not ready for this. I didn’t want to dance with Clay. I didn’t want him to pull me away, his eyes so crazy, sweating like that, his whole body so desperate.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    The Sitter

    I absolutely love this book. I have read this book countless times, and every time I find it hard to put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2004

    suspencefull

    this is great, it kept me reading all day i may only be ten but i can still say this was a GREAT book, i mean you wouldn't belive the ending

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Must- Must-read

    Im only 11 and its my favorite. A very good book and good twist to the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    This book is really great. Its definitely one of my faves, and its 210 pages so its longer. Also, try reading Cheater. I personally think its one of his best books. (:

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    awesome book

    this book is awesome i always thought chip was ganna kill elli its a good book but i also dont recommend it to small kids cuz of cussing killing sex and other stuff but this book kept makin me guess diff ppl i recomend u read it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Lizzy

    *walks in with the kids* BLAKE!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Gorgeousgirl

    Love this book. Shut up haters!

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    I give it an A++!

    A really good book. I've been reading his books since I was a kid. R.L. Stine has outdone himself! He is, by far, the best author in this genre! Don't stop writing, keep them coming! ;)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Highly Recommended- a must read!!

    This was a really good book. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I like to read it over and over. I recommended it to my reading teacher, and she loved it.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    From the thriller master comes another sure shot.

    The Sitter concerns Ellie Saks, a twenty-four year old woman who moved to the big city in hopes of big things, but that doesn't happen, so she crashes with a friend at her apartment for a while and goes out hunting for jobs. One day, she gets noticed by a woman at a store who propositions her for a live-in babysitting job. She stops by the house to visit the couple and they take a liking to her, as do the children, and she gets the job, babysitting for a two-year-old girl and a mysterious, cold four-year-old boy named Brandon. Not only do the stresses of the job itself get to her, but all the while, someone is out to freak her out of her mind, and eventually kill her.

    R.L. Stine has always been one of my favorite thriller writers, ever since I was still in elementary school and heavily in love with Goosebumps. Stine was my first literary love. Now that I have grown out of Goosebumps, I am glad that he wrote adult literature for me to continue the enjoyment of his mind and story-telling abilities that I've always had. Usually, male authors write for male main characters and female authors write for female main characters, but Stine, very fluidly wrote for a female character in first-person and did it well and believably. A clever touch to the novel was, occasionally, the chapters took a break from Ellie's life and a chapter here and there would go into the mind of the mysterious psychopath out to terrorize Ellie. These spared chapters delve into the mind of the headcase out to ruin Ellie's life in such an addictive way, spewing forth the absolute venom and pure hatred that the psycho has for Ellie, it makes the reader pumped to envision how it will all go down once Ellie discovers it all. That guarantees the reader will keep turning the pages out of pure anticipation of the clever revelations ahead in the story. Another nice creep factor in the story is Brandon, the four-year-old mute child who does the most outrageous things throughout the novel. He is definitely one of the best characters of the story. Who doesn't love a four-year-old shrouded in mystery? One small problem with the story though is how it sometimes feels that Stine tries a bit too hard to lead the reader astray by slightly outlandish twists and turns. Twists are nice, but at times it just feels a bit forced, but this does not take away from the overall great enjoyment of the story. Another smash hit from the shogun of suspense.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    Love it!!

    I've read this book so many times and I never get sick of it!! I've always loved R.L. Stine and the Goosebump books but this book is waay better then any of those. I don't think it's best for younger kids cause there is cussing and sex but it is a great scary book and will keep you guessing!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    my favorite

    i read this book on a friday and finished it 3 hours later. my god i have moved over all my other favorite books and put this 1 all the way in the front

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2005

    Perfect book

    I seriously loved this book. I reccommed this book to anyone looking for an easy and interesting read. It keeps you guessing the WHOLE entire time. At the end of the book you are shocked at the outcome. I am still insearch of a novel this intriging. WONDERFUL NOVEL!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2005

    Awsome

    Great book and great detail. one of R.L. Stines best i've read. always kept me guessing who was the killer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2005

    OMG!!

    This is the best book i've read in a while! I can't believe the ending is soo, well read this book to find out:)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    Shocking

    I can only describe this book in one word. Amazing. It was really an adults book but 12 year olds can read it too.The story holds your attention and does not use a lot of big words so you can understand it better without having to get a dictionary.But the plot line was strong and at times scary, but it was also very entertaining. Keep up the good work Stine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2005

    Easy & fun read, but is it really for adults?

    This book is marketed for adults, yet it reads very much like a slightly older version of RL Stine's books for kids. The cover art is also geared more towards a younger audience. As a kid, I read all of RL Stine and Christopher Pike's books and although overall I enjoyed this book, I was disappointed in the predictablity of the plot. Stine, you need to decide who you really want to write for!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2004

    Becky age 15

    I think this is a great book it is really interesting it is not really scary but i liked it the ending is realy surprising read it u will like it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2004

    Awesome

    This book is the bomb! I got so scared after i finished this book! I was scared to go into a dark place! write a sequel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2004

    The SITTER

    This book was pretty scary but a bit boring in the front. But very scary at the back. anyways i still like u R.L Stine

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