Say Cheese and Die! by R.L. Stine
There’s a strange old house in a small town. No one lives there, or that’s what everyone thinks. Actually, a strange old man lives there. Everyone calls him Spidey because he looks like a spider with long black legs. Some kids sneak into the house one day. There’s a basement. It’s where Spidey lives, but he’s not there right now. They find a strange camera. In a hurry to get out, they accidentally take the camera.
Some pictures are taken with the camera, but they’re strange. One picture of one of the friends shows him falling, when in reality, he was standing there making a goofy face. When one kid takes a picture of his father’s new car, it’s not new, but wrecked. One of the friend’s pictures is off him lying on the ground, but he was standing up when the picture was taken.
The kids are convinced that the camera is evil, well, some of them are. One of them, Shari, insists that her picture is taken with the camera. In the pictures, she’s not there, not long after, Shari disappears. No one knows where she went. The children are desperate to return the camera to where they found it. They think all might go simply, but that’s not going to happen. The owner and creator of the camera has a strange and scary story to tell, but only for ears that can’t tell anyone else.
What I liked
A camera that predicts the future, or causes bad things to happen, is an interesting idea. R.L. basically states in the book that the camera story is based on the idea that a camera could steal your soul. I don’t know why the superstition ever started, but I guess if you don’t entirely understand something, you may not know any better,
What I didn’t like
This is not likely. It’s just not plausible for a camera to cause bad things to happen, or to predict the future, whatever the case really was. That’s why this book is a fantasy, but like I said, the best science fiction is something that might conceivably happen, in a few years.
A cursed camera seems like such a silly idea. That’s probably why this is a kid’s book.
If you find a strange camera…
Would you use a strange camera?
Do you think cameras can steal your soul?