Tag Archives: R.L. Stine

Roundup: A Camp, A Course, 2 Concerts; More


Many sports camps are closed this summer. So are science camps, space camps — most camps, period.

But the Westport Library’s new Camp Explore is open. And open to all children, everywhere.

It’s a weekly, virtual (and free) program. Kids can experience it any time. They can watch it alone, or share with friends. There’s something for everyone.

The program kicks off on July 9 with Jennie Lynn Finch. The softball pitcher led the US to a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and a silver 4 years later.

Also in July, deep sea explorer Dr. Robert Ballard returns to the library. The discoverer of wrecks like Titanic and the Bismarck, he’ll show campers what life is like on his ship the Nautilus.

Shark lovers will enjoy Emmy-winning writer and cinematographer Kevin Bachar. He spent 10 years as a National Geographic producer, and wrote specials for “Shark Week.”

Kids will also appreciate Emily Calandrelli. The MIT engineer-turned-TV host was a featured correspondent on “Bill Nye Saves the World,” host of “Xploration Outer Space,” and wrote the children’s book series “Ada Lace Adventures.”

New York Knicks star Charles Smith will share his story, from his career as an athlete to his accomplishments as a corporate executive.

Camp Explore also features Jerry Craft, author of the novel “New Kid” and comic strip “Mama’s Boyz.”

The program ends with R.L. Stine. The “Goosebumps” author will do a (virtual) reading around a campfire.

The Library will provide a “Keep Exploring Kit” to accompany each presentation, with suggested books to read, films to view, and fun activities. Separate kits are geared for children entering grades 4-5, and 6-8.

Click here for more details, and registration information.


Everyone’s talking about the skills young people need to navigate today’s world. We’re all concerned about civic virtues. Of course, everyone wants to develop creative thinkers.

Westport Continuing Education is sponsoring an online course — “The Art of Innovation: Cultivating Qualities for the Emerging Future” — for students entering grade 10 through college.

Set for July 13 to 17 (10 a.m. to noon), it will focus on skills like critical thinking, collaboration and global perspectives.

Click here to register. For more information, including scholarships, email conted@westportps.org, or call 203-341-1209.


There may not be fireworks. But Pauli’s Deli will celebrate July 4.

The Norwalk-based bagels-and-breakfast place replaces Bagel Maven that day.

Last night, Chris Fanning snapped a shot of the preparations:


One more reopening sign: MoCA Westport has announced a concert with the renowned American String Quartet.

It’s July 31. And it’s a real one. Not virtual, Zoom, Facebook Live or anywhere else in cyberspace.

The performance is outdoors at the museum, with groups spread 6 feet apart and masked. Concert-goers should bring their own chairs and snacks, though drinks and food are available for purchase before the concert.

MoCA Westport concert series curator (and Staples High School graduate) Alexander Platt will provide commentary. He knows the American String Quartet through his work over the last 18 years in Woodstock.

“Back then they were the gold standard in American string quartets — and they still are now,” Platt says.

“I can’t wait to hear their beautiful music again — now, more than ever. Their program — sublime Mozart, bracing Shostakovich and appropriately, Dvorak’s ‘American’ string quartet — will be the perfect musical tonic, after all we’ve been through.”

Click here for tickets, or call 203-222-7070. The maximum number of tickets will be limited by state guidelines.


Two organizations at opposite ends of the age spectrum — Toquet Hall and the Westport Senior Center — are partnering to present a free livestream concert tomorrow (Friday, June 26, 12 p.m.).

It features the funk band Mojo, with noted local musicians Drew Angus, Eric Lindahl and Spencer Inch. Click here to watch via Zoom (and note the password: 3qgZ4L).


The new planters on Main Street are drawing plenty of attention.

But there are colorful flowers beyond Elm Street. For example, Rye Ridge Deli is doing all it can to make the outdoor experience special too.

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)


And finally … as Westport, Connecticut prepares for jUNe Day this weekend (virtually, of course), let’s celebrate Westport, Ireland with Stuart Moyles.

PS: When the Levitt Pavilion opens next summer, we really need this lad as a headliner!

R.L. Stine To Star At Saugatuck StoryFest

When Alex Giannini told his mother that R.L. Stine was coming to Westport — he’s the keynote speaker for the Westport Library’s Saugatuck StoryFest next month — she said, “That’s all you read as a kid.”

“I know,” the library’s manager of experiential learning said. “He’s one of the main reasons I read the authors I read today.”

R.L. Stine (Photo/Dan Nelken)

Alex is not alone. Nearly every American under the age of 45 or so was weaned on Stine’s works: the dozens of “Goosebumps” books — and many other fiction/horror/ thriller works — by the man called “the Stephen King of children’s literature. He has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide.

On Saturday, September 28, his many fans of all ages get a chance to see him in the flesh. Stine will speak for half an hour in the Forum, answer questions, and autograph copies of his latest book, “Slappy World.”

Stine’s appearance was confirmed only recently. Library officials learned he was coming the morning their Saugatuck StoryFest brochure was going to press.

He joins an impressive list of authors and others appearing at the 2nd annual event. Co-sponsored by the Westport Public Schools, it’s an innovative, immersive 3-day experience, celebrating a wide variety of genres and interests.

Last year’s celebration of writing and stories drew more than 3,000 people, from around the tri-state region. This year’s event — held entirely at the newly transformed Library — builds on that foundation.

The theme for Thursday, September 26 is “Beyond Our Earth.” The StoryFest starts with a 6 p.m. “Gravity” show by new media artist Balam Soto. Using the Forum’s video wall, he’ll help participants “move planets” and “shape the fabric of space-time” with their fingertips.

He’s followed by Ray Bradbury’s biographer, Sam Weller, and Kate Howells, the author of “Space is Cool as Fuck,” who takes audiences on an interplanetary adventure far beyond our galaxy. The library can’t say it quite this way, but it will be exactly what the title promises.

Friday, September 27 — the only day of the 3 that is not free — features Mallory O’Meara (author of “The Lady from the Black Lagoon”), Broadway’s Rob Rokicki (“The Lightning Thief”), illustrator Dave O’Neill and the cast of Broadway performers for Rokicki’s “Monstersongs,” a rock musical song cycle celebrating literary monsters.

Joining Stine on Saturday, September 28 for a full day of panels and book signings are Tiffany Jackson, L.L. McKinney, Stoker Award winners Gwendolyn Kiste and Paul Tremblay, Hugo Award winner Seanan McGuire, horror editor Ellen Datlow, bestselling thriller writers Lynne Constantine and Wendy Walker, and more.

Saugatuck StoryFest promises to be an entertaining, fun, family-friendly 3-day celebration.

It’s enough to give you goosebumps.

(For more information on Saugatuck StoryFest — including panels and times — click here.)