Finding an old typewriter in the attic of his Bexley home was one of the best things that ever happened to R.L. Stine, author of more than 300 novels for kids and teens.
The discovery launched Stine's writing career. To date, he has sold more than 400 million copies of his books, including the Goosebumps and Fear Street series.
On Friday, Dec. 13, he'll return to Bexley for the first time since 1995 to help the Bexley Education Foundation celebrate its 30th anniversary in chilling fashion.
Stine is just one of perhaps several famous authors to hail from Bexley. Bradley Kastan, foundation chairman, said it's all about education.
"What's important about Bexley? As a community, we value our schools, and it's the partnership between the schools and the community that has built a foundation on which success is built. Every community has its starts and its leaders," Kastan said. "But in Bexley, it's about our schools and our education."
Stine is a stellar example of that success, he said.
Stine has authored his first teen novel in years, A Midsummer's Night Scream, and is bringing back his Fear Street series next year.
Students and community members will be able to question the author about his new introductions Dec. 13, when Stine will interact with Bexley's elementary schoolers during a daytime assembly on the topic of "Friggatriskaidekaphobia" -- fear of Friday the 13th.
In the evening, the 1961 Bexley High School graduate will headline the BEF Anniversary Celebration. Stine will engage in a wide-ranging conversation with Bexley creativity consultant Artie Isaac. Isaac will ask Stine about his early years in Bexley, as well as his later life and career.
The event is free and open to the public, and will be tailored to an adult audience. The anniversary celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. in Bexley High School's Schottenstein Theatre, followed by a book signing.
Books will be available for purchase; attendees are invited to bring their own favorite Stine novel for signing.
Also at the anniversary celebration, the BEF will honor Linda Stern Kass with its Excellence in Education Award. Kass is recognized locally as an advocate for education, literacy and the arts. She is a past chairwoman and current member of the BEF's Board of Governors, and also serves as founding chairwoman of its successful author initiative Bexley Community Book Club, now in its seventh year. She is a board member of KidsOhio.org and of United Way of Central Ohio, where she serves as chairwoman of the countywide education initiative Champion of Children, which she founded in 1994.
Kass also was elected to the Bexley Board of Education, serving as both president and vice president.
Kastan applauded Kass for her work in education, particularly her vision of partnering tax dollars and private dollars to help build a solid foundation for a high-quality public education in Bexley.