After the original run of Goosebumps ended as sales were slowing down they continued immediately with Goosebumps Series 2000 to capitalize on the marketing for the year 2000 coming up. This series ended after 25 books, partly because kids had been outgrowing Goosebumps but mostly because of a several lawsuits between Scholastic and Parachute Press which lead to R.L. Stine’s contract not being renewed and everything Goosebumps related to be cancelled, including the Goosebumps Gold series that was due to launch at the end of the year 2000.
Ironically because of this only one Goosebumps Series 2000 book came out in the year 2000 as it had already been scheduled for January of that year. We know of the 26th book that would’ve been released in February of that year called “The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader”. Thanks to Tim Jacobus we got the cover art for that book that never came out. Or did it not?
A book called “The Adventures of Shrinkman” came out shortly after the cancellation of Goosebumps without any relation to Goosebumps. This book which emphasized that it was from R.L. Stine was not the only one as there were a total of six stand-alone novellas that were published that year and the following. The book mentions that it’s inspired by “The Incredible Shrinking Man” which was the play on the title the Goosebumps book had not to mention that one of the scenes of the book closely resembles what is pictured in the cover art of the Goosebumps 2000 book.
Here is the Synopsis:
When Danny Marin isn’t playing basketball, he spends hours drawing Shrinkman, his favorite comic-book superhero, or watching Shrinkman movies. His hero can shrink to the size of a bug. But, whoa—wait. Suddenly, Danny finds himself shrinking, too! His parents are horrified, his friend Megan thinks it’s funny, and his doctor is baffled. With each passing hour, Danny gets smaller and smaller—until he’s the size of a sparrow. Soon he’s fighting for his life against a grasshopper, a colony of ants, and even his own dog. He isn’t safe anywhere. He has to find a cure—before he shrinks away forever.
Funny and terrifying and filled with BIG surprises, The Adventures of Shrinkman proves that it takes more than size to overcome impossible hurdles.
As you can see the story seems right up Goosebumps alley making this the 26th Goosebumps 2000 book that was never released. But here’s the thing, the other 5 junior novels also feature stories that seem straight out of Goosebumps, featuring a young kid getting into a spooky or weird situation only for things to turn out fine until a twist ending comes. So It’s clear that all these other books that were released were originally intended to be Goosebumps Series 2000 books before it was abruptly cancelled and to not let those stories that were already drafted go to waste he published them with another publisher.
Goosebumps Gold was due to come out in October of that same year, marketing had already begun and there was no reason for Series 2000 to finish and leave a gap as one book was constantly published every month. Counting January’s book was released that left us with 8 series 2000 books that would’ve been published before moving on to Goosebumps Gold. While only 6 of these novels came out that likely meant the other 2 hadn’t even been drafted which made sense the Goosebumps Gold books had also not been written yet, only some ideas thrown around.
So let’s take a look at the other rare Goosebumps Series 2000 books that were published without the Goosebumps name and their synopsis not counting the one already mentioned. Thankfully they’re all easy to get through Amazon even though they are somewhat rare. It’s also worth noting that Goosebumps artist Tim Jacobus is credited as being the artist of these books as well, keeping the connection back to Goosebumps tighter even if it’s not exactly the same style.