Goosebumps Series 2000 - "The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader" (found unreleased Goosebumps book; 2000)
The book's cover.
Date found: March 9, 2017 (cover)
November 15, 2017 (plot)
Found by: GoosebumpsArt
Goosebumps is an extremely popular series of children's horror stories written by R. L. Stine and published by Scholastic. The series was a breakout success, with the original 62 Goosebumps books selling a combined 350 million copies between 1992 and 1997, as well as spawning a popular TV adaptation that lasted for 74 episodes over the course of 4 seasons between 1995 and 1998.
Because of the brand's rampant popularity, many spinoff series were created to capitalize off it. One of the more well known spinoffs was Goosebumps Series 2000. Goosebumps Series 2000 was created to be a successor to the original Goosebumps books, with several of the 25 stories published between 1998 and 2000 being sequels to existing Goosebumps stories. The series ended in 2000 when Stine's contract with Scholastic expired. Before the cancellation occurred, a 26th Goosebumps Series 2000 book was in the works. This book was The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader.
The Cover Art
While a manuscript for this book has never resurfaced online, the cover art made for it has. Series illustrator Tim Jacobus first revealed the book's existence on March 6th 2017 during a interview in Youch Films Podcast when he was asked what the final Goosebumps cover he worked on was. Three days after the podcast was uploaded to YouTube, Goosebumps Wiki user GoosebumpsArt contacted Jacobus about possibly releasing the cover, to which Jacobus obliged, sending him the art soon after.
Based on its title, it could be assumed that this book would have been similar to the film The Incredible Shrinking Man.
In the same forum post that unveiled the cover art, Goosebumps Wiki user GoosebumpsArt theorized that The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader may have been released as The Adventures of Shrinkman, a stand alone book by R.L. Stine, published in the year 2000. This was later evidenced by several similarities between the two stories. Both stories were inspired by The Incredible Shrinking Man. Each books' protagonist is in the fifth grade. Also, there is a scene in The Adventures of Shrinkman where the main character is attacked by a white rat, which is similar to what takes place on the unreleased book cover.
GoosebumpsArt reached out to Stine via Twitter and asked if the cancelled Goosebumps Series 2000 book turned into The Adventures of Shrinkman. Stine confirmed that this theory was true.
The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader may have gone through slight changes before it was released as The Adventures of Shrinkman, but it can be assumed that the plots are essentially the same.