The cover illustration shows a jar full of spiders, and one of the spiders is standing on top of the jar.
Craig Morgenstern is a total scaredy cat, even with his reputation as such being well known amongst everyone. But as of late, things are looking up for Craig! He has moved to a new town and even saved a baby from being hurt in a car accident. Everyone is then considering Craig to now be very brave for what he did. Despite him falling off of his bike and nearly getting hit by the careening car. Not to mention, accidentally getting inside of it and managing to stop it. The car slows to a stop in front of his new school on his first day of classes, branding him a hero to the entire student body, save a few skeptical students. The mother of the baby rushes over to thank him, having accidentally left the car for just a moment while the baby was still inside.
Craig's good fortune continues to escalate even higher! He befriended the cutest girl in school, Amy. Who is very impressed with his bravery. Unfortunately, her best friends Travis and Brad happen to be Craig's harshest critics. They refuse to be won by the boys charms, even after he saves a bird's nest. Other random lucky streaks happen to strike Craig also. Such as screaming in horror during a scary movie, which Amy agrees that it is fun to scream along with characters in films!
But jealous of all the attention Craig receives, Travis becomes obsessed with trying to prove that Craig is a scaredy cat. He then talks with a cousin, who happens to know about Scaredy Cat Craig from his previous town/school. So Travis shows up with a jar full of spiders and dares Craig to stick his hand in the jar for five minutes. Craig is goaded on by Amy and does so, only to be bitten so many times that he can't even remove his swollen hand after five minutes are up. So Amy talks Travis into going double-or-nothing and Craig has to keep his hand submerged twice as long.
Travis pledges to go double or nothing again the following day. The bravery challenge this time will be to kiss a poisonous snake on the lips, but really what one boy does it pluck out a single eyeball of his own and shove it into Craig's mouth. Craig comes out of this one looking brave by spitting out the eyeball and nobody is really surprised when they find it is a fake gag eyeball. They do not think this is enough to prove how brave Craig is however and Travis reveals that his father works at a funeral parlor. So now the newest bravery test involves Craig sneaking into the funeral home and sitting in a coffin.
But unfortunately for him, the coffin he chooses is occupied. His "friends" egg him on anyways, as a truly brave person would sit in a corpse-filled coffin no problem. The corpse then comes to life and tries to choke Craig, but Craig allows himself to be choked by the "corpse". This shocks Travis, who had been the corpse in hopes of outing him. But then Amy challenges Travis to let Craig repeat the challenge again the next day. At some point, Craig comes clean with Amy, but Amy just thinks he is not only brave but sweet to not want to take Travis' money by pretending to be afraid.
Sometime after then, Craig accidentally beats up Brad's older brother! Once again everyone is at the funeral home when all of the corpses rise and begin to attack! Everyone runs away, but Craig stays to bravely defend those who abandoned him. Proving to them all that he really was brave all along.
It turns out that the corpses were all set up by Craig, with some help from Brad. Who felt bad about how devoted Travis was to proving Craig's bravery. The zombies were actually Brad's older brother (the one Craig "beat up") and his friends. Brad's brother walks in and apologizes for his friends not being able to make it to the cemetery, which results in Brad racing away to vomit in horror.
It turns out Brad's brother just said that to get back at Brad! Craig walks home and remarks to the reader on how it turns out he really is brave... even if he is still afraid of the dark.
- This, Fright Camp, and Scream School are the only Goosebumps Series 2000 books to not feature any monsters (as all the monsters are fake or part of some elaborate prank) and center on real-world problems (such as bullying and facing your fears).
- The tagline is a reference to the book Along Came a Spider by James Patterson.
|Goosebumps Series 2000 series|
|#01 Cry of the Cat||#10 Headless Halloween||#18 Horrors of the Black Ring|
|#02 Bride of the Living Dummy||#11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls||#19 Return to Ghost Camp|
|#03 Creature Teacher||#12 Brain Juice||#20 Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid!|
|#04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 1||#13 Return to HorrorLand||#21 The Haunted Car|
|#05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 2||#14 Jekyll and Heidi||#22 Full Moon Fever|
|#06 I Am Your Evil Twin||#15 Scream School||#23 Slappy's Nightmare|
|#07 Revenge R Us||#16 The Mummy Walks||#24 Earth Geeks Must Go!|
|#08 Fright Camp||#17 The Werewolf in the Living Room||#25 Ghost in the Mirror|
|#09 Are You Terrified Yet?|