The cover shows the Shaggedy emerging from the swamp.
Kelli and Shawn Anderson are not excited about having to move to another state - especially because their new home is directly next to a giant swamp. But their dad is a scientist and he's going down there to study the local flora and fauna. Unfortunately for Kelli and Shawn, there seem to be some very strange creatures that live around their house. They keep hearing about the legend of the Shaggedy, an ancient beast that lives far below the surface of the swamp and can cause a whole lot of damage. Can Kelli and Shawn convince their dad to move back home before it is too late?
This book opens with a short introduction from R. L. Stine. Mr. Stine begins talking about the poster on his walls that depicts the Shaggedy. He says that the creature is supposed to be a legend. Mr. Stine assures the reader that two kids, Kelli and Shawn Andersen, have dealt with the Shaggedy first hand...
Kelli and Shawn are watching a horror movie about a swamp monster, but they are interrupted by their father. Kelli's father reminds her that she is supposed to protect her younger brother, not scare him. Kelli's dad, Dr. Andersen, is moving from New York to "Deep Hole Swamp" in Florida. Kelli doesn't want to move. Kelli's parents are divorced, and her mom lives in Seattle.
The story jumps ahead to Kelli and Shawn's first day attending Swan Middle School in Florida. The two siblings see that a crowd of students, adults, and police officers are all looking at a huge footprint in the grass. A boy named Zeke tells the siblings that the footprints belongs to a creature that lives in the waters of the swamp, and it's called the Shaggedy. A young teacher named Miss Rawls interrupts Zeke. She says that the Shaggedy doesn't exist. A police officer begins talking to Miss Rawls, and he informs her that whatever made the footprint is probably also responsible for breaking several windows of the school. Zeke tells Kelli and Shawn that the Shaggedy is real because he and his twin brother, Decker, saw it. Later in the day, Kelli and Shawn have to go to the cafeteria to eat lunch. They decide to sit next to Zeke. Eventually, Decker joins them. Zeke shows Kelli and Shawn his drawing of the Shaggedy. Zeke and Decker get mad at Kelli for not being fearful of the Shaggedy. The twins also make fun of Kelli and Shawn because they have never gone fishing.
Once at home, Kelli tells her father that kids made fun of her because she had never been fishing, so Dr. Andersen decides to take Kelli and her brother fishing. Before they leave, Kelli sees that her new backpack has the words "HERE COMES THE SHAGGEDY" written on it in blood-red. Kelli thinks that Zeke and Decker must be responsible. Soon, Dr. Andersen and the siblings go fishing. While fishing, Kelli is knocked out of the boat by a large aquatic creature, and she is pulled back into the boat by Dr. Andersen.
The next day, at school, Shawn receives a letter in his locker telling him that the Shaggedy wants him. Kelli believes that Zeke and Decker are responsible for the letter. After school, Kelli and Shawn begin walking home. However, they get lost when they try to take a shortcut through the woods. Worse yet, rain starts falling. Stumbling through the woods, the kids find an old cabin. Inside the cabin, they find many snake skulls. While investigating the cabin, the owner of the cabin returns. The owner is an old man who addresses himself as Ranger Saul. Kelli and Shawn run out of the cabin as soon as possible, but Saul chases them. When Saul catches up to the kids, he gives them directions back to their house. The kids manage to return home. That night, Shawn leaves his window open and hears someone whispering his name from outside. Shawn tells Kelli, so Kelli goes outside to investigate. Outside, Kelli runs into Ranger Saul, and he scolds her for being outside at night. Ranger Saul tells Kelli that he is in the woods because he is hunting the Shaggedy. Saul then reveals the process of summoning the Shaggedy; simply smear the blood of a dead animal on a piece of paper 50 times, and then say "Here comes the Shaggedy" 10 times. Once summoned, the Shaggedy will do whatever the summoner requests. Kelli returns home. The following morning, Kelli and Shawn find two giant footprints near Shawn's window. The kids show Dr. Andersen, but he thinks that the footprints were made by Zeke and Decker. Dr. Andersen takes Shawn and Kelli on another boat ride. When they return home, they find that Kelli's room is trashed. A warning message from the Shaggedy is painted in red on the wall. Dr. Andersen believes that Zeke and Decker are responsible, so he storms off to find the two. Dr. Andersen finds the boys, and begins scolding them for taking their prank too far. Before he can finish scolding them, Kelli runs up to them and admits that she had left the scary messages, scared Shawn, and trashed her own room in an attempt to force her father to move back to New York so she could be reunited with her friends. Dr. Andersen forgives Kelli, and Kelli agrees that she will stop scaring Shawn.
The next time Kelli and Shawn are at school, their class goes on a nature walk through the swamp. Zeke and Decker are mad that Dr. Andersen accused them of causing trouble, but they agree to forgive Kelli. Zeke and Decker lead Kelli and Shawn off of the main trail and show they Kelli and Shawn the place where they saw the Shaggedy the second time. Kelli says that she does not believe their story. Zeke and Decker push Kelli into the swamp river as an act of revenge; the twins are still mad that Kelli's dad yelled at them. Kelli is spotted by her teacher and scolded for being reckless.
The next day, Kelli is mad that Zeke and Decker embarrassed her, so she decides she will summon the Shaggedy. Kelli sees a dead bird on the side of the road, and she thinks that she can use the bird's blood in the summoning ritual. She convinced Shawn to help her perform the ritual near Deep Hole. Once the ritual is completed, a creature rises out of Deep Hole, and Kelli stands very nearby. When the creature comes out of the water, it doesn't obey Kelli, it instead chooses to walk away and begin destroying houses. When Kelli asks Ranger Saul for help, he informs her that whatever she summoned wasn't the Shaggedy. The Shaggedy is supposed to be green and scaly, but this creature is green, brown, and hairy. Upon closer inspection of Kelli's ritual spot, Ranger Saul determines that she miscounted and only used 48 drops of blood. Ranger Saul hands Kelli a bag full of snake powder and tells her that if she can lure the monster into the water and sprinkle the dust on its head, it will sink into the water.
Kelli is climbing into a rowboat with Saul when Shawn finds them. Kelli explains that she has to defeat the monster, and Shawn demands to go with her. While in the boat, the monster rises up beneath Kelli and Shawn. Kelli tries to sprinkle the snake powder on the monster, but she misses. The monster takes Shawn and leaves. Saul says that the only chance they have of retrieving Shawn is to summon the Shaggedy. Kelli and Saul summon the Shaggedy using supplies that Saul brought with him. When Kelli and Saul summon the Shaggedy, Zeke and Decker appear and they claim to be the Shaggedy. Kelli assumes that they're joking, but then the boys begin morphing together into a large swamp monster. Kelli commands the Shaggedy to rescue her brother. The Shaggedy confronts the other monster, the monster puts down Shawn, and the Shaggedy and the monster begin fighting. After an arduous fight, the Shaggedy defeats the other monster and throws it in a deep area of the swamp. After the unidentifiable monster sinks, Kelli's dad arrives just in time to see Kelli and Shawn reunite, so they hug each other. The Shaggedy splits into Zeke and Decker. Saul reveals that he actually is a government agent who is searching for monsters. Saul wants to take the Shaggedy to a testing lab, but the Zeke and Decker do not want to leave. They merge together and grab Saul. Before they can hurt him, Kelli commands the Shaggedy to release Saul and return to the swamp. The Shaggedy leaves and the Andersen family celebrate Kelli's victory. Dr. Andersen says that he will take the kids back to New York, but Kelli says that the swamp is much more exciting.
- This book references Taylor Swift, Instagram, Sesame Street, the Mets, iPad, and The Incredible Hulk.
- The Shaggedy, which is depicted on the book on the book cover, resembles the Swamp Monster from the book How to Kill a Monster. Both of them are creatures with gorilla bodies and alligator heads.
- Elements of this book are similar to The Werewolf of Fever Swamp and How to Kill a Monster.
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