The Goosebumps Series 2000 book where a kid has to overcome his fears.
Craig Morgenstern is a scaredy cat. So much so that he is mocked for it, and has earned the nicknamed "C-C-C-Craig", due to his stutter. But now he's moved to a new town and he's ready to start all over and get over his old fears. Right away, he manages to save a woman's baby by total accident. This impresses a girl named Amy who he takes a liking to, but her friends Travis and Brad aren't impressed. They don't buy that he's brave, they think he's just lucky. They're right but Craig wants to ride this wave, hoping it will improve his reputation. This starts a series of challenges and little does Craig know that his attempts to look brave will lead him into a coffin.
This book provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Absent Parent: Outside of a brief mention when telling someone a story, Craig's parents are never seen nor is it explained where they are.
- Covers Always Lie: While there is a scene with spiders, they are normal spiders and not super scary mutant ones like on the cover.
- Cowardly Lion: Craig is scared of everything, but by the end manages to not only survive the scares but gets back at the others in the end. He's still afraid of the dark though.
- The Bully: Travis and Brad, the latter of which actually does team up with Craig at one point. Craig still pranks him though.
- Mistaken for Badass: The premise involves Craig doing things that make him look brave, when in reality he isn't and it's all just luck.
- Non-Indicative Name: The town the story takes place is Middle Valley, but it's not in the middle of anything and has no valley, which Craig comments on.
- Puppy Love: Craig seems to have a thing for Amy, and wishes to impress her.
- Sham Supernatural:
- The corpse that comes to life to attack Craig while trying to prove his bravery in the funeral home to his friends is really just Travis, who wanted to prove he was lying about his lack of fear.
- Subverted at the end: the corpses again come to life and attack Craig and his friends are just Brad's older brother and his friends- Brad felt bad at how hard of a time he and his friends had given Craig throughout the book, and put the scheme together to give Craig the opportunity to scare them... until Brad's brother shows up and apologizes for him and his friends not having been able to make it, causing Brad to flee in terror. But then Double Subverted, since Brad's brother was just screwing with him and the zombies really were fake.
- Straying Baby: The book opens with Craig saving a baby from an out of control car. It's never explained how it got into this situation, just implied that the car started moving when the mom wasn't paying attention.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: A notable example in the series. Craig pulls a prank on the bullies and Amy, finally getting them off his back. He has also generally gotten over his fears, except for his fear of the dark.
- Something Completely Different: The story has no supernatural events at all (and the monsters are revealed to be people in elaborate costumes playing a prank on someone), and takes place in the "real" world.
- The Bet: Most of the book revolves around Amy betting Travis and Brad that Craig can surive any scare they can cook up, with the winner getting the loser's money.
- There Are No Adults: Aside from a woman at the very start, there are no adults are at all in this book.