A long, creepy, overnight drive is made all the scarier by ghosts and possibly a monster.
Myles, his older sister, Bea, and younger brother, Norman, endure a dark, stormy ride through the country with their mother heading for Nobleville, their father, and a new home. Bea reads, and Norman sleeps, but Myles worries, especially after he sees a pair of red eyes in the swirling mist outside the car, Victor-the-Volvo. No one believes Myles when he finally steels himself to talk about the monster, and no one else sees the golden, glowing dog that chases the monster away. Even hearing the local ghost story about old Pete Fournette and his lost dog, who regularly appear on rainy nights, doesn’t ease their skepticism. It’s only after Myles finds his own courage that the monster stops its mischief and withdraws as the sun rises and the family arrives in their new home. Dowding’s second Weird Stories Gone Wrong is a relatively realistic, carefully written Goosebumps from north of the border. Though 4-year-old Norman’s dialogue is unconvincing (fortunately he spends most of the book asleep), and there are a few paragraphs at the beginning and end from an intrusive and condescending narrator, this is a gentle but still shivery spook tale.
Readers who have made a big move will identify with Myles and his fears made manifest. (Horror. 7-10)