Peck's first story for younger children takes Toby through a scary summer night at his grandmother's Victorian house. "Just as he did every August night, Toby climbed the tall stairs'--with trepidation--and listened to the night bugs hitting the window screen "like tapping fingers." But "on this worst night of all" Toby also hears the floorboard squeak, hears a Monster breathing in his room, and then sees something gray-the Monster's tail?--moving in the hall. Because Toby is brave, he gets out of bed to investigate, following the noises down the stairs and out onto the porch, where he falls asleep on the swing confident that he's chased the THING off Grandma's property. Toby is a likely stand-in for any frightened child and, in his response, a properly encouraging model. Young readers might recognize every detail of Toby's vigil--but, as Peck doesn't make them share the terrors, their emotional involvement is minimal.