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Judy and the Beast is the fifteenth book in the Goosebumps SlappyWorld book series.[1] It was published in 2021.

The cover illustration depicts a hairy blue beast walking through a snowy forest, slashing his claws at the reader.

Blurb

Judy Glassman lives with her brother Ira and father Noah in a village at the foot of Evil Rock. Every winter, Ira accompanies their dad up to the mansion at the top of the mountain to assist the rich, eccentric Grendel family with their house repairs. But this year, Judy convinces dad to let her come too. Judy has heard whispers about the Beast of Evil Rock -- a half-human creature who stalks the crags. Will Judy discover the secret of Evil Rock before the Beast finds her first?

Plot

Judy Glassman lives in the village of Sulpher Falls with her father Noah and her older brother Ira. After Mr. Glassman got divorced, mom went to live in England, while Dad moved them to Sulpher Falls, Wyoming, a small ski town at the foot of Black Rock Mountain. He is a carpenter, and every Spring he goes up to the mansion of the Grendel family, consisting of husband and wife Baker and Hilda, to do some work for them.

He typically brings Ira along, as knows his way around toys from his hobby of creating wooden monsters. This means Judy has to stay home with their boring housekeeper, Mrs. Hardwall. This year, she wants to come along, but her request is denied. He tells her there are rumors of a beast that prowls up there, which she doesn't believe.

She defies her dad's orders, and sneaks in the cart they use to go up the mountain. They arrive at the Grendel's mansion, and it doesn't take long for Judy to be caught. They aren't happy she stowed away, but it's too late to send her back. They go inside where Judy soon gets lost. She passes by a room where she smells food and hears some animal growls, as well as slurping. The door opens to reveal Baker Grendel, who was eating his dinner, as he says he prefers to dine alone. She tells Ira about this, but he just says "You'll find out".

Later at dinner, Baker says he's fine with Judy being here, as long as she stays away from his wing of the mansion, as it's where he likes to work by himself. Additionally, he warns her to stay on the path if she ever goes out in the forest, as there are many dangers. That night, she wakes up from a dream to see some figure outside. She goes out and sees an animal on all fours, chasing a rabbit, eventually catching it. It's the beast. She starts whistling, she tends to do when scared, and the beast hears it.

She retreats into the house and bumps into Baker, who says he came down here because he's not a good sleeper. He asks if Judy heard anything and she says no, fearing he is the beast. The next morning, she tells Ira what she saw, but he doesn't believe her, claiming dad was making up the beast to keep her away. He's annoyed that she got in the way of this special quality time this is for him and dad.

Baker joins them for breakfast, and brings along his big Neapolitan mastiff. Judy realizes this is what she likely saw last night but still finds it odd dad seemingly made up that beast story. Everyone else goes off to do something else, leaving her with the Grendel's butler, Hardvard. She asks him what Baker does for a living, but he just says "Questions can be risky". He starts preparing food when he accidentally cuts himself with his knife. However, the cut doesn't bleed. Later, he asks dad the same question, and he says it's hard to explain.

Later, she goes outside to explore and stumbles upon a cabin. She sees footprints leading to it and upon closer inspection, discovers they are animal prints. She peeks inside and the cabin is seemingly normal, with a baseball cap on the floor, but she wonders who lives here. She goes back to the house, and that night she hears angry animal sounds. She goes into the kitchen where Baker comes in, growling. Judy tells him what she heard, and he dismisses it as her imagination.

She hears her dad working on the roof, and goes outside, wanting to talk to him. He can't hear her, so she climbs up to see him. This distracts him, causing him to fall off the roof. He survives, but he sprains his ankle. Judy fells immense guilt for causing this to happen. She tells Ira that she wants to leave, but he thinks she's getting worried over nothing, and refuses to believe her about the beast.

She returns to her room to see that someone has vandalized a painting of the cabin she made, putting a red X over it. She tries to find Baker, suspecting he/the beast is behind this and stumbles into the hall. She looks inside his room and sees a paintbrush in his wastebasket. Later that night, she tells Ira about this but once he wants her to shut up about this beast. The next morning, she consoles her dad and goes back to her room to find a strange man in a black baseball cap. He says she didn't see anything, and attacks her. She dodges him and he runs off. She tells Baker about it, and he claims that was just an electrician. Sick of everyone being mysterious, Judy vows to finally figure out what is going on.

She plans to take her phone and take pictures of the cabin to prove its existence to the others, but the phone has been smashed. There is a warning written on a piece of paper next to it, telling her to stop asking questions. Judy tells dad about everything that has been going on, but he just says "I will take care of it". She goes outside, where she sees running towards the forest. She follows him but soon loses track. Then she sees the beast, this time being able to confirm it is real. The beast chases her but her nervous whistling manages to start annoying it. This allows her to escape and make it near the cabin, but she bumps into a boy who tells her to go away. She asks him what is deal is, and he just says "You didn't see me".

Judy goes back to the mansion and tries to find her dad. Harvard appears, telling her that dad and Ira left. She checks dad's room and finds that all his stuff is gone, confirming they are gone, and can't help her. She tries to leave, but the room is locked. Soon Harvard lets her out, saying Baker wants to see her. She tries to run, but gets cornered by both of the boys she saw. They say they want to help but actually take her to Baker's office. She headbutts one of them and runs off. She hears pounding from a room, and discovers that Ira and dad are in there. She lets them out, but dad tries to force Ira back in. Suddenly, Ira transforms into a beast, and Baker shows up, declaring that the beast is loose. Ira is the beast.

He tells them to whistle, as he hates whistling. Ira turns back into a human, and Baker takes Judy aside. He explains that he knew Ira was the beast, and was keeping him in the cabin. The real reason dad comes up here is because Baker is the only scientist who can possibly treat the "Beast disease". Those two boys have it as well, and were being treated. His treatments are able to keep Ira for most of the year, but every Spring he must return for more. Harvard was fully cured of it, but is now anemic as a result.

Judy asks if she can finally leave, but he says she can't. He thinks Judy could possibly have it, as her 13th birthday is coming up and it starts around then . She tells him that's ridiculous, but she looks down to see she has started sprouting fur.

Audiobook

Audiobook Release date Length Narrated by Published by
Judyandthebeastuaudiobook.jpg
September 7, 2021 2 hours, 50 minutes Joe Fria, Emily Lawrence Scholastic Inc.

Trivia

  • This book's title is a reference to the story Beauty and the Beast.
  • There is a Wal-Mart exclusive bind up of I Am Slappy's Evil Twin and Please Do Not Feed the Weirdo that includes a preview of this book.
  • The Scholastic Classroom Magazine edition comes with a free pair of glow-in-the-dark fangs.
  • This book references Coca-Cola and Netflix.
  • In the original book summary, Judy's brother is named Kenny while in the book, his name is Ira. Additionally, Evil Rock is named Black Rock.
    • The summary also said the book was setting during the Winter, when it is actually set in the Spring.
    • While the final version of the back blurb reflects the Ira change, it still mentions Evil Rock and Winter.

References

Goosebumps SlappyWorld series
#01 Slappy Birthday to You#07 It's Alive! It's Alive!#13 Monster Blood Is Back
#02 Attack of the Jack#08 The Dummy Meets the Mummy!#14 Fifth-Grade Zombies
#03 I Am Slappy's Evil Twin#09 Revenge of the Invisible Boy#15 Judy and the Beast
#04 Please Do Not Feed the Weirdo#10 Diary of a Dummy#16 Slappy in Dreamland
#05 Escape from Shudder Mansion#11 They Call Me the Night Howler!#17 Haunting With The Stars
#06 The Ghost of Slappy#12 My Friend Slappy
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