A boy, a rat, and an exterminator -- three players in a game of survival. Christmas vacation is supposed to be a blast. Or so Eric thinks. But with all his friends either sick in bed or out of town, Eric's getting more bored by the hour. Then he meets Anje Gabrail, exterminator. Anje's got all the normal stuff an exterminator needs -- roach powders and smoke bombs -- but he also carries some extra equipment: a crossbow and metal-tipped arrows that can penetrate concrete walls and will annihilate any creature with which they come in contact. Anje's number one target? Rats. To Eric, this guy is creepy but fascinating. So, with nothing better to do, he joins Anje on a mission to destroy the rat living in the basement of his apartment building. But as Christmas Day draws nearer and the temperature outside keeps dropping, things in the basement go from weird to deadly. And Eric learns how valuable life truly is.
Avi is the author of more than seventy books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead. He has won two Newbery Honors and many other awards for his fiction. He lives with his family in Denver, Colorado. Visit him at Avi-Writer.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2002)