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The Christmas Rat

The Christmas Rat

Scholas­tic, 2022

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
Jeff Woodman

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What’s this book about?

He is one weird Christ­mas visitor—his hair and mous­tache an unearth­ly white-blond, his voice a gruff rum­ble. He fills the apart­ment door­way. From two met­al cas­es he pro­duces what a boy would expect from an exter­mi­na­tor: Tox­ic roach pow­ders and poi­so­nous fog bombs. But a crossbow?

Eric is fas­ci­nat­ed at first. He’s been bored this snow­bound vaca­tion, and has already zapped about a zil­lion Zergs. Antsy, he’s even sneaked a look at the Christ­mas presents hid­den beneath his par­ents’ bed. Then Anje Gabrail, this exter­mi­na­tor, appears, talk­ing a lit­tle mad­ly about his war against rats—about killing them.

“The worst,” Anje says. And if Eric sees one in the Eden Apart­ments, he is to call Anje’s twen­ty-four-hour cell phone imme­di­ate­ly. Lat­er that Mon­day, the fourth day before Christ­mas, a rat does appear in the build­ing’s basement—and Eric finds him­self sud­den­ly, fright­en­ing­ly swept into Anje’s venge­ful army.

As either part­ner … or victim.

With only a flashlight.

Story Behind the Story

I have always had a par­tic­u­lar fond­ness for Christ­mas. It was (and is) a big fam­i­ly hol­i­day; the gifts of course, both giv­ing and get­ting, the pret­ty tree, food, and fam­i­ly reunions. It takes place in the after-glow of my late Decem­ber birth­day, which I share with my twin sis­ter. New York City, where I was raised, always had a spe­cial feel around Christ­mas. There is too, not a small aspect, my annu­al read­ing of Dick­ens’ Christ­mas Car­ol. I am, in fact, quite sen­ti­men­tal about Christmas.

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Awards and Recognition

  • Starred review, School Library Journal


“For read­ers who want a dif­fer­ent kind of hol­i­day (or any­time) nov­el, fast paced and mys­ti­fy­ing, with juicy moral dilem­mas under­pin­ning the unique plot, this is a sure­fire selec­tion.” (School Library Jour­nal, starred review)

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