Author(s): Robert Cormier
The headmaster of Trinity College asks Archie Costello, the leader of the Vigils, a secret society that rules the school, to help with the selling of 20,000 boxes of chocolates in the annual fund-raising effort. Archie sees the chance of adding to his power - he is the Assigner, handing out to the boys tasks to be performed if they are to survive in the school. Freshman, Jerry Renault, a newcomer to the corrupt regime, refuses to sell chocolates. Enormous mental and physical pressure is put on him but he will not give in - the result is an inevitable, explosive tragedy.
Robert Cormier, formerly a journalist, now concentrates on writing fiction. He has published many fine novels for young adults and is known for his devastatingly truthful writing. He is enormously popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Robert lives in Massachussetts.