I am trying to find the title of a novel I read in grade school back in either 2001 or 2002. The book is about a 13 year old boy who befriends an older man that happens to be a computer hacker. Here are a few details I remember from the book:
When the boy first meets the hacker, he lies about his age, telling him that he is 15 when in reality he is 13.
The man invites the boy over to his apartment, where he shows him his computer setup. The apartment is described as being extremely filthy, littered with cigarette butts and infested with silverfish.
At one point early in the novel, the boy returns home from school bruised and bloodied after getting into a fight.
Throughout the novel, the boy goes over to the hacker's apartment. During two attempts to visit the apartment, he is kidnapped and briefly held hostage by groups of men. These men were either rival hackers or FBI informants.
I believe this novel was inspired by real-world events, but I am not certain.
Considering that I read this back in either the fourth or fifth grade, it was most likely a junior novel.