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The Twelve-Fingered Boy
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About the Author

John Hornor Jacobs is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including The Twelve-Fingered Boy and The Shibboleth. He lives in Arkansas with his family.

Reviews

"Though basically a good kid, 15-year-old Shreve Cannon is serving two years in an Arkansas juvenile detention center for stealing. His survival strategies of dealing candy and being sarcastic add humor to this suspenseful novel. When 13-year-old Jack Graves becomes his new roommate, Shreve concludes that Jack is different for more than just his additional fingers. It is revealed during an interview with the mysterious Mr. Quincrux that when Jack gets scared or angry, he is able to send out a violent wave of energy. After a particularly brutal incident, the teens decide to break out of the center. Shreve discovers that he has acquired the ability to manipulate others' minds, a skill that comes in handy for survival on the road as he and Jack try to evade Quincrux and his creepy 'watchers.' They must also commit minor offenses, which forces them to question the ambiguity often associated with morality (Is it okay to invade someone's mind if it means it will save someone else's life?). Shreve is an admirable, wise protagonist. He recognizes that pain is simply a part of life, and that despite his rough upbringing, he will survive. Fans of Alexander Gordon Smith's 'Escape from Furnace' series (Farrar) will enjoy the fast-paced paranormal twists this novel offers, and the ending will leave them wanting more." --School Library Journal

--Journal

"John Hornor Jacobs conjures dark magic with The Twelve-Fingered Boy. A powerful new voice whispering out of the dark. A brilliant first YA novel!" --Jonathan Maberry, author of the acclaimed Rot and Ruin, New York Times bestselling author of The King of Plagues and Patient Zero

--Other Print

"'It's a monster of a world' for fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon, incarcerated in Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center for Boys: 'not quite prison. Not quite a Hilton.' Words are Shreve's thing--how he sells contraband candy, how he survives in a sometimes brutal world. But words fail him when he's assigned a new roommate, Jack Graves--'slight, pale, and still, ' with large brown eyes, a dead voice, and twelve fingers, six on each hand. It turns out that Jack has special powers that resulted in the hospitalization of five kids at his previous foster home. When the mysterious Quincrux and his witchy counterpart Ilsa begin stalking Shreve and Jack, Jack's powers are called upon, forcing the boys to make an explosive escape. As the fugitives wander from state to state, the narrative also meanders, but readers will enjoy this trilogy debut, a wild and riveting tale full of allusions to fairy tales, movies, and comic book heroes--including the witch, the wolf at the door, the Hulk, Jack Sprat, Godzilla, Spiderman, and Hansel and Gretel, all contributing a mythic scale to the whole affair. Polydactyl heroes are rare in children's literature, and so are novels like this that make the fantastical utterly believable." --The Horn Book Magazine

--Journal

"At long last, here is a superhero story for the rest of us. Streetwise Shreve, 15, is serving a two-year stint in juvie, but at least his sideline--dealing candy--keeps things interesting. Enter new roommate Jack, a haunted 13-year-old (a 'titty-baby' in juvie terms) rumored to have killed his parents and put five kids into the hospital. Jack has 12 fingers. That's weird. Even weirder? When angered, he can 'go explodey'--psychically hurl people across the room. No wonder other parties are, shall we say, interested. Mr. Quincrux, an ominously bland fellow in a black suit, arrives to mentally invade the minds of Jack and Shreve and in the process accidentally lends Shreve a similar ability. What follows is miles away from the superhero battles you're expecting. After the two boys bust out, they live the desperate existence of itinerate thieves as they struggle to control superpowers fueled by pain. Jacobs' storytelling has the effortless velocity of early Dean Koontz, and his prose is textured with hard-boiled grit each kid's supernatural flexing causes nosebleeds and vomiting, not to mention the realistic mangling of innocent people. An expertly spiced stew of attitude, humor, horror, and grief--and with a movie-ready plot to boot. Sequels? Probably. Let's make that hopefully. --starred, Booklist

--Journal

"A fast-paced, ferocious nightmare of a story--gritty, magical, and surprisingly tender." -Brenna Yovanoff, New York Times Bestselling author of The Replacement

--Other Print

"John Hornor Jacobs's The Twelve-Fingered Boy is a thrill ride. With candy. And polydactyl, reluctantly heroic kids who go up against all odds in a world of uncontrollable superpowers and unrelenting bad guys. Exciting, suspenseful, creepy, and fun--The Twelve-Fingered Boy is a terrific, fast-paced read!" --Andrew Smith, award-winning author of The Marbury Lens and Stick

--Other Print

"It's a little bit Shawshank Redemption, a little bit X-Men, as adult author Jacobs (This Dark Earth) launches a promising trilogy about superhuman teens. Fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon is passing the time in Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center, selling candy to his fellow inmates, when he's assigned a new roommate: Jack Graves, a small, quiet 13-year-old with 12 fingers and uncontrollable telekinetic abilities. When a stranger named Mr. Quincrux shows up, sporting nasty mental powers and an uncomfortable interest in Jack, the boys have no choice but to break out of juvie and go on the run. Attempting to stay one step ahead of Quincrux, they master Jack's telekinesis and Shreve's newfound telepathy, and eventually must choose between freedom and justice. While the story spins its wheels at times (parts of Jack and Shreve's day-to-day life in juvie and on the road can drag, even with superpowers involved), and a number of questions are left to later books, the premise is sound, Shreve's hard-edged narrative voice is strong, and Jacobs skillfully builds tension and mystery throughout." --Publishers Weekly

--Journal

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