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The Twelve-Fingered Boy (Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy) Hardcover – Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books; 1 edition (Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761390073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761390077
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,441,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon doesn't mind juvie. He's got a good business dealing contraband candy, and three meals a day are more than his drunk mother managed to provide. In juvie, the rules never change and everyone is the same. In juvie, Shreve

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Format: Hardcover
There is no new original concept in this book. It is just a very well written book, with a great story, good characters and moves along at a good pace.

There are not a huge number of books that I not only enjoy but I look forward to sitting down and reading, this was one of them and I highly recommend it.

The plot is based around two young lads and the unnatural skills they have, a coming of age story from a darker perspective of the world.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sandra dee on 24 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
brought for a gift
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4 Thumbs Up! 28 Feb. 2013
By Nickolas X. P. Sharps - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed John Hornor Jacobs's THIS DARK EARTH so much that I had to read more of his work. Fortunately Jacobs has two other published books on shelves - the southern gothic, Lovecraftian horror of SOUTHERN GODS, and the YA thriller THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY. I'm eager to start SOUTHERN GODS but I couldn't pass the opportunity to read a Young Adult book about a kid with twelve fingers that has a form of telekinesis.

Shreveport Cannon has lived a hard life, at fifteen years old he's suffered more than his fair share. He's learned to look out for himself, and he's used his street smarts to keep his skin intact during his stint at Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center for Boys. When Jack Graves is introduced to the eco-system of Casimir Pulaski things get...weird. Jack has twelve fingers and twelve toes, but that's not the strangest thing about him. When he gets mad or feels threatened Jack explodes with telekinetic force. And there are those that seek to acquire Jack and his ability, nasty customers like the menacing Mr. Quincrux.

THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY is told in the first person by juvenile delinquent Shreveport "Shreve" Cannon. Shreve's voice is highly unique. He's likable with an edged wisdom that bespeaks his difficult lot in life. For a fifteen year old he's had the majority of his naivety burned away by circumstance but what remains is intelligence and a surprising compassion. Shreve quickly takes to Jack, despite his reluctance to being saddled with fresh blood. Looking back I'm surprised at how little is learned about Jack over the course of the novel. He too, is likable, and the relationship that matures between the two boys is convincing.

It's a relationship that grows and changes as the boys grow and change. Half of the book is spent in Casimir Pulaski, as Shreve helps Jack adjust to life in juvenile correction. Things get much more complicated as Shreve learns about Jack's special ability and Mr. Quincrux is introduced to the equation. Mr. Quincrux is a creepy-bad-dude though perhaps a little shallow on the characterization and slightly cliche. He's dark and mysterious with a (seemingly) malevolent agenda, but never develops beyond that. Eventually Shreve and Jack break out of Casimir Pulaski and the rest of the book is spent fleeing Mr. Quincrux.

This is where things start to get (even more) interesting, as Shreve and Jack learn to survive and test the limits of their powers. Oh, did I not mention? Shreve ends up acquiring a power of his own due to his involvement with Jack and Quincrux. It's cool to follow Shreve and Jack as they learn how to use their abilities. In a lot of ways THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY is like the indie flick Chronicle, an origin story of a couple not-quite-superheroes. Shreve's telepathy and Jack's telekinesis can be just as dangerous to the user as to the target. Shreve realizes that his telepathy is invasive and wrong but he uses it to provide and protect. Jack's telekinesis on the other hand requires anger to utilize and holding onto that much anger could prove to be damaging.

THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY is a fast read, packed full of action and humor and a splash of darkness. It's not an average YA novel. Shreve and Jack aren't average YA protagonists. The plot is an effective mashup of Louis Sachar's HOLES and Chronicle. The ending suggests more novels to come, a prospect that I find greatly exciting. I'd love to see how Shreve and Jack progress from here and I need to know what is in Maryland!

Recommended Age: 14+
Language: A few words here and there.
Violence: There's some graphic comic style violence.
Sex: None.

Nick Sharps
Elitist Book Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Shreve and the twelve-fingered boy, Jack, meet up with zombies ... and become them! 21 May 2013
By D. Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Dealing candy at the Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center was easy, way too easy for someone like Shreve. Booth was always watching him, but no way could he catch a shrewd dude like him. Shreveport Justice Cannon wasn't a loose cannon by any means and he learned a lot from the school of hard knocks. Moms was a drunk and tending to his younger brother, Vig, gave him a purpose in life, but until Jack Graves became his roomie in juvie he only had that candy. Heaths and Blow Pops were as good as gold in Casimir. Assistant Warden Horace Booth, who was determined to catch Shreve, was digging for it in his nose when he thought no one was looking.

Thirteen-year-old Jack was one of those kids who cried himself to sleep so it looked like he needed to be looked after kind of like Vig. "You got like a gajillion fingers," Shreve blurted out when he saw Jack's hands. It was really kind of a freaky thing and Jack didn't appreciate the commentary, least ways the thing about being in a circus. A strange "thing" emanating from Jack pushed Shreve back. "No!" This kid had more than a gajillion fingers, he had some sort of power. Shreve shouldn't have said anything about those fingers, but he wanted to listen to Mr. Quincrux interview Jack and needed to bribe Ox so he could listen through his wall.

"Your former foster brother will live ..." This kid's powers were seriously strong and Quincrux wanted him for some reason. Jack had defeated "five older children in hand-to-hand combat." Shreve's powers began to quickly emerge and he remembered what happened when Quincrux got into his head. Quincrux's "residue or something was left behind," and Shreve was soon able to read minds and take control of other people's bodies. The two boys had to escape from juvie because they had a mission to accomplish. Somewhere out there something was calling to them, but who or what was it?

Shreve and the twelve-fingered boy, Jack, meet up with zombies ... and become them. This is an amazing debut novel captures the essence of two young men and their flight into the unknown world. The novel progressed so evenly and rapidly that the characters are well-rounded and their situation almost becomes believable. Shreve's powers grow and begin to eclipse those of his young cohort, Jack. All the while, we still are grounded on earth as we feel Shreve's angst at his "incarcerado" and the longing for his dysfunctional home, family, and girlfriend, Coco. Everything starts in Holly Pines Trailer Park, a place where there is no inkling that things will spiral into the twilight zone. This is an excellent zombie novel the young adult crowd will love!

This book courtesy of the publisher.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Perfect for Misfits fans 2 Feb. 2013
By Liviania - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have got to stop assuming that books are standalones. When I reached the end of THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY, I couldn't believe it. I was relieved to learn that two more books were coming and that the story would continue, but all the open threads were a bit of a shock.

The twelve-fingered boy in question is Jack Graves, the new kid as Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center. The narrator is his roommate Shreveport "Shreve" Cannon, the biggest candy dealer in all four blocks. Soon after Jack arrives, a man named Mr. Quincrux shows up to interview him. Shreve eavesdrops because he has a bad feeling about the man and his interest in Jack - a feeling that turns out to be very prescient. Soon the two boys are busting out of juvie and desperately running across the country to protect themselves.

THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY will appeal to fans of the X-Men and Spider-man. Jack has special abilities, and their encounters with Mr. Quincrux awaken a power in Shreve. Although they're concerned with keeping themselves alive and safe at first, they start to realize that they might have extra responsibilities due to their extraordinary capabilities. That's not a thought that comes easily to Shreve, whose short life has taught him that it is acceptable to hurt others to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

John Hornor Jacobs imbues Shreve with a unique, absorbing voice. His morality is slightly skewed, and he has the potential to grow up to be a good person - or a really bad one. And his relationship with Jack, who reminds him of his younger brother, is quite sweet. Their journey across America is harrowing, not just because of who is chasing them and what they might run into, but because the corner they're backed into might turn them into what they're running from.

I'm not enamored with the ending of THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY. While Shreve and Jack to manage to accomplish something important, because the ending made the entire novel seem somewhat pointless. I'm certainly curious about what will happen next, and at least next time I'll know that the end isn't really the end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Totally awesome! 25 Mar. 2013
By Azul - Published on
Format: Hardcover
OMG, this is a series! I need to process this.

Okay, processed.

I totally loved the story. Think of X-men in a subtle way.

Shrev is in juvie and gets a new roonmate, Jack. But Jack is not ordinary kid, he has a very unusual talent. Circumstances lead Shrev to develop (or discover) a special talent of his own. Because some people are after Jack, they break out of juvie and are on the run.

I loved how Shrev abilities developed. It wasn't something taken for granted, like he had it from the beginning. No, it came to him and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.

Jack and Shrev escaped juvie and are on the run from Quincrox, a man with a power of his own who wants Jack who knows why.

I loved the connection b/w Jack and Shrev and I especially loved that there is no pointless romance in the story!

Shrev's character is very realistic. He is not a saint kid but he is not evil either. There is a nice balance there.

I totally loved the writing style, the setting... everything.

I don't know what else to say about this book without giving it away. It totally blew me away and it will be one of my favorites forever!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This novel shows how right Nick Hornby is 1 Mar. 2013
By Diane Tebbetts - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What Nick Hornby says is that the best fiction going these days is "young adult" fiction. John Horner Jacobs' new young adult novel is good evidence Hornby's right. Jacobs gives us two highly sympathetic characters who we like even knowing their flaws. He gives us a bad guy whose motives are mysterious. He gives us a a bit of fantasy in these characters' superpowers, which include mind-reading. He creates tense moments that build to a great climax that leaves us wanting what the two promised follow-up books will bring. And he shows us how the characters grow not only in power but in moral depth. This is what J. K. Rowling would have written if Harry was in juvie instead of Hogwarts.
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