The Twelve-Fingered Boy


the-ttfb-bookShreveport Justice Cannon has a good thing going. Sure, he’s a guest of the state of Arkansas until he turns eighteen, but it’s not exactly hard time. And Shreve’s happy to be the number-one candy pusher at Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center. Then the new fish shows up.

“Shreve, meet Jack Graves. I hope you two will enjoy your time together.”

Jack’s a quiet kid. Small. Cries himself to sleep too. He’s no standard-issue titty-baby, though. There’s his hands – more specifically his fingers, all twelve of ’em. And when he gets angry, something weird happens. The air wavers. You feel a slight pressure in your chest. And then… well, best take cover.

“He’s a rare bird, this Jack.”

No surprise, rare birds attract attention, and Mr. Quincrux, Jack’s own birdwatcher, is one nasty piece of work.

“I am not yet whole. Had I been, I could make this entire yard of boys kill each other. Gleefully.”

Suddenly, sticking around Casimir Pulaski Juvenile Detention Center doesn’t seem like such a good idea. But even if Jack and Shreve can escape Quincrux, there’s no escaping the hell that awaits them on the outside.

“On the outside, every face can hide a monster.”



The Twelve-Fingered Boy is John Hornor Jacobs’s debut young adult novel and it’s amazing…part Huck Finn, part X-Men. The scary stuff in this book — and there’s some really scary stuff here — goes beyond the usual scares of kids’ horror, and is truly the stuff of nightmares. This is a book that mesmerizes like a venomous snake…I’ll be on the watch for the next two volumes. ” – Cory Doctorow, on

“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 Boyis a terrific, fast-paced read!”  —Andrew Smith, award-winning author of The Marbury Lensand Stick

 “Jacobs’ storytelling has the effortless velocity of early Dean Koontz, and his prose is textured with hard-boiled grit… An expertly spiced stew of attitude, humor, horror, and grief.” –starred, Booklist

 “A fast-paced, ferocious nightmare of a story—gritty, magical, and surprisingly tender.” –Brenna YovanoffNew York Times Bestselling author of The Replacement

 “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 RuinNew York Times bestselling author of The King of Plagues and Patient Zero

 “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… [T]he premise is sound, Shreve’s hard-edged narrative voice is strong, and Jacobs skillfully builds tension and mystery throughout.” —Publishers Weekly

“Shreve is an admirable, wise protagonist…. 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

 “Readers will enjoy this trilogy debut, a wild and riveting tale full of allusions to fairy tales, movies, and comic book heroes…Polydactyl heroes are rare in children’s literature, and so are novels like this that make the fantastical utterly believable.” —The Horn Book Magazine

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