Thursday, December 10, 2009

December books and the number Twelve

Here are books with a theme appropriate for the twelfth month of the year: they all involve the number 12. Short stories, fantasy, and fiction featuring vampires, fairies, and even a talking bridge -- find copies using the World Catalog and search boxes here on BookBag.

My Dad's a Punk: 12 Stories about Boys and Their Fathers, edited by Tony Bradman (Kingfisher Press) Short Stories. In these 12 stories, authors from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. write about fathers--good fathers, bad fathers, fathers who (for whatever reason) aren't around--and their sons. From a punk rocker to a workaholic to a bird-watcher, the dads depicted here are realistic characters with believable flaws and triumphs, as are their sons. This collection of funny, relatable stories would be a great pick for a father-son book club or for anyone who likes reading about family and everyday life.

The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina, by Caroline Lawrence (Roaring Brook Press) Historical Mystery. In this 6th volume of the mystery series that began with The Thieves of Ostia, young Flavia Gemina is suspicious of the widow Cartilia Poplica, who has caught her (eligible) father's fancy. Determined to uncover Cartilia's motives, Flavia decides that she must complete 12 tasks, like the Greek hero Hercules, in order to do so. Fans of this series like its quick-moving stories and their richly detailed ancient Roman settings, and there are plenty of them to enjoy; number 17, The

Man from Pomegranate Street, was published in July.

Twelve, by Lauren Myracle (Dutton Books) Fiction. As if being 11 wasn't hard enough, Winnie has finally turned 12, and she's just discovered a whole new set of problems to worry about--starting with her so-called best friend Amanda rejecting her. Luckily, there are also a lot of good things happening--like her new friendship with Dinah, getting her ears pierced, and her first crush on a boy. If you like reading about the ups and downs of everyday life, you'll enjoy reading all about Winnie in this book, as well as in Eleven and Thirteen.

Blue Noon, by Scott Westerfield (Eos Books) Fantasy. The teen heroes of this horror- and science-tinged fantasy series were all born at the stroke of midnight, which means that they are able to experience the magical 25th hour of every day when the rest of the world seems frozen. Being a "midnighter" is no picnic--terrifying, evil darklings inhabit the hidden hour, too. In this conclusion to the fast-paced, exciting trilogy that began with The Secret Hour, the darklings have figured out how to enter the world during the day, and the midnighters must once again risk their lives to save all of humanity. Don't miss it!

Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast, by Jane Yolen (Magic Carpet Books) Short Stories. Whether you're a fan of fantasy or science fiction--or you just like surprising, fresh takes on classic stories and characters (such as Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland)--there's something for you in this collection of tales by beloved author Jane Yolen. Featuring supernatural beings such as vampires, fairies, and a talking bridge (from "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"), as well as aliens and some very strange humans, these 12 stories range from downright scary to silly, bizarre, and sad. All of them, however, are quick, enjoyable reads.

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