Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! Tabatha here again to spread some holiday cheer! (No, not that holiday. It’s still November, hold your horses!). I’m back after a brief “AAaaaahhhh Finals is coming aaaahhhhh!” break, and I’m ready to guide you back through the world of holiday fiction (p.s. I’ve just spent a lot of time wading through the world of holiday fiction: trust me, you’ll need a guide). Since we missed the build-up to Thanksgiving last week, instead we’re going to celebrate it in conjunction with the broader holiday season. So, grab some egg nog or hot cider, & get ready to explore the exciting world of November holidays!
Holiday 1: Thanksgiving
Yes, yes, I know Thanksgiving was yesterday. But, my dedicated readers will know that not only did I clearly not just forget the holiday, but also that I am not including it now to make up for my earlier mistake! Oh no, perish the thought. I always do these things on purpose! (provided I can find a suitable excuse). Thanksgiving was pushed to today so we will be able to celebrate it as part of a larger recognition of the holiday season!
The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing
The first Thanksgiving book is perhaps a little below our demographic’s average reading level, but I believe it belongs here because of it’s universal appeal. Who among us has not looked forward to the holiday season, to the driving, to the visiting, to the dozens and dozens of relatives, and to the “Oh crud what was her name again? Sue? Sharon? Aunt Katie?”, to the swarm of young cousins/nieces/nephews/grandkids running all around the house, to the …delicous foods, and thought what only The Great Thanksgiving Escape‘s protagonists have dared to do: “I bet I could sneak out the back door…”?
It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it — out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?
‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving (Bookshelf)
by Dav Pilkey
Our next Thanksgiving book is also a little below our average reading level because…well good Thanksgiving books are hard to find! (However, if you want some trashy holiday romance, I can hook you up) But don’t worry, this one is also a good Thanksgiving read. Besides, think how jealous your colleagues will be if you get to tell them you read two entire books over the holidays which weren’t for homework or research. They’ll be baffled!
Continuing the theme of holiday capers, we’ve got ‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving to give us another thrill of sneaking, stealing, and general behaving badly. (Don’t worry, we’ve got some grown-up books coming up next!)
The incomparable Dav Pilkey adapts Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem to tell his wacky Thanksgiving tale. The day before Thanksgiving, eight boys and girls take a field trip to a turkey farm. They have fun playing with eight exuberant turkeys but are shocked to learn that Farmer Mack Nuggett plans to kill all the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. So the children decide to smuggle all the turkeys home, and all their Thanksgiving dinners become vegetarian this year. The turkeys’ lives are saved!
Holiday 2: Black Friday
Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, we can move on to the next holiday in line! And what is this next holiday you ask? Nope, not Christmas. Nor any of the other ‘Happy Holidays’ inclusive dates, it is Black Friday!*
*Official Disclaimer: The FFF is in no way promoting or admonishing Black Friday. Mostly I’m just complaining because my big sister is making me get up early.
Black Friday really is a holiday like any other: many look forward to it for weeks, planning how they will spend the day and where they will go. Everyone spends more money than they want to, and many gather together with family & friends to pursue their own expression of the day. Some of you are objecting, saying ‘Tabatha, I don’t celebrate Black Friday. It’s awful.’ Well, my answer is that you do celebrate it: you celebrate a significant date by staying warm indoors and taking some time to appreciate your less fortunate [read: stuck shopping at 5 am] friends and neighbors. And like all good family holidays, celebrants end up uncomfortable, tired, wishing they could go home, and planning to do it all again next year…for some reason.
Black Friday by Jeffery Martin
Our first book as we switch between the holidays is Black Friday, a collection of short stories guiding us through the holiday season, with everything from Thanksgiving to New Years. It is filled with heartwarming tales of The Keep, where families gather together on the holidays to share good food, good friends, love, and fighting off a continual apocalyptic nightmare.
In the mountains of East Tennessee lies the town of Elders Keep. Things aren’t exactly right in the Keep, and as the town heads towards the holiday season, the evil force that lives within the woods comes pulsing to the forefront.
It’s all downhill to New Years, and no one in the Keep is safe.
This collection of eight short stories is your invitation to join the citizens of Elders Keep as they make their way through a harrowing holiday season.
Only the dark and twisted mind of Jeffery X Martin could create a town where humor and terror live side by side in such harmonious agony.
Welcome to Elders Keep.
If you lived here, you’d be dead by now.
Black Friday by B.Y. Rogers
Our next book posits an interesting question. What if Black Friday were initially a ploy to destabilize the American economy? What if Black Friday was supposed to flood the market with the entire holiday budget of the entire American shopping population on one day, and send the stock markets into a tailspin? What if those saboteurs didn’t realize that the economic system was actually made up of wizards in caves who send us nonsensical sheets of numbers? (Really, have you ever tried to figure out that whole economy/stock market/mutual funds/other economic-y-sounding-words? I’m telling you, the only sensible explanation is that it’s wizards, and anyone who claims to understand is either spellbound, or lying). What if this grand ploy to destroy the entire shopping system of Christmas failed, and only succeded in destroying my Thanksgiving-night sleep?
An angry teenager, his identity lost in the social system of American justice, finds purpose and direction as a member in the New World Army. His assignment? Begin the destruction of the United States economy. It starts in your hometown next November 23, 2012. Are you ready? Black Friday is a microcosm of the world’s perception of and reaction to American avarice and cultural dominance.
And the next holiday is…
Nope! Not today! Thanksgiving is barely over, and Black Friday (obnoxious excuse for a holiday that it is), is not finished yet! And international holiday law dictates that you cannot begin one holiday until you finish the last one! (I’m looking at you November-1st-Christmas-decorators!). You’ll just have to wait until next week to celebrate the next major holiday: Presidents’ Day!