Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Publisher’s Description: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Agent Annie says…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was really good. I liked how the main character, Jacob, went from being a normal everyday kid to discovering the fantastical situation at Miss Peregrine’s home and how he might just belong there. Jacob really struggled with how to present to the world even while he was struggling with who he was inside. That tension is maintained towards the end of the book when Jacob has to decide if he will return to his ordinary, safe life or continue on in this new world full of wonderful, beautiful and sometimes terrifying things.
When Jacob’s grandfather dies at the beginning of the book, he whispers something to Jacob that sounds ridiculous and nonsensical. Those words turned out to be very simple and straightforward, once you know the context of the “peculiar” world with “peculiar” children. Ransom Riggs did such a great job at creating the peculiar children that I became emotionally invested in their futures and really wanted them to succeed, so much so that I’ve already started the second book.
There is a Q&A with the author at the end of the book and I really enjoyed learning that the author started collecting old photographs that he found in the flea markets and coming up with a story to go with the image. He ended up working with several collectors and went through tens of thousands of photos to pick just the right ones to include in the book. I give this book a 5 out of five and I recommend a print copy. I read the e-book using the 3M Cloud Library, which didn’t allow me to enlarge the pictures and I feel I missed out on the details of those fascinating images.
Percy Procrastinator says…
This was a fun read. I would think the young adult audience would get more out of the story, but it was still entertaining for an adult to read. I decided to read the book now because a movie is to be released soon, and I find reading the books first adds extra depth that is lost in a movie’s depiction.
The first item that made the book more enjoyable was the knowledge that the pictures used throughout the story are “real”. The story was designed to incorporate these real world pictures from the past—pictures that are black and white, fuzzy, poorly developed, and just plain weird. It’s the ultimate game of “what do you think they were doing when they took this photo?” and turning it into a fun adventure story where the pictures are the first clues.
Understanding the amount of effort the author put into finding these choice pictures and then incorporating them into the story made turning the pages a real treat. You knew there was going to be a picture by what the people were describing, and then there it was! Hilarious.
The story itself has some unique settings with well-described and interesting characters and villains. As an adult, I quickly identified the villains and clues about their evil deeds early on, but that didn’t detract from the story as much as I thought it would.
In the end, I finished the book quickly and was ready for the next. I knew going in that this was a trilogy, and I hope the next 2 books don’t disappoint.
If you like this book…