Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
The recent release of the film version of this novel was not the reason I selected Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to read. Rather, what drew me to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, were the striking vintage photographs that adorn both the cover and are also interspersed within the narrative of this novel. The photographs definitely add another dimension to this magical novel, enhancing the overall reading experience of the book.
The setting and time frame pulled me further into the story. Any book that is set in World War II, involving the holocaust is sure to hold my interest. For this book, it was Grandad Portman or “Abe’s” story that hooked me in. Ransom Riggs is a very visual based writer and his work enables the reader to easily imagine the events he is narrating.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a book that fuses a number of genres together. This is a story that successfully combines fantasy, magical realism, the paranormal, historical fiction and young adult fiction. The book is narrated by teenage Jacob, who is an engaging storyteller. On the whole it works, there were a few points where the writing could have been more fluid but it did not cease to entertain me.
Some readers will find the open ending a tad frustrating, while for others, it will encourage them to seek out the continuing volumes of this series. I will be sure to do this in the near future.
On the whole, I enjoyed my introduction to the writing of Ransom Riggs. He has a unique style of writing and structure to his novel that I found to be incredibly original, as well as ambitious. This is a book that I would recommend to both adult and young adult readers.