If you are tired of reading a regular book, pick up a copy of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” The book has many differentiating characteristics that make it unique, such as hundreds of old photos throughout the book, a plot twist and a spooky story. “Miss Peregrine’s” was first published in June 2011, and for the past two years the book has been a New York Times bestseller. The author, Ransom Riggs, has definitely put a spin on the classic novel.
The novel’s protagonist is Jacob Portman, who seems like a basic teenager at first, working, going to school, nagging parents, and a crazy grandfather who claims he sees “things.” Jacob soon finds out his grandfather is not crazy and has been telling the truth about all these “things” he sees, including the odd children he talked so much about. Sadly, Jacob only realizes this after his grandfather is tragically killed. But the big question, is by whom, or what? Jacob wants answers, but to get them he must undermine his parents. Jacob saw his grandfather the night he was killed and thought he saw some sort of animal, or vicious creature staring at him, something his grandfather always described, but no one ever believed him. Jacob tells his parents that he saw whatever it is that had killed his grandfather. Obviously, they want him to go to therapy because they think he is insane. He goes to therapy and the therapist is nice, helpful and convinces Jacob to try and find answers.
Jacob does just that and goes to help his parents clean out his grandfather’s house, hoping Grandpa Abe left him some clues. He finds some old, and very strange photographs, and a letter written to Abe from Emma, and a picture with ‘Miss Peregrine’ written on the back. Who is Emma? Who is Miss Peregrine? Abe makes Jacob basically go through a scavenger hunt, trying to find all the clues to find out the truth. Because of the clues Abe left him, Jacob is convinced there is an island and he must go there to find out what is going on. His parents are finally persuaded after Jacob’s therapist tells them it would actually be a good idea, but Jacob’s father decides to go with him. So Jake and his father travel to this remote island near Wales to find Miss Peregrine and all of the peculiar children in the photos, including this Emma character. Once they arrive, Jake finds the house that Miss Peregrine and the children lived in, but was surprised to hear that the home was destroyed by bombs during WWII. Jake has not given up just yet however and decides to just wander around the house to see if he finds anything. As he was exploring the house, he sees some kids walking around and hears them. He chases after them, and follows them into a tunnel. One of them was Emma, and the tunnel is a secret time portal that brought Jacob back to the day the house got bombed, back in WWII. From this point on, Jacob realizes all the mysterious things about the island, and all the secrets it holds. For the rest, you will have to read it!
It was a really interesting book, although in some places it seemed a bit juvenile. I really enjoyed looking at all of the old, edited strange photos that accompanied each peculiar child. There are a lot of plot twists, but one I didn’t see coming towards the very end. I couldn’t just lay in bed and read this, I had to sit up; it was that intense at times. It is a perfect spooky and adventurous book especially for the season approaching (Halloween!). The movie is coming out later this month, and that will hopefully convey the book well.
The book is available at almost every store that sells books, Barnes-&-Noble, Amazon, etc.
The movie comes to theatres on Sept. 30, 2016. Go check it out!
Enjoyed “Miss Peregrine’s”? Check the next two sequels, “Hollow City,” and “Library of Souls.”