Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Jacob’s grandfather had these crazy photos. He would tell Jacob, over and over again, about the children in the photos. There were fantastic stories to go along with each picture. This little girl could levitate. This brother and sister were very strong. It all captured Jacob’s imagination, until he grew up. At that point, Jacob’s grandfather was regarded as a stretcher of the truth.
Jacob was sixteen when he started working for one of his family’s stores, but then tragedy struck, Jacob’s grandfather was killed. Jacob saw a strange creature and reacted terribly to the death of his grandfather, whose last words did not make sense to Jacob. There was something about a loop and the old man’s grave and the bird. Jacob did not know what any of it meant. Jacob went to see a psychologist to help him with his recovery.
It was not until an old letter was found in a book that Jacob got a clue to his grandfather’s past. There was an address, a small Welsh island. Jacob decided that he needed to go and visit it. His father went along as well, to look at birds.
Things were not promising at first, but one day, Jacob followed a girl out into a bog and through an ancient grave, a cairn. When he came out the other side, he wasn’t in the same place he had left. There he found an array of children, many of which were too strange to believe. It was from Miss Peregrine, who ran the school, that Jacob learned that these people were called Peculiars and his grandfather had been one. The girl Jacob followed was named Emma and she had actually loved Jacob’s grandfather. Jacob’s grandfather had stayed at the very house that these strange children lived in, back in WWII, before he went to fight the war, and later, have an ordinary, or somewhat ordinary life.
During Jacob’s time on the island, he learned that his grandfather was much more than anyone had ever dreamed of. Jacob also finds that he has a gift of his own. There were terrible things afoot for anyone who was Peculiar and Jacob would do what he could to help.
What I Liked
This was quite an interesting story. It’s a bit of a different take on people who are “different.” Wouldn’t it be really neat if there were actually people who were different in some of the unique ways that stories say they can be different? What if there was something more than just being human? It’s a neat idea.
The idea of the loops is interesting as well, although, it does sound like an awfully big responsibility for the people who are able to create loops. I like that time travel is thrown into this story. Time travel is a special interest of mine, being a lover of Doctor Who and Back to the Future.
What I didn’t like
This book follows the traditional, “I didn’t know I was special, but I found out I’m special, I thought I was ordinary, and I have a family legacy of being special” pattern. How many times has this very pattern been written out? A lot. I get it, you thought you were ordinary, you found out you’re extraordinary, and people in your family weren’t so ordinary either, and now you feel like you’ve found yourself. I like stories like this, but there’s nothing exciting over the basic plot line of this story.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Do you wish that you were more than human?
If you could travel in time, would you?