Monday, October 7, 2019

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Photo courtesy of
Released: June 2011

This #1 New York Times Bestseller by Ransom Riggs is absolutely enchanting. The back-cover synopsis didn't prepare me for the lovely story that unfolds during the first half of this novel. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the first installment of what is currently a 5-book series, with the fifth book due to release soon in January 2020.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Teenager Jacob Portman has grown up listening to his paternal grandfather tell stories about monsters and the "peculiar" children with special powers with whom he was raised after escaping Poland during WWII. Jacob never took these stories seriously, thinking his grandfather was making them up for entertainment reasons, and maybe because he was also suffering dementia.

It's not until Grandpa Portman dies mysteriously in the marsh near his Florida home that Jacob finally realizes his grandfather may have been telling the truth about escaping and fighting monsters this entire time. Grandpa Portman's last words to Jacob before he dies are "find the bird in the loop on the other side of the old man's grave, September 3, 1940." Jacob and his father then travel to a small, remote island off the coast of Wales with the intention of helping Jacob recover from the trauma of his grandfather's death. However, Jacob's real motive for visiting the island is to locate "the bird" and the peculiar children who may be able to provide more insight into his grandfather's mysterious past.

Dreamworld's Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a wonderful and fun book that both young adults and grown-ups may find enjoyable. This novel is extremely compelling and magical—you can't help but be seduced by the story and by Grandpa Portman's history. There are lots of fun riddles in this book, too—it's hard to grow bored. The photos of the peculiar children in this book enhance the story, and Riggs explains in an author's interview at the end of the book that all the photos are authentic and borrowed from collectors who had found these old photos at places like yard sales and antique stores.

I did lose interest toward the end of this novel when Jacob and his friends are escaping and battling the bad guys, but only because I'm not too crazy about action scenes in books. I could be in the minority where this is concerned. However, I'm sure many young adults could really get into this series since you don't know what's coming next. I won't be reading the other books in this series, but I do highly recommend Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to those who enjoy fantasy, history, adventure, and time travel.

To date, the books in this series are:
1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2011)
2. Hollow City (2014)
3. Library of Souls (2015)
4. A Map of Days (2018)
5. The Conference of the Birds (2020)
Tales of the Peculiar (2016)

I also just realized this novel was made into a movie, starring Eva Green as Miss Peregrine and Asa Butterfield as Jacob! I'll definitely be watching it soon.

Have you read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and if so, what did you think? Share your comments below.

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