Friday, August 5, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Jacob Portman is a well-to-do teen who is traumatized when he witnesses his grandfather die. Jacob is convinced his grandfather's dying words are portents rather than an old man's ramblings or dementia.

Most intriguing of all, however, are the bizarre photographs of apparently real people that illustrate the book. Ransom Riggs, a film maker who also writes photo essays for magazines, inserts photographs of people doing unusal things e.g. levitating in the air or creating balls of fire.

The photographs become part of the fictional world Riggs creates in Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children. Jacob assumes the photographs his grandfather shows him are fake, as most people would. He concludes that his Grandfather's stories of a war-time escape and a home for peculiar children are fairy tales.

After watching his Grandfather die, however, Jacob begins having nightmares and even believes that he can see monsters. Are his Grandfather's stories true? Jacob travels to Wales with his father to find out and that is only the beginning of his adventures.

Ransom Rigg's first novel is a gothic coming-of-age like no other. The otherwordly setting--a dilapidated house on an isolated Welsh island, time loops, and a school for mysterious students--will immediately capture a reader's interest. Marketed for young adults, this novel also will also appeal to adults who are intrigued by supernatural mysteries.

Review by Chantal Walvoord