Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Quirk Books, 2011. hardcover, 352 pages.

It is easy for a young boy to believe the tales woven by a loving grandfather–of monsters, a magical home, and children with amazing powers. But as that boy matures his grandfather’s tales develop the taint of untruth and what once seemed so very real is now nothing more than fairy stories. So what if his grandfather had pictures of these children, pictures that in childhood were quite convincing? To the boy’s eye these photos now appear faked, doctored, impossible. And so the grandfather stopped telling the stories and a special bond was lost. Then one night tragedy struck and the now adolescent boy saw something–something that should not be real, could not be real. That one night will send the boy on a journey in which he discovers that truth is sometimes stranger, and scarier, than fiction. ~Carl V.

Carl V. over at Stainless Steel Droppings recommended this read—thank you friend—and really, I should just link this post to his and stop there. And so that is just what I am going to do—after the next paragraph and these atmospheric photographs from the book.

I really enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. At first thoughts went to X-Men and Tim Burton’s 2003 film Big Fish, and then those reminiscences left. Riggs provides a highly imaginative historical science fiction fantasy drama of his own. His story shifts from disturbing to scary/grotesque to high adventure all while confidently treading a coming-of-age. The use of a photograph felt a bit reaching at times, but his clever use is undeniable. I was/am a little concerned about Miss Peregrine’s Young Adult designation and having to hunt it down on YA shelves where many adults do not tend to browse. It would be a shame for anyone 11* and older missed this read.

I am very excited to learn a second book is in the works.

*if you are edgy in the least about scary novels for your sensitive 11-13 year old, I figure you’ll want to screen this one first, and hopefully really enjoy it while you do.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a good idea for a Reader’s Imbibing Peril (RIP) read.

 

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carl V. says:

    This is one of those books that I sincerely hope to find that all my friends enjoy it. It is that good. Happy to see that you had a good experience with it. I love the integration of the creepy photographs, being a fan of old black and white pictures in general.

    I hadn’t thought about Big Fish, but I do see a little bit of that in there. Haven’t seen that film in way too long!

    Miss Peregrine is the kind of novel that should be shelved in both the adult and YA section of a bookstore. It feels to me like the kind of book that would be more appealing to adults anyway. Sort of reminds me of the Flavia de Luce books, which have an 11 year old protagonist but are shelved in the adult Mystery section rather than in the YA section. I like that. I visit the YA section of the store but more than any other section I feel like the book covers blur together with a great degree of similarity and I rarely “discover” anything there like I do in other sections of the store.

  2. L says:

    I did have a good experience. I am really glad I took you up on the recommendation! Yes, those creepy photos were fantastic! I loved that he attributed them to their finders–what a marvelous hobby to collect the especially peculiar ones.

    so true about the YA section, so much repetition and not only in cover image, but content as well. I am usually there to pick up something specific. I was surprised that the B&N store I went to only shelved Miss Peregrine’s in YA…but they were flying off the shelves, so I think the blogosphere has helped in that regard. My request from the Library came out of the Teen section which is an area I tend to feel really weird browsing through. I mean, I am glad they make it so distinctly Teen an area and all, but do the stares have to be included as well?

    1. Carl V. says:

      The teen section is where the cover similarity is actually the most disturbing simply because there is almost no variety. A bunch of darker toned books with paranormal overtones. Nothing stands out. It would annoy me tremendously if I was a teenager.

      I would love to see the collections of the author and the other people he went to in order to get pics for this book. I bet they have some really amazing stuff.

  3. Kailana says:

    I am glad to see that you enjoyed this! I never did review it, but I think your short and to the point review would be a good idea for when I actually do so! The vintage photos really made the book for me.

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