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.