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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) Paperback – June 4, 2013
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at 16, he is reeling from the old man's unexpected death. Then Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a monster only he can see. A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing, and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an unforgettable whole. Interspersed with photos throughout,
“A tense, moving, and wondrously strange first novel. The photographs and text work together brilliantly to create an unforgettable story.”—John Green, New York Times best-selling author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns
“Readers searching for the next Harry Potter may want to visit Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”—CNN
“Riggs deftly moves between fantasy and reality, prose and photography to create an enchanting and at times positively terrifying story.”—Associated Press
“I read all of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books and I loved them.”—Florence of Florence + The Machine
“[A] thrilling, Tim Burton-esque tale with haunting photographs.”—USA Today Pop Candy
“With its X-Men: First Class-meets-time-travel story line, David Lynchian imagery, and rich, eerie detail, it’s no wonder Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been snapped up by Twentieth Century Fox. B+”—Entertainment Weekly
“Peculiar’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. Riggs’ chilling, wondrous novel is already headed to the movies.”—People
“You'll love it if you want a good thriller for the summer. It's a mystery, and you'll race to solve it before Jacob figures it out for himself.”—Seventeen
“This peculiar parable is pure perfection.”—Justine magazine
“One of the coolest, creepiest YA books.”—PopSugar
“It’s an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”—Publishers Weekly
“An original work that defies categorization, this first novel should appeal to readers who like quirky fantasies. Riggs includes many vintage photographs that add a critical touch of the peculiar to his unusual tale.”—Library Journal
“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a wonderfully original and inventive book with colorful characters, a mysterious tale woven together with threads of historical relevance, and incorporating unforgettable vintage photographs which bring the story to life.”—Geeks of Doom
“Brace yourself for the last 70 pages of relentless, squirm-in-your-chair action. I loved every minute of it.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Hands down, this is one of the best books of recent years...both creepy and terrifyingly delicious.”—Forces of Geek
“Though technically a children's book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is more Grimm's than Disney, and Riggs images, dropped like bread crumbs, could lead audiences of any age happily down the path of its spellbinding tale.”—Florida Times-Union
“In a time when so much summer entertainment seems to be more of the same, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a pleasant surprise—a story that is fresh and new, engrosses and grips, and provides enough clues so that the ending makes sense and seems thoughtful.” —PopMatters
“A twisting tale of phenomenal children, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a book that both children and adults will love.”—Romper
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This book was one of the first books SHE mentioned wanting to read on her own. We jumped in the car and raced off to the book store to see if we could capitalize on her "read all of the books mood" once she flipped through the book she was hooked in... inside the store! We wanted to order it on amazon, so we negotiated the two day wait for shipping with her by offering to buy buying all three books in the series. She agreed.
Some people may have an issue with this book's language or somewhat sketchy subject matter being appropriate for children, but honestly... She is 11. It's nothing she hasn't heard by now. If I am completely honest- With as much effort as we have put into encouraging her to read over the years, if she asked us to buy her a copy of Helter Skelter I might seriously consider it. Mom might not, but I would.
The book contains many old black and white snapshots and studio portraits of children dressed in Halloween costumes, dress clothes and clothes worn many years ago, posed in unusual poses. The writer has a great imagination integrating the old photographs into the story. It is a great book for YAs, especially boys, but would be frightening for younger children.
The book begins with Jacob Portman, going on sixteen, who feels he does not belong to his own world, south Florida's west coast. His mother is a business woman, wealthy, working in the family business, excellent in business. not much for family life. The name of the family business is Smart Aid, growing all over Florida. Jacob is being groomed for the business, he doesn't want this for his lifes work. His father is a would be ornithologist, planning a book on birds which has yet to come to fruition. Both parents are busy with their own lives and feel that because Jacob gets whatever he wants they have done a good job. Jacob has one friend, Ricky, he is not popular. But he had Grandpa Portman who told Jacob stories about the time he escaped from the Nazis when he was young and as a child was sent to an orphanage on Cairnholm, off the coast of Wales. He told Jacob about the strange people, monsters after the kids and he showed his grandson some of the photos of these kids, taken many years ago, old antique photos. Jacob grew too old for such stories, they were all silly. His parents agreed. Then one night Jacob and Ricky went to visit Grandpa. Grandpa lay dead. Jacob saw a monster lurking in the bushes. He swore he saw a monster, Ricky saw nothing. Just possible a wild animal. Jacob was in a bad state for months. His parents found a good psychiatrist. There is a letter from the orphanage Grandpa had spend so much of his childhood from the old headmistress. Could she still be alive? Jacob wants to go to Cairnholm to see where Grandpa had grown up. His psychiatrist agrees it would be good. As for his father, the island is wonderful for birding. So off to Cairnholm go father and son. Cairnholm is a strange island, rough and primitive. Frank wants to bird. Jacob wants to see the old orphanage. Is it real? Was it a figment of Grandpa's imagination? Jacob wants to know the truth. Jacob found a letter among Grandpa's letters. It was from the old orphanage Grandpa had spend much of his childhood, from the old headmistress. Could the old lady still be alive? Jacob wants to go to Cairnholm to see where Grandps had talked so much about. His psychiatrist agreed that it would be good for the boy. And as for father, the island was wonderful for birding which excited Frank Portman. So off to Cairnholm go father and son.
This is a strange island, rough, primitive not what the pair are used to. Frank wants to bird, Jacob wants to find the old orphanage that Grandpa had spoke of. Is it real or a figment of the old man's imagination. Two tough teenage boys are told to show Jacob where the old house is located. The boys take him to a bog and tell him where the house is located. The pair, good friends, refuse to accompany him the rest of the way. Why?
Jocob soldiered on. This is an old ruined house, falling apart, decrepid, old, back in time, falling apart. Everything in the house is falling apart, not worth keeping. Then Jacob goes through a time loop, ends back in time. The house is beautiful, clean, the food is good. Miss Peregrine, the name of a bird of prey, is a good housemother, good for the orphans. She keeps them in check, she loves them. Jacob is impressed. The time stops. It is always September 3, 1940. There is a small village close to the orphanage. The villagers do the same thing every day. The orphans are ordinary kids to a point. They are different than ordinary kids. They really are peculiar as Jacob finds out. Stuck in a time loop these kids are in their eighties. Thise book is quite an adventure for young boys. The author writes well and has a wonderful imagination.
All of that changes, though, when Jacob is the sole witnesses to the frightening murder of his grandfather, a horrific tragedy that leaves him reeling in therapy. On his therapist’s suggestion, he finds himself headed to Wales to visit the old home where his grandfather grew up, the result of a mysterious letter left to him. Suddenly, his grandpa’s tales don’t seem so far-fetched after all—Jacob discovers that, against all logic, the peculiar children from the photographs are alive and well, seemingly preserved in time.
It isn’t long before Jacob finds himself in over his head and in possession of some peculiar qualities of his own as time manipulation and monsters come to the surface.
A perfect creepy read for Halloween that uses actual vintage photos sprinkled throughout the pages to heighten the twisted tale. Highly recommended.