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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

When Jacob was young, his grandfather used to tell him stories of his time at a magical orphanage with peculiar children. He would tell of how they were hiding from "horrible monsters" and that the orphanage was the happiest place in the world.

As he grows up, Jacob loses his faith in his grandfather and in the stories he told. He realizes that they were fancied versions of what really happened: World War II. And the children weren't really peculiar; the monsters were not hairy and with fangs, but something much scarier. This all makes sense to Jacob until he witnesses his grandfather's death, glimpses an unlikely kiiller, and hears his last words. Jacob is sent back to where everything began: Cairnholm Island, and the orphanage where his grandfather grew up. It is here that Jacob discovers something even crazier than he had imagined, and he begins to wonder if maybe his grandfather was telling the truth.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is equal parts eerie and exciting and scary. It has some pretty intense action scenes, some romance, and enough mystery to get you going in the start, and keep you going all the way through. The writing is strong, the voice is powerful and mature. Jacob is a well-developed character, and all it took was the first chapter for me to be sucked in. Grandpa Portman was a great and solid character, even after only being in two chapters of the book. Miss Peregrine, Emma, and the peculiar children are all fabulously well-rounded.

Another great aspect of this book was the vintage images included throughout; I'm an aspiring photographer myself, and anyone who has any sort of interest in photography or art will enjoy the pictrues just as much as I did.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book; it seemed kind more middle-grade than it actually was, and the summary of the book didn't make it seem like much of a teen read, aside from mentioning that Jacob was 16 years old. Don't let the summary make it seem boring! It's amazing, and you'll breeze through it.

Grade: A+


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