Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book is a mix of two things; vintage photos of children and gripping prose. Now, this isn’t a picture book, it’s more of a story that just happens to have beautiful photos of people woven into it. The children and the photos are peculiar, just a little out-of-the-ordinary. For instance, there’s a levitating girl, or an invisible boy’s body with a pair of clothes. The pictures may draw you in, the plot is what really will keep with you. Miss Peregrine’s is about a teenage boy, Jacob Portman, who finds his story-telling grandfather dead in the woods. The culprit? A monster straight from Grandpa Portman’s tall tales. Of course, no one believes Jacob’s account of his grandfather’s death. Obviously, he’s just traumatized by seeing his grandfather die in his arms. It was probably just a rabid dog, or something of the sort. For all Jacob knows, he’s insane and the monster isn’t real. But something keeps nagging him, and he finally makes a breakthrough when he discovers a letter from his late grandfather addressed to him. It tells Jacob to journey to his grandfather’s old  children’s orphanage, where Grandpa Portman fled during World War II (he was a Polish refugee). Once Jacob has arrived, the letter tells him, he must find the orphanage and it’s headmistress, Miss Peregrine. At first Jacob is doubtful. However, he trusts his grandfather, so he and his father (an ornithologist) set off to the island where the orphanage stands. But when Jacob makes the treacherous swamp-filled journey to his grandfather’s childhood home, he finds out that it’s a bust. The orphanage was destroyed by a bomb more than fifty years ago. At least that’s what everyone believes. So does Jacob, until he discovers something, and someone, extraordinary. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a completely original, amazing novel, wrought with monsters, mystery, adventure, and (of course) some very peculiar children.

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