Monday, July 25, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Can you remember being a child and all the blind faith that came with it? You would believe in monsters and fairy tales, anything that could be dreamt up could be real.

When Jacob was younger, his grandfather would tell him stories of his childhood. Grandfather Lawrence grew up on an island with a group of other children, safe from any monsters that would harm them. All of the children had special abilities; One girl could levitate, one could produce fireballs, there was an invisible boy and one with bees living inside of him. There was even a collection of photographs as evidence that such marvelous things could exist.

Now that Jacob has grown up, it's obvious that his grandfather is delusional. The photographs are faked. The old man keeps ranting and raving about monsters and his gun cabinet. Obviously, the only monsters were the Nazis and the island was the safe haven for a Jewish child whose family was killed. It was all part of his grandfather's fantasy world. Except...his grandfather was right all along.

The stars of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children are definitely the photographs. They are all real, found pictures, and the story was written around them. I found myself looking forward to anytime a picture was described, because then the author would have a picture ready for the reader. It really adds to the experience of the book. As for the story, there are paranormal elements and time travel, scary monsters and lessons in growing up. What more could you ask for, really?

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