This book was an impulse purchase of mine as I waited in line to buy my textbooks for this semester. And it was enjoyable and fun, but at the same time I expected something… different. I’m not sure what that was, but I almost thought that this book would be creepier (well, besides the old photographs, that is) or more intense than it turned out to be. But even so, this is still a fun book, and I expect a young adult audience that likes fantastical mystery would absolutely love it.
Miss Perengrine’s Home for Peculiar Children focuses on a teenage boy named Jacob, who grew up with his grandfather’s stories of the old orphanage he used to live in as a child, and all the strange children that lived there…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been reviewed a few times for Cannonball Read (in fact, that’s how I heard about it), so this will probably be brief. For those of y’all who don’t know, it’s about a boy named Jacob who grew up hearing fantastic stories from his Polish grandfather about an orphanage in Wales where he was raised during World War II. The orphanage was full of “peculiar” kids, whose special talents (levitation, pyrokinesis, etc.) were supported by photos that Jacob’s grandfather had kept. As Jacob grows up, he realizes the stories and photos are fake, which makes him angry and disappointed. Then his grandfather dies, and he finds out that everything he’d been told was true.
The photos (and there are quite a few) are actually included in the book. Apparently the author found them at flea markets and garage sales, and wove a story around them. The book doesn’t read that way though, like an attempt to explain some old photos. Instead it’s a very well-done tale with some pictures thrown in to illustrate.
I liked this book; it was a fun, short read (like, I read it in one sitting kind of short). It’s really aimed at teenagers, but that’s not going to stop most adults from enjoying it/ I didn’t realize it was the first in a series though–it ends pretty abruptly. I’m not sure when the sequel is coming out, but I’d almost guarantee a movie adaptation at some point!
Jacob grew up hearing his grandfather’s stories about his youth in Europe and the odd characters he lived with there — a girl who could fly, a pair of twins with the strength to juggle boulders, and an old bird who ran a home where she took care of them all. He even shows Jacob old black and white photographs that seem to show these peculiar people. The skeleton of the plot is a bit familiar, but the details are off-kilter enough to keep you reading.