Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Name of Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

By: Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

Copyright Date: June 7, 2011

Number of Pages: 352

Format: YA Hardback

Reason for Reading: Cover Love

Rating: A

If ever there was a book written for a Quirky Girl to review, this is it.  It has all the quirky hallmarks: a main character who feels like he doesn’t fit in anywhere; a mysterious grandfather who swears monsters have chased him his entire life; references to the classic poetry of Ralph Waldo Emerson; and a secret island near Wales where an extraordinarily long-lived, pipe-smoking Bird is purported to keep quite peculiar children happy and safe from the monsters.  It was even published by Quirk Books.  It doesn’t get any quirkier than that.

Jacob’s grandfather knows about the island because he was sent there as a boy.  In what Jacob refers to as before he is given by his skeptical parents to understand that his grandfather, a German Jew, was sent to Miss Peregrine’s home to escape the Nazis; that the stories he told Jacob about the monsters of his youth were merely men carrying out the orders of Hitler; that those metaphorical monsters killed his entire family by the time he left Mrs. Peregrine’s and immigrated to the US.  It is Jacob’s after where he is given to understand that perhaps his grandfather’s stories were more literal than metaphorical; perhaps the monsters he so vividly described-and FYI, they’re disturbing-truly exist.  The only proof his grandfather offered before were old photographs of the peculiar children, clearly doctored up to demonstrate their most peculiar abilities, but one moment in Jacob’s after was all the proof he needed to trust his grandfather’s word.

With the approval of his parental-mandated therapist (perhaps this will help young Jacob come to grips), Jacob and his father travel to the small island where Miss Peregrine and her peculiar charges once lived. What Jacob discovers will change his life forever.

Author Ransom Riggs combines old photographs with text to create a unique method of truly engrossing story-telling.  From his website:

I have an unusal hobby: I collect snapshots of people I don’t know.  I started collecting a few years ago — at swap meets, antique shops and the like — but the thing that got me started wasn’t the photos themselves so much as the scribbles I’d sometimes find on the backs. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is liberally peppered with these old and odd photographs, contributing to an alternately amusing and chilling atmosphere.  Seriously, some of the photographs were hilarious, but there a few which sent shivers down my spine, despite the oppressive Texas heat.  There are twists and turns a-plenty, some predictable and some extra twisty.  Best of all, the characters are well-drawn and the interaction between Jacob and the other characters is authentic and well played.

BOTTOM LINE: This is an unusual and intriguing read from a possibly peculiar author (yeah, I went there).

About izzybella

Just trying to figure it all out.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Mystery, paranormal, Posts by Izzy, YA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

  1. I almost purchased this one for my Kindle, but decided to add it to my “check the library first” list. Sounds odd but fun.

    • izzybella says:

      It is a lot of fun. Riggs definitely set it up for a sequel which I hope happens. Should be interesting to see where it goes.

  2. jehara says:

    I have been wanting to read this since I saw it in the armchair BEA giveaways. I had no idea what it was about, but the title and the cover definitely had me interested. I love that it was published by Quirk Books. I am so reading this soon!!

    • izzybella says:

      Yeah, when I saw Quirk Books, I pretty much giggled out loud in the bookstore. This is one I’m happy to own in hardback as opposed to the nook edition.

  3. Trisha says:

    I have this one ready to be read – like actually placed next to me reading chair – and I’m excited to get into it. Even more so after reading your review!

  4. Trisha says:

    “my reading chair” not “me reading chair”….I must have been feeling pirate-ish…

  5. izzybella says:

    Arrggghh…well, there are lots of scenes by the sea, so by all means, get in touch with your inner pirate.

  6. Kay says:

    I’ve seen several highlights about this book, but I think yours is the first review. I started to get it for my Kindle, like Diane, but when I realized there were the pictures, I decided to order it. It came this week and I’m excited to read it soon. Those pictures are so odd. This will be an adventure. 🙂

    • izzybella says:

      I really do think it’s better on in hardback. It’s a good quality hardback too if you’re someone who likes that (which I am!). I’d love to hear what you think about it.

  7. Bring it to breakfast tomorrow?

  8. Staci says:

    I will certainly think about reading this one and loved your last sentence!!

  9. Margot says:

    I like the idea that you found a quirky book published by a company called Quirk Books – just for our Quirky
    Girls blog.

  10. Amy says:

    The quirky elements of this book sound fantastic and fun. I like that there’s a serious story but several it’s lightened a bit by humorous aspects, such as the monsters who frightened his grandfather were really nazi soldiers.. It’s great that there are actual photos included in the text. I enjoyed your review and am intrigued about this book!

  11. Josh says:

    I finished this book a couple weeks ago myself. I downloaded it from so I didn’t receive the benefit of the photographs. I enjoyed some of the big twists at the end, but I think one in particular was not hinted at properly and comes across like a “Scooby Doo” reveal. Overall, however, I agree that it is quirky and fun.

    ~Thanks for sharing!

  12. sherrysoule says:

    Thanks sharing your thoughts on this book. It sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it now.

    Sherry Soule Official Website

  13. Pingback: Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children |

  14. Samuel Derry says:

    I feel like I’m the only one with a paperback version sadly.

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