Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Cover Image

About the Author: Ransom Riggs

Hi, I'm Ransom, and I like to tell stories. Sometimes I tell them with words, sometimes with pictures, often with both. I grew up on a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland and also in a little house by the beach in Englewood, Florida where I got very tan and swam every day until I became half fish. I started writing stories when I was young, on an old typewriter that jammed and longhand on legal pads. When I was a little older I got a camera for Christmas and became obsessed with photography, and when I was a little older still my friends and I came into possession of a half-broken video camera and began to make our own movies, starring ourselves, using our bedrooms and backyards for sets. I have loved writing stories and taking photographs and making movies ever since, and have endeavored to do all three.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Cover Image

Find the best price forMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Goodreads rating: 3.86

Paperback, Published in Jun 2013 by Quirk Books

ISBN10: 1594746036 | ISBN13: 9781594746031

Page count: 382

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

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SocialBookCo User Reviews

Jessica Hunt on 18 Oct 2016
“When first seeing this book a few months before the new movie came out, I was intrigued with the concepts and the story behind the photograph on the front cover. A story within this world but also inside another was not a new idea to me and many others who read within this genre. Humans with special talents or abilities wasn't either. The combination of a world with peculiar people and the many other paranormal possibilities rolled into one story (or a trilogy, in fact) was what stood out to me and originally made me excited to get my hands on this title.

The dark tones of this book was not something that I, as a reader, am familiar with from my preferred genres and themes so the "peculiar" seemed to envelope me further within the book. I enjoyed learning about the Peculiars, their lifestyle and the reason for every movement they make.

Jacob is telling the story through first person narration and goes through such a traumatic experience in just the beginning of the book which immediately created a connection with me as I read how he coped with this and his initial reaction. However, the reading was slow during this stretch of the first hundred or so pages. I was impatient with the unnecessary use of Jacob's friend which eventually brought no insight or depth to the book. Though his situation is sympathetic, Jacob's character seems weak and not cut out for the rest of the novel. The writing continues within the middle of the story as confusing and not fully developed as the Peculiars are haphazardly explained, the identity of each child is hardly brought up nor focused upon, and the idea of a time loop was roughly explained at best. Reading started as slow, then confusing, and ended quickly as finally the plot became a priority and the situation within the story warranted better attention.

The idea of placing pictures within a novel like this was, I think, both helpful and detriment. The pictorial aids included throughout the piece enabled me to view the scene exactly and was especially helpful when some of the narration lacked more understanding and depth about the depicted subjects or objects. What ruined this effect was the constant expectation for me to see a picture for each description. Rather than envisioning the lay of the land and the people for myself and coming up with my own conclusions about each event, there was a picture to tell me exactly how it was. There was then no need to read the meager descriptions prior to viewing the photographs. I was tempted to flip through the pages and see each photo before reading the text. When I was provided with more insufficient description for certain parts of the book, I expected a picture reference on the next page. Though this didn't ruin the entire book for me, these pictures did not aid my experience of reading this.

The times where there was a wonderful description and sufficient background to this book, I was thoroughly impressed with the text and looked forward to reading more. The focus and effort put forth was seen mostly near the last third of the book as we are brought more into the world of the Peculiars rather than Jacob's healing process. The beginning lasted a few months, the middle lasted a few weeks or so, and the ending lasted a few hours. This timeline was interesting to recognize as I read and even more so when I finished and realized that the author must have done this on purpose. Though this is probably the timeline of many books, the length of time was necessary and sufficient for what the author wanted to convey to his readers.

My favorite parts were when I was surprised while reading. I watch a lot of TV crime shows and sometimes read mystery novels and I've found that I usually more often than not can guess who the suspect is or who murdered who. While reading this, however, I was so glad that many of my guesses were wrong. My excitement upon finding each guess wrong, made my curiosity grow and grow which made me read through this faster and faster. It's hard to find reads like these and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this was one that stumped me.

I admire new ideas and concepts brought into books such as these and this was no exception. Even though there were pieces and irregularities within, I read it in just a few days and couldn't put it down in many instances, particularly the end. There is a giant cliffhanger there which definitely made me want to buy the other two books in the series and read what happens next in the Peculiars' journey.

For someone who is willing to read this as it is, I would definitely recommend this book for the exciting thrills and adventures waiting inside. Though I wish I could somehow shorten the first half in order to get to the juicy second half!”

Chantale Ferguson on 01 Nov 2016
“The premise of the story was pretty fun and I think it was well thought out. The reader gets excitement, mystery, and terror .

I did think the story was a little slow at first but after a while, it picks up and I just couldn't put it down . I am so glad I finally read it because I absolutely loved it. I was able to imagine all the characters, what they were doing and all that. I just loved the photos. Some were a little creepy but that is fine by me. The photos were a wonderful touch to this book.

As soon as I was finished reading this book I just had to buy the next book in the series and hopefully I will be able to read the second book soon . Also, I do want to watch the movie as soon as it is out on DVD.

I highly recommend.”

Michelle Fabio on 18 Sep 2016
“Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is as unique and imaginative as the title suggests and is well worth several hours of your time.

If you're like me, those hours will only be spread over a few days; if I didn't have a toddler at home with me, this would have been a long, lazy, one-afternoon read for sure.

The book opens with the perfectly ordinary, day-to-day life of Jacob Portman, a teenager whose close relationship with his grandfather is central to this well-written story. When Jacob was a young boy, Grandfather Abraham shared incredible tales of his own childhood, peppering them with old black and white photographs of children doing strange things like playing with a ball of fire or who were otherwise, well, peculiar-looking.

Of course as Jacob grew older, he viewed the photographs and the tales from a more mature perspective, no longer blindly believing his beloved grandfather's words. But when Abraham delivered a cryptic message and Jacob saw a strange sight of his own, Jacob's ho-hum days became a distant memory.

Armed with knowledge no one else in his family had, Jacob felt constrained to investigate his grandfather's past across the pond - at the site of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an abandoned orphanage perfectly placed by Riggs on a secluded Welsh island with just one public phone, no cell service, and more secrets than Jacob could have ever imagined.

It's difficult to write too much more about the plot without giving anything away - and believe me, you will want to play along and try to figure out the mysteries of this book for yourself.

This is a tough book to classify as it's technically young adult (YA) fiction, but its plot is more complex than your average YA novel. It's also not quite a horror book in the realm of Stephen King, though it does deliver a good dose of "haunting."

I wouldn't say it's appropriate for the younger readers on the usual YA level for various reasons - some language, yes, but mostly just the overall freaky factor. I am guessing some adults may have had nightmares after reading this.

So let's say it's certainly an adventure book mixed with fantasy, and well, it's just downright clever.

I'm a sucker for old photographs anyway, but the way Riggs pulled the amazing vintage images of 'peculiar children' into the story was exceptional. He does a great job of describing the photos, but when you turn the page and actually see the eyes staring back at you (or not! You'll see!)? This technique added a wonderful dimension to the story.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Book Review - SocialBookCoThe photos, by the way, were either collected by Riggs himself or borrowed from others who must have rummaged through thousands upon thousands of bins at estate sales and flea markets and such to salvage these treasures. Just the fact that the pictures have now been preserved for future generations makes this book concept a winner for me.

Fair warning, however: If the cover photo creeps you out, you should probably not read this one in the dark.

In any event, I can say with confidence that the twists and turns in Riggs' amazing and yes, oh-so-peculiar world kept me flipping pages, stealing moments throughout the day to peek in on what was happening with Jacob. This book is the first in a series, and I'm already reading the sequel, Hollow City.

Overall, if you like books that are a little off-the-wall (this was published by Quirk Books, after all!), slightly creepy, and transport you to a whole other world, give Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children a go.

And do it before you see the movie! You know the book is always better.”

Natasha Davies on 21 Aug 2016
“So I do not ever normally read young adult fiction, the last time I did I was in my early twenties, I think, when I absorbed Phillip Pullman's trilogy at lightening speed! Therefore Im not entirely sure why I haven't really given the genre a second look for such a long time. I have been missing out if Riggs' debut novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is anything to go by.

The book was totally new territory for me in terms of young adult fiction, but also in the way that the text is interspersed with around fifty curious, antique photographs. Initially I did think, I am not so sure I like this! I love photographs in biographies, but fiction is where I like to imagine scenes and characters for myself. The photographs however, soon really added to the book, and it was interesting to reflect back after finishing the book, that it was so unusual to see a writer's inspiration first hand through images.

The story follows our hero Jacob, through an 'awakening' tale from loss and bereavement, to his 'enlightenment' through the journey to understand his beloved Grandfather's history and heritage. The story unravels with some truly comical moments, one of my absolute favourite lines is "Then it clicked. Their clothes, strange even for Wales", perhaps not for the reason the American author intended! There were a few cringe worthy moments, I think most likely because I am not the intended audience, I found the rapping Welsh 'hoodies', for example a little absurd! However I found myself drawn in, willing Jacob on to fit the pieces of the puzzle together as fast as we the readers had, and to steer away from the inevitable danger.

The story takes us on a magical journey from a melancholy, dejected life, to other worldly excitement and mysticism. I enjoyed the romantic subplot; it was incredibly innocent and sweet, and not a teenage angst ridden whitewash. I can see several complicated, 'course of true love never did run smooth' type relationships developing in future novels.

After putting aside the frequent use of the words 'turds' and 'pissing', this novel is incredibly enjoyable for a more 'mature' reader! I understand the book has already been made into a Hollywood blockbuster, set to hit UK screens in late September, and to be honest its really obvious why. The book has extravagant cinematic qualities from the get go. From fanciful, extraordinary characters to sparkling, fantastical scenery.

If you are or have a young adult in your life this is a great book, especially if you are looking for the next big thing after 'The Hunger Games', 'Harry Potter', the 'Divergent' trilogy. My prediction, given the Hollywood seal of approval, is the film is going to be big in the Autumn, and there is already and will be even more books to follow. If, like me you sometimes just like to enjoy an easy read, a bit of adventure and some light hearted fantasy, plus you are the kind of person that likes to read the book before you see the film, I would highly recommend Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for a weekend read!”

Matt Hageman on 01 Oct 2016
“Wow! I loved this book. Usually I'm not a huge fan of Young Adult novels, preferring books from the adult fiction or fantasy sections of a bookstore. Miss Peregrine's (I'll call it by the shortened title from now on) gave me an awesome fantasy/historical fiction(ish) novel that wasn't too childish, even if it is a book for teenagers. In fact, after finishing the book earlier this week, I have already gone to my local book store, Novel Idea, to pick up the sequel Hollow City.

The first thing that made me enjoy this book was the anticipation within the first half. Jacob, the 16 year old protagonist of the story, watches a monster of some kind kill his grandfather and then goes through weeks of therapy. The therapist convinces Jacob that it was a pack of dogs that killed his grandfather and not the so called "monster" Jacob's grandfather used to tell Jacob of the island he grew up on, where he lived with many other "peculiar" children. He showed Jacob obscure pictures including one of a girl who floats in the air. (See the cover of the book for this photo). Jacob believes these stories to be fairy tales, and as he doesn't find out the truth (don't worry, I'm not telling) until a good chunk of the way through the book, you are left wondering if the fairy tales are real yourself. Although some readers may find the first section slow, I think it allowed the anticipation to build and grew the magic of the story.

Ransom Riggs, the author of the book, did a really interesting thing that I have not seen within a fiction/fantasy novel before. A lot of the text within the book related to photos that were also included in the book. Riggs, a photo collected, found peculiar photos of children that he added to his book, writing the story around the photos. I found this to greatly increase my enjoyment of the story as it gave a visual aspect to the peculiar things that Jacob saw that otherwise may not have been adequately described. (Riggs did a great job with his description. I just find that the visual aspect adds a lot). The only thing I slightly disliked about the photos was the introduction that led up to each one. Sometimes the introduction fit smoothly into the story, but other times I found that the photo introduction slowed down the pace of the novel.

The plot of the book, although sometimes confusing (as it is supposed to be while Jacob figures out what is going on) was reasonably paced, turning to fast paced in the last hundred pages of the novel. I think the build in the pace is the reason I had to run out and buy the sequel right away, with the slower start making sure I didn't get exhausted before the end of the novel.

So should you read this novel? Good question! To start, do you plan on seeing the movie that came out today? If so, you may want to read the novel first to compare. (Okay! So I just watched the trailer while editing this review and you need to read the book first! The movie has combined two main characters (not Jacob). Please! Read the book first!) Besides that, I suggest this book to all Young Adult readers as well as readers of the fantasy genre like myself. I personally loved the book, and at 380 pages, with 30 of those pages or so being pictures, the book only takes a few hours to read. ”

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