Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Levitation.  Rejuvenation.  Invisibility.  
Shapeshifting.  Incredible strength.  

As Jacob is growing up, his grandfather Abe tells him stories of people who could do all these incredible feats and even more, from the time when he lived in an orphanage during World War II.  He even has pictures to prove it.  As Jacob grows older, he realizes his grandfather is probably pulling his leg, and, as he examines the pictures, he can see how they could be easily faked.  But as his grandfather ages his mind seems to grow more frail, and it is difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

After the mysterious death of his grandfather, Jacob decides to take a trip to the orphanage to see for himself the place and people that had such a profound effect on his grandfather's life.  What he discovers is more mysterious and life-changing than he ever imagined.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, starts out as a mystery, has a touch of horror, but by the end of the book turns into a supernatural fantasy.  The pictures, which are actual antiques from personal collections, add to the book, but can also be a bit awkward as the story tries to fit the details of the pictures.  The novel has some great action and suspense, although some readers may be disappointed with the open ending (set up for the untitled sequel, slated to be released in June of 2013). I would recommend this book for junior high and up, particularly for those who are looking for a mystery book.  It may also be a good introduction to students who who are not usual readers of fantasy, although fantasy lovers will enjoy it as well.