Sunday, September 2, 2012

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

An abandoned orphanage on a mysterious island and a cache of old, and very odd, photos form the heart of this unusual novel.

Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham Portman, a Polish Jew was sent to the orphanage as a war orphan during World War II, to save him from the Nazis, tells his grandson a strange story of children with unusual talents—the ability to levitate, disappear, perform curious feats of strength, or handle fire, housed at the orphanage to quarantine them from society, to prevent their being a danger to others as well as to themselves.

After his grandfather’s death, Jacob sees a hideous monster in the forest and travels to the mysterious island off the coast of Wales to explore the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. He finds himself caught in a time loop that endlessly repeats the same day—September 3, 1940, and meets Miss. Peregrine and her unusual charges, including the girl, Emma Bloom, his grandfather loved before he left the island. He discovers that his grandfather’s own peculiar talent was the ability to see monsters—the hollowgasts and wights, soulless former peculiars who tried to defy time and live outside the loop but were changed into monsters instead and now prey on Miss Peregrine’s pupils. Jacob discovers that he has inherited his grandfather’s gift, and must make a choice between life as he knows it, as a modern boy, or to remain in the loop forever.

This was an interesting book and the old black-and-white photos that illustrate it are both fascinating and creepy to look at.

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