I wanted to tell him. I wanted to explain everything, and for him to tell me he understood and to offer some tidbit of parental advice. I wanted, in that moment, for everything to go back to the way it had been the way it had been before we came here; back before I ever found that letter from miss Peregrine, back when I was just a sort-of-normal messed-up rich kid in the suburbs. Instead, I sat next to my dad for awhile and talked about nothing, and tried to remember what my life had been like in that unfathomably distant era that was four weeks ago, or imagine what my life would be like four weeks from now – but I couldn’t. Eventually we ran out of nothing to talk about, and I excused myself and went upstairs to be alone.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a bleak but warmhearted, strange but logical, book with photos. Primarily, it is a sparkling debut novel by the American author Ransom Riggs.
Each chapter contains one to four quirky black and white photos illustrating the story. The book is an atypical fantasy novel / picture book that is about the rich boy Jacob who lives a seemingly normal life in an American suburb. The only thing he wants in life are friends, and, as it turns out, finding out what happened when his grandfather Abe was killed.
Abe was a strange grandfather who throughout Jacobs upbringing told him about monsters, a strange orphanage he lived in in order to escape the war, and children with special abilities. As Jacob grows up he becomes more and more suspicious of his grandfather’s stories.
But one day when he goes to visit his grandfather and finds him out in the woods, killed by what is apparently animals, he becomes determined to uncover the truth about his grandfather’s life. This leads him to an island off the coast of Wales, mostly inhabited by sheep farmers, where all electricity comes from diesel generators which stops at 10 PM every day.
There he discovers things that will turn his hitherto innocent existence upside down. The book has several sequels, including Hollow City and the Library of Souls. If you like fantasy literature, and perhaps particularly innovative literature, you will most likely enjoy this book.