Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children
I put off reading this book for a little while, knowing that some of the pictures featured in the book creeped the hell out of me. I was a little afraid that the story would be correspondingly creeping and I really didn’t need more fuel for my imagination at night.
That being said, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, when it comes to bad guys in this book, the creepiness factor is ratcheted up, but the rest of the book is endearing. The children are sweet and innocent with just a hint of worldliness and Miss Peregrine is magnificent. The Home itself is painted in bright sunshine and daydreams.
However, the coolest part of this book is the found photographs that accompany the text. Even on my Kindle the pictures are clear and evocative. It’s not your average children’s book where the text plays second fiddle to the illustrations. In this book, the pictures help to weave the spell of the story. It’s one thing to read of a girl who has to wear weighted shoes so that she doesn’t float off. It’s another thing entirely to see a picture of her floating a few inches off the ground and to know that these are genuine photographs that someone found at a flea market. It added a dose of truth to the story that it otherwise would have lacked. It was that extra push to make you believe that this story is true. It took me back to being seven and learning that Santa Claus wasn’t real. Reading this book was like somehow learning that I was wrong back then. That Santa Claus is totally real and here he is with your presents.
Jacob thinks he’s just a regular guy, working at one of his uncle’s grocery stores to pass the summer away. When he was a child, his grandfather told him stories of a fantastical place where there were children could fly and one in particular who had bees living inside him (not in a gross way). After a panicked call from his grandfather, saying that the monsters had finally found him, Jacob goes and finds his grandfather dying in the woods behind his Florida home. With whispered final words, Jacob’s grandfather tries to tell him how to find the only place he’ll be safe. Questing to find the truth, Jacob and his father fly to Wales to find the house where the peculiar children live… and to see if the stories were true.
This story is such a pleasant escape. It’s compelling and charming, filled with delights that will make everyone’s inner child dance with glee. The only negative was that it was such a quick read. I was a little sad when I realized I was at the end. I’m hoping Riggs is planning a follow up book. I kind of need it to be here, like now. I want to read more about these kids and the funny things they can do. This is the way children are supposed to be, swimming away their summer afternoon or otherwise getting into mischief.
5 ink bottles. It’s action packed and super entertaining. I can’t recommend it enough.