Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children is a spectacularly peculiar book indeed.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Jacob Portman assumed that his grandfather only made up his fantastical stories. No way there could be peculiar children living in a secret home, with a “wise old bird” guarding it. And obviously, there can’t be man-eating monsters that chased him. Or so he thought. When his grandfather dies in a suspicious way, Jacob’s whole world turns upside down. His grandfather’s last word to him is: “…find the bird in the loop on the other side of the old man’s grave on September 3, 1940, and tell them what happened. Jacob sees one of the monsters that his grandfather used to describe, and he thinks that he is going crazy. His parents send him to a psychiatrist. He suggests that Jacob go to Cairnholm, Wales, where his grandfather grew up. His father accompanies him there. Using the clues from his grandfather’s old photographs, he uncovers a large, abandoned orphanage. But is it really abandoned?
Peculiar people are humans that have a second soul. It causes strange characteristics and abilities in the peculiars. Peculiar children are rarely born to peculiar parents. The peculiar gene usually skips a few generations. This means that there are a lot fewer peculiars than normal people in the word.
An ymbryne (imm-bryn) can transform into a specific bird. They can also manipulate time. By manipulating time, they can create a time loop. This creates a safe place for peculiars to stay in. Ymbrynes will go into the real world to look for and rescue peculiars. All Ymbrynes are female. A council exists for the Ymbrynes. They are responsible for the maintenance of time loops, the writing and amending of laws, and giving sentences to criminals.
The hollowgast are monsters without souls. Miss Peregrine’s two brothers created them during an illegal experiment. The Hollowgast feeds on peculiars. Only their shadows can be seen. However, a few gifted people, including Jacob and his grandfather, has the ability to see them. The Hollowgast cannot enter time loops.
A Hollowgast can get his human form back when it has consumed enough souls of the peculiar people. It then becomes a Wight. However, their eyes stay completely white. Maybe it’s because the eyes are the windows to the soul? They don’t have special abilities. But they can pass through time loops. They can pose as many people. Their job is to catch peculiars and giving them to the remaining hollows to devour.
WHAT I THOUGHT:
Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children spent an astonishing 70 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list for children’s chapter books. What makes Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children extra special, is the series of black and white photos that are presented throughout the book. American author Ransom Riggs first wanted to make a book to feature the photographs that he collected. His editor advised him to build a story around the photographs. The end result is this book. The best part of any great book is that it has sequels. Hollow City and Library of souls is the follow-up books. If you are like me and like to read the Young Adult genre, then you should definitely go ahead and read this series.