Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Quirk Books
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1
$ 17.99
352 pages
All of us are born with different abilities and talents that make us "special". Some have more and some less. Where is the line between what is a special ability or talent and what society considers strange, odd, or peculiar? Are the people with the most unusual natural talents thought of highly by their peers or are they outcasts?
Grandparents frequently have special bonds with their grandchildren. For some reason, neither is usually close to the generation between the two.
Abraham Portman realized early in his life that he was special. However, his timing for entering this world was not the best since growing up in Poland at the beginning of World War II as a Jewish child with a special ability was very dangerous.
He was sent to live in a house on a Welsh island where children with unusual talents were sent. Basically, this was a orphanage but unquestionably a loving, caring place for many special children called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Many years later, his grandson, Jacob Portman, is being told the stories of growing up in this home. However, separating fact from fiction is difficult with his grandfather's tales of his youth. Upon his grandfather's death, Jacob looks through some of his grandfather's photographs and wonders if these people really existed. He becomes so obsessed that his parents send him to a psychologist who suggests a visit to the island and the home. Perhaps this is just what it takes to realize reality.
Thus begins the story...
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is an enthralling novel whose intended audience is for young adult readers.  However, anyone older will thoroughly enjoy this novel which combines fantasy with mystery through the eyes of a character who doesn't connect well with either his peers or his parents.  Combining the photographs of people doing unusual things such as contortionists, human heads on dog bodies, and people levitating with a story of searching the past and attempting to do what you believe to be the right thing makes this truly enchanting.
For Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is his debut novel with a sequel, Hollow, to be released in January.   While living as a child in Florida, Ransom graduated from Kenyon College and the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.   He writes Strange Geographies which is a series of travel essays for Mental Floss Magazine.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is for anyone who has ever felt that they didn't fit in with everyone else and to believe in your own goodness.

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