Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
Reviewed by Laurel Hall
For those of you adult readers who are hesitant to try fiction labeled "young adult," this is the book to get your feet wet. (If you are a young adult, don't miss it!) This book is by turns strange, moving, clever, and startling. The story begins with seventeen-year-old Jacob living with his boring family in a boring American suburb, without any close friends or serious hobbies. The closest relationship he's had in his whole life is with his grandfather, a Czech-American immigrant who survived the Holocaust because his family sent him to live in a children's home in Wales before the war broke out. Jacob's grandfather's stories of the magical children in the home captured his imagination as a child, but as he grew up he began to dismiss them as fantasies that his grandfather created to deal with the horrors he experienced as a Jew in 1940s Europe. After a horrific family tragedy, however, Jacob begins to question the line between fantasy and reality, and gets the chance to visit the very island off of Wales where his grandfather stayed during his youth. Jacob's experiences only get stranger and more thrilling upon his arrival. It is difficult to say much more without spoiling the surprising twists and turns in this first novel by Ransom Riggs. Riggs himself collected vintage photographs that are referred to in the text, and though it may sound like a publisher's gimmick, it is hard to imagine the book being as affecting without them. If you're looking for something new and interesting that will capture your attention and not let go until you finish, give this stunning debut a try.