Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

This new addition to our collection has a bit of everything: teenage angst, children with magical powers, badass grandfathers, Nazis, Welsh pubs, time travel, and slightly awkward inter-generational romance. The whole things is illustrated with cool old snapshots (actually found images, I believe) of circus freaks and oddities.

Jacob Portman lives a rather ordinary suburban life until the day he finds his grandfather murdered. Thus begin months of nightmares and psychotherapy which culminate in a trip to Wales to visit the orphanage where his grandfather lived during the second world war. He is shocked to discover that the fairy tales his grandfather told him about peculiar children are true…

The story is certainly exciting, and often chilling, and the photographs definitely add interest. Perhaps I’m getting spoiled, but I felt like Jacob didn’t have enough personality. He was no Cassel Sharpe, to say the least. Also–and this may sound batty–but I found that Riggs didn’t do a great job of marshalling my expectations. The surprises were too surprising–when time travel came into play, I was not at all prepared. I said above that the book has a bit of everything, and it kind of feels like a narrative shoebox where mythologies and genres tumble with old polaroids. Perhaps it was just insufficiently noir for my tastes…

That said, I really liked it and will definitely be recommending it. The photographs and glossy pages will entice reluctant readers. It’s also available as an e-book, for those of you with the technology, and I think it would read really well that way.

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About CSL Children's Department

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library has a long tradition in the city. The library has many amazing features which includes a fantastic children's department. We thrive on providing the best service possible and making each library experience a positive one.
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