Bookworming: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Is the narrative as odd as the title? Find out in Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
(USA 2011, author: Ransom Higgs, publisher: Quirk Books)

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren_coverSometimes the weirdest things can become things of beauty, especially when what is normal is juxtaposed to what is considered to be odd. 16 year-old Jacob is both fascinated and disturbed by the weird stories of his grandfather who speaks of real monsters and a mansion of “peculiar children”. After something unforeseen happens, the boy has to discover the truth behind the almost forgotten island his grandfather came from.

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren_1Despite being a book for young readers, one shouldn’t make the mistake to disregard the content or style of writing, as both are quite excellently interwoven with photographs. What’s most striking is that these are all real photos the author found on various flea markets or got from friends/collectors. They serve as a basis for the story, and this intertextuality works remarkably well.

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren_2It’s in no small part due to the characterization of Jacob who doesn’t come across as too wisecracking or a know-it-all, as e.g. the imho overrated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close showed with a kid who was simply too much to bear. I mention this comparison, because the way both characters discover something about their family’s past with hints and clues of a fragmented mind is quite similar, although Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has more of a fantasy element to it.

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren_3There’s also time travel involved, which is always fun in movies. But does it work here? It certainly does, although jumping around in different places and time periods isn’t as fast-paced as you might imagine. Story progression is actually quite slow with 368 pages, and so is character development. Speaking of characters, that’s where the book fails to deliver. Unfortunately, there are simply too many pecular children to remember, each with individual talents, but when one finally meets them, the conclusion is already near, with an unfortunate cliffhanger.

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren_4What remains is a recommendable book with vivid imagery in landscape descriptions, well-written dialogues and a genuinely suspenseful and interesting mix of fact and fiction that’s simply unparalleled. If you think it’s just a collection of weird or abnormal people doing strange things, then this will surprise you.

Please check out the trailer as well that will make you so intrigued that you want to watch the real movie… that has actually been confirmed to be made by Tim Burton and 20th Century Fox. The other video is also great, showing the the author’s journey of shooting it. All rather creepy but wonderful stuff.

Score: 8.5/10

Buy the softcover book on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK
Amazon USA

Official Quirk Books Website
Official Ransom Riggs Website

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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5 Responses to Bookworming: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

  1. Pingback: Blogging 2015 overview | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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  3. trismoore says:

    I loved this book and I’m glad to find someone else who enjoys it as well.
    Have you read the sequel yet?
    I’m overly excited about the movie that Tim Burton is doing for it.

    • nufafitc says:

      No, unfortunately I haven’t read the sequel. It’s been some time since I reviewed a book, but this would be a good start, especially with the movie coming out :).

  4. Pingback: New additions to the media collection in May 2018 | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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