Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ok, first off, how awesome is the name Ransom Riggs? Let's just get that out of the way folks.

A few months ago I received a copy of Miss Peregrine's from Eric Smith over at Quirk Books. My initial thought was that the cover was fantastic; this coupled with the synopsis had me interested. One night, I came home to find my babysitting mom, slouched a thousand which-ways on my couch, five chapters deep. After putting the kids to bed she saw the cover, was curious, picked it up....and that was the end of that. She didn't even look up when I said hello.

So she took a copy home, and we read it at the same time. We talked about it all week. We had a blast!

The novel begins with our narrator, Jacob, discussing how it is his life became split into two definitive sections, before and after, thanks to his Grandpa Portman's seemingly crazy antics.

"My grandfather was the only member of his family to escape Poland before the Second World War broke out. He was twelve years old when his parents sent him into the arms of strangers, putting their youngest son on a train to Britain with nothing more than a suitcase and the clothes on his back. It was a one-way ticket. He never saw his mother or father again, or his older brothers, his cousins, his aunts and uncles. Each one would be dead before his sixteenth birthday, killed by the monsters he had so narrowly escaped. But these weren't the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven year old might be able to wrap his mind around - they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late." (21) But the place he escaped to isn't as safe as a twelve year old refugee would necessarily desire. And here, this is the place we get to hear the stories Grandpa Portman told Jacob. Complete with actual peculiar photos we meet tentacle mouthed villains, levitating young ladies, giant people made of shrubs, and a bird that cares for the lot of them.

Jacob doesn't believe his Grandpa's stories entirely, and one day Jacob's own father tells him that they are utterly nonsense; an old man's rubbish. So, "an air of mystery closed around the details of his early life" (22). Then a terrible accident befalls Grandpa Portman, with Jacob as the only witness, he realizes his Grandpa had hidden not only a secret life but also an entire secret world.

Check out this trailer-

You can get the book HERE and HERE. And you should.

P.S. Get the book NOW, so when the sequel comes out you can talk about it with all the cool kids!

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