by Ransom Riggs
Quirk Books, 2011
Grades 7 and up
Reviewed from ARC received in giveaway.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live.
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. It's received so much attention that I was curious to see what it was like. I was rather uncertain at first, the swearing and dark nature of the story were not appealing to me, but I kept with the story and found that I liked it more than I had originally thought I would.
The photographs were mind boggling in and of themselves and the way Riggs weaved them into the story was fabulous. They definitely added to the creepy atmosphere of the book. I looked at them and wondered how some of them were created. I guess photo manipulation has been around a lot longer than I've ever thought.
I found myself empathizing with Jacob from early in the story. The things he was struggling with would be tough for anyone, especially since he can't really explain even to himself what happened to him. Once he ends up on the island, I found myself hoping he would find the answers he so desperately needed. And his experiences on the island leave him having to make some difficult decisions.
Plotwise, I can't say I've ever read another story quite like this one. At times sympathy-inducing, other times shudder-inducing, and down right compelling, I can see why so many people enjoyed it. However, I would be careful recommending this because of the moderate amount of swearing and the darkness and strangeness of the story.