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


4 out of 5 stars

We all have grandfathers that tell us crazy stories about the Boogeyman, the monsters in our closet, and the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. When we’re young, we tend to believe them, and then as we grow older, realize their fake. But what if some of the stories your grandfather told you really were true? That’s what happens in Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

In Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob, a teenage boy, tells us his story about how he discovered the Peculiar Children his grandfather had always told him about and showed him pictures of. When Jacob was little, he thought the stories were wonderful, exciting, and most importantly, true. But as he grew older, he realized, photos can be manipulated. Girls can’t really float. That huge boulder the bony boy was holding with one hand above his head? That could’ve easily been made out of some lightweight material. The bees coming out from a boy’s body? Another manipulation.

But one day, when his grandfather died from a mysterious attack after a frantic phone call, Jacob listened to his last words and visited the island of Wales where his grandfather had grown up, and where all of his stories were derived from.

Jacob journeyed up to the strange house, which seemed so empty and as if it hadn’t been lived in for years. He wanted to find proof that everything his grandfather said was true. And most of all, he wanted to figure out what his grandfather’s strange/riddle-like last words meant. And the further Jacob gets into his adventure, the more his grandfather’s last words begin to make sense.

Jacob gets thrown into a time loop after spotting a Peculiar ghost, and learns all about them and their lives. He meets Miss. Peregrine and discovers all kinds of information about his grandfather he had never had the chance to learn otherwise.

Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a story about believing. Sometimes it’s not enough to just believe what your old grandfather tells you. Sometimes you have to see it. But Ransom Riggs tries to get across in this unforgettable story that sometimes the most magical, most absurd, most unrealistic stories are actually true, and sometimes, you just need to go out on an adventure of your own and discover it for yourself. You may be surprised at what you learn along the way.

Aside from the appealing storyline, Ransom Riggs does an excellent job at portraying Jacob’s character through the first person point of view. The word choices are superb. There are some wonderful quotes that could be taken from Riggs’ book that could teach any reader a valuable life lesson. In fact, there are numerous life lessons to be learned from this book. Filled with real, vintage photographs along the way, Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a truly wonderful read that any avid reader should give a chance.