Well, when the opportunity presents itself in the form of a graphic novel, well it is well worth revisiting a book that was so enjoyable in its original (rather quirky) form. So of course I had to request the graphic novel version of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was more than enjoyable with a few differences from the original that I will warn right now could be SPOILERS for said original (and this version as well). So proceed at your own risk!
Some of the pictures that were used in the original are cropped slightly and definitely not sitting on pages all alone, I found this did lesson their impact. BUT on the flip side, I absolutely LOVED the way the artist (Cassandra Jean) drew the main character Jacob. The way she drew his eyes and his demeanor really embraced the emotional stress he was under, the feeling of imminent danger and unrest is palpable.
I love the colour palate the artist chose, and her use of it in a situation specific manner (man is it difficult to talk about a graphic novel and not spill too much information). I will say there is less background on the characters shared and a few characters are completely written out… the friend, the “normal” is not mentioned in any detail, the family history and the chain of drugstores Jacob’s mother is to inherit only barely touched upon. This does not take away from the story in a grand sense, but for someone who enjoys the minute details… definitely read the original first.
I think you could read the graphic novel and feel you really understood and enjoyed the story, but my own preference would be to read the original and then enjoy the graphic novel for its images more than its story content. This does put my back up further against watching the movie. Tim Burton or not, the original story is AMAZING and I don’t wish to be disappointed.
Sadly I do not have the second graphic novel available through the library yet… but I will keep an eye peeled. Hollow City was an amazing read and I have Library of Souls on hold request at the library. So do check back for my further impressions!
WARNING could be construed as having SPOILERS in regards to the first book and this current novel.
The turnaround on my library requests has been amazingly quick. In the wake of the first of the series and the first of the Tales From Lovecraft Middle School series I got my hands on Hollow City. The second book in the series by Ransom Riggs… Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.
With even more photographs from the past, this is another page turner. Definitely darker than the first and equally mature in my mind. I would not worry much about a teenage reading it, though you do need to understand somewhat what life was like in the middle of the second world war in England to truly grasp the horror, fear and suspicion Jacob and the children face during September of 1940. For that is where they are now… in the past and out of loop.
The Peculiars are in danger, their loops destroyed and ransacked and their Ymbryne protectors kidnapped or worse. Left to face the reality and the danger are 10 children and Miss Peregrine, who has been forced into her bird form and is now stuck. Into the thick of it they go… to bombed out London and all the dangers, peculiar and normal that are there.
I won’t say more about the story but would suggest these are READ IN ORDER. And possibly with a light on and some warm tea. Really these are absolute page turners. I love that at the end of the novel you can read an interview where the author explains some of his methods, his process and other gems. You would swear the images were taken for the book instead of found, it is all so seamlessly done. Young Adult rated or not, I would highly recommend this series once again for anyone who can stomach a lot of adventure and a return to turbulent times… with a twist. I cannot wait until my request goes through for the third installment – Library of Souls.
From Peculiar Children to a rather peculiar middle school, there seems to be a bit of a trend to my reading lately. Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman not only boasts a creepy cover (seriously check it out, holographic!), but also a relatively creepy, though juvenile fiction level story. It is the first in a new series – Tales From Lovecraft Middle School and even for someone as uneducated on the nuances of Lovecraft it is easy to see why it is connected. I must admit, my knowledge of all things Lovecraft comes from what I have been told and what games I have played that were also INSPIRED by him. H.P. Lovecraft was known for his horror fiction. Most well known of the creatures he used is Cthulhu (I have crocheted a fair number of them myself!)… and while I am sure there is so much more to be said about the man, I think I will focus on this story.
Professor Gargoyle is centered around Robert Arthur, who due to rezoning is now sent to a brand new middle school where he is without any of his friends but joined by long time bully Glenn. The school is a marvel of modern technology and environmental friendly building materials, yet something seems off. And there is where the story begins.
The characters are interesting, the teachers questionable and the mystery a page turner. There are some creepy crawlies and moments of a minor ick and suspense but all in all (the cover withstanding since it could creep out some with its morphing look) a book I would let the twins (age 12) read. I read it in one sitting as an afternoon break and enjoyed it greatly. Enough so that I have already requested the second book – The Slither Sisters.
There is an aspect of horror of course, but there is also themes of bullying, acceptance and general middle school life. Plus a rather interesting pet… but I will leave you to get the book yourself and read more about that! If the twins do show interest in this book and chose to read it I will have them write up their own review and tag it to this one! Enjoy!