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.
It is RARE that I will EVER give the kids an extended lunch or a half day but this was the book to do it! Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was one of those books. A young adult book, this fantasy utilizes old found photographs combined with a compelling story and characters you get to see to believe. There are so many haunting elements to this story… an abandoned orphanage… a mysterious island… tragedies both fresh and long gone… harking back to the second world war in fact! And to be faced with images that illustrate the story as if they were taken by someone for the story instead of the story written around… eerie and marvelous.
I don’t want to share too much, and really, this is a book to be read without knowing much at all to get the full impact… but though the main character (Jacob) is a teenage boy and it is ALL through his point of view I was totally sucked into the story from the very first page.
Jacob’s grandfather was around his age during the second world war, he was sent away by his parents to an island in Wales as they were Polish Jews. His stories from his time on the island are mysterious and magical… and to Jacob, completely unbelievable. That is, until tragedy hits the family and Jacob begins his adventure to find out the truth. This leads him right to Miss Peregrine’s orphanage.
The Images Ransom Riggs uses are haunting, sweet, mysterious, confusing, false looking, spooky… perfect. After I read the story I HAD to go through and glance at them again. The story itself was gripping, and I found myself sometimes reading character descriptions multiple times as Jacob comes across more and more peculiar individuals.
I have already put a request on book two – Hollow City and once I receive that one plan to request the third book… Library of Souls. Tim Burton IS coming out with a movie for this book (this is part of why a friend brought it to my attention), but my capacity for scary is much higher in books than in movies… so we shall see!
While I will not be letting the twins read this quite yet, it is definitely a book I will want to have them read in the future. You do need to have some knowledge of the second world war to truly understand the grandfather and the situations the orphanage was in, but other than that… there is a fantastic world of amazingly peculiar children in these pages! You really MUST check it out!