Monday, August 8, 2011

thoughts on: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs built this, his first novel, around a collection of found photographs. Like the levitating girl on the book cover, many of these are of children who appear to have unusual powers. Others are simply odd or haunting. Taking these photos, he constructed a story around them, showing, then explaining them, as Jacob, the protagonist discovers or experiences them.

Told in the first person, Jacob crosses the threshold of adulthood when he learns that the childhood stories told by his grandfather were literally true, not euphemistic ways of explaining his youth escaping the holocaust and fighting as an Allied soldier. This parallel current of the genocide against the Jews makes the entire story more believable, grounding it in a specific experience, time, and place. Jacob's journey begins with his search to know his grandfather, a man loved but not understood by his family, but, of course, results in learning about himself and his place in the world in the process.

I would love to say more, but I think it is better to see this one unfold for oneself, so I will not.

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