Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Review (Spoilers)


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs


Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy

Pick up your own: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 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. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.



I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things started to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portman.
Riggs, R. 2011, P.33 (E-Book)

Jacob is your average 15 year old, working part time in one of his families chain of stores and wondering what he can do with his life before he takes over the family business. The only interesting thing is his life are his grandfather’s fascinating stories of the war and his time in an orphanage. An enchanted place, the orphanage in Wales (run by a bird of course) was full of peculiar people.

“Peculiar how?”
“Oh, all sorts of ways” he said.”There was a girl who could fly, a boy who had bees living inside him, a brother and sister who could lift boulders over their heads.”
Riggs, R. 2011, P.34 (E-Book)


To back up his stories grandfather Portman had a selection of aged photos, showing an invisible person, a levitating girl and a boy holding a boulder with one hand, among others. As Jacob gets older he starts to question whether the stories are just fairy-tales, and stops asking to hear them, assuming the photographs have been manipulated. Then years later, at 15 he finds himself delving into the stories again.

With his mental health declining grandfather Portman had been starting to lose it for some time. Whilst Jacob was used to the frantic phone calls, the call that day was something different, the start of the after. Talking of monsters finding him and coming after him – the same monsters he killed in the war, Jacob decides to pop round and check on his grandfather.

Arriving at his house Jacob finds it ransacked and his grandfather nowhere to be seen, following the carnage takes Jacob in the back yard and the woods that it backs onto. After a search Jacob finds grandfather Portman, covered in blood and dying, leaving Jacob with a cryptic message before passing. Jacob is convinced he saw what had attacked his grandfather, something from a nightmare!

“Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940.”
Riggs, R. 2011, P.48 (E-Book)


The Plan

To help deal with the nightmares of his grandfathers death Jacob attends therapy with Dr. Golan, and soon finds he no longer believes in the monsters. Before he knows it, it’s Jacob’s birthday and talk turns to him learning the ropes for the family business. It is during his birthday party that he receives a book that was owned by his grandfather, a book that contains a letter from a bird.


Reigniting Jacob’s curiously of his grandfather’s past, he decides to go to Wales and see the orphanage where he lived, and quite possibly get some closure.

With Dr. Golan’s approval, Jacob and his dad set off on a three week trip to get some answers about grandfather Portman’s life.


The Island


Upon arriving to Cairnholm Jacob discovers a small island, with only one phone, generators that turn off at 10pm to save petrol and a destroyed orphanage. He quickly learns that the orphanage and the children were bombed during the war, but if that was true, how was his grandfather receiving letters from the bird after this point?

By looking further into it Jacob not only discovers his grandfather’s secrets, but the secret’s of the island.


The Book


Miss Peregrine’s school for peculiar children is the first in a trilogy (with a new trilogy starting in 2018). A compelling read, the characters are wonderfully fleshed out in a way that you don’t want to put the book down.

Ransom Rigg’s is a casual collector of vintage photographs which he picks up from flea markets. It was strange vintage photographs that gave him the inspiration for many of the peculiar’s. There are 50 of these interspersed throughout the book.


Final Thoughts


I have been struggling to get book’s finished recently, starting many and not finishing. However, this book was something I couldn’t put down, I found the book so enjoyable,!

I will defiantly read the rest of the trilogy as the story arc of Jacob and the peculiar’s is so enticing.


4.5/5 Stars

Have you read Miss Peregrine’s school for peculiar children? What do you think?
Is the film worth viewing?

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