The very first time I read (& reviewed) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was back at the beginning of 2012. The very first time I held the hardback I completely fell in love & I can even remember tweeting Ransom Riggs (as you do) that it’s the most inspiring book I’ve read in years (and I remember him also replying which would probably not happen today!). It was way before the story gained its momentum, perhaps even before Tim Burton himself had his own copy. But what do I really think about the book almost 5 years later?
? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Just to make it clear, I’m terrified of kids. And babies. Especially the ones in horror movies (I watched Rosemary’s Baby about 12 years ago and still freak out when I see an abandoned pram). And in old photographs. Have you noticed how scary people used to look decades ago? Dead scary! Yet I’m still attracted to antiquities and the notions of what life used to be back then.
There are dozens of vintage photographs of children scattered throughout the book – it will be most definitely the first thing you’ll notice. As to the storyline, all you really need to know (if you haven’t read the book yet, or watched the film) is that it is a story of a boy (I believe some aspects are taken from Ransom Rigg’s life itself), who has a really close relationship with his granddad, who tells him stories about his childhood – growing up at an island orphanage right off a Welsh coast. He shows him photographs of children, his friends, who used to live there with him – the children aren’t your standard kid-next-door kind though, they are peculiar. After his granddad dies, he feels an urge to go back to the island and explore it. What he finds is for you to read (yeah, it is the actual home for peculiar children, like you wouldn’t guess that!).
Real peculiar children
Apparently all photographs used throughout the book are authentic – they were found in random collections of random people, but only when you read the book you realise how perfectly they fit in with the story! An important part of the storyline relates to the WWII and Jewish genocide, which is a topic close to my heart, as my mum’s side of family is of a Jewish origin. Also, apparently the Welsh island that most of the story takes place on, does not exist as such, but in an interview Ransom Riggs admitted that he took his inspiration from a Scottish island St Kilda. Automatically, this island goes on my to-visit list.
Did you know that Ransom Riggs wrote this book in 10 months? Best spent 10 months of his life, I’m well sure they were! Even after 5 years Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is still my book of choice for gloomy evenings, I’m still completely smitten by the storyline and the beautiful, beautiful mind of the child behind it (that would be the author himself and so I applaud him for being able to project all that onto a paper so flawlessly).
Read more book reviews here.
Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? Or have you watched the film?