Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is a young adult fantasy.
Soulless spirits kill sixteen-year-old Jacob's grandfather. Only Jacob can see the murderers. When Jacob talks about them, Jacob's parents put him in psychiatric care.
Jacob's grandfather faced two threats. He was a Jewish child spirited out of Germany alone to avoid the gas chambers. Then he came to be a part of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children on a remote island near Wales. He gathered with Miss Peregrine and other homeless children to survive WWII and fight off the soulless Peculiars.
Jacob's grandfather spent Jacob's growing years telling Jacob stories about peculiar children. They had strange gifts. One could levitate (see the cover). Another could cup fire in her hands. A third was super strong. And there were many more.
A few became corrupted. These were the soulless ones.
The non-corrupted children lived in groups gathered in time warps and led by bird-women like Miss Peregrine. She could change back and forth from being a woman to being a Peregrine.
As he became a teenager, Jacob disbelieved his grandfather's stories. He saw them as fantasy. Then he saw the spirits kill his grandfather.
In his search for the truth, Jacob finds Miss Peregrine's Home. He gets caught up in a time loop. The same day, the day the Germans bombed Miss Peregrine's home and killed the children, plays over and over again.
And Jacob falls in love. His girlfriend is the young lady who loved his grandfather. In the time loop, she is still a teenager, though she is 80+.
My summary doesn't do the book justice. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has interesting characters and a compelling plot. The story ends with a massive battle that leads into the next book.
Ransom Riggs built his book around old photographs. He collects old photographs, especially strange trick-photographs like the picture of the girl levitating from the ground. In this sense, the book is a picture book. He wrote the book to narrate photographs he borrowed from himself and other collectors.
I ran on to the book because a teacher friend was reading it. She offered to loan it to me.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is just the kind of strange, well-written book that sometimes pulls me in.
The book was a #1 New York Times bestseller. I'd never heard of it until my friend told me about it.