A few years ago I was drawn to the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Maybe it was the creepy cover or author Ransom Riggs’ unique name, but nevertheless I knew I had to open up the book and dive inside. And once I did, this book became a treasure to me. One of the most memorable series that I’ve read in the last few years. With the movie of the first book (directed by Tim Burton!) coming out later this year, this series’ popularity is about to soar. And here are five reasons why you need to read it!
This series follows protagonist Jacob, a Florida teen who is bored with his life working for the family business. When his grandfather’s imaginative stories of his childhood seem to come to life and even cause his murder, Jacob is shaken to the core. In order to handle his grief, Jacob travels across the globe to see where his grandfather actually grew up; the secrets and people he discovers turn his life into a dangerous yet fascinating adventure.
These books are filled with actual photographs that author Ransom Riggs has either borrowed or collected. In fact, the books’ plots revolve around the photographs, so Riggs didn’t write certain parts of the books without finding the photographs. And these photos are creepy at times. Knowing that they’re real photographs from the past (with Riggs acknowledging that only a few have had any kind of manipulation) just add to the fascination of it all. These photographs make this book series utterly unique and keep readers guessing what’s coming on the next page.
2–The peculiar yet human characters
The series is filled with “peculiars”–characters who have a distinguished power or trait, like communicating with trees and flowers, being incredibly strong, or having two mouths. It is fascinating to meet these characters and learn about their special powers, but it is arguably just as interesting to see them develop as humans. They have emotions, personalities, and hopes, and these all develop as the series progresses. One of my personal favorites was Milton, the invisible boy. Readers often forget about him because they don’t “see” him as often, but a train scene between him and Jacob in the series’ second book reveals his sensitive, human nature. I would love to read additional novellas written about each of the peculiars.
3–Miss Peregrine herself
Miss Peregrine deserves a category all her own. As the caretaker for her peculiar children, she is seen as a headmistress, mother, and mentor. And she can take care of her own. She is fearless, loyal, protective, and just plain kick-butt. She fills in the gaps that Jacob is seeking and encourages him to discover his inner power. Even when Miss Peregrine isn’t physically on the page, readers can’t help but feel her presence hovering over the scenes.
4–The ending to the second book
These books are filled with chapter cliffhangers, but oh. my. word. The ending to Hollow City, the sequel, is just mouth-dropping. It’ll make you want to go back and re-read this sequel all over again. So many series have “second book syndrome,” meaning the sequel in the series is by far the weakest. But Hollow City was never in that category for me. And its ending simply solidified it.
5–This isn’t a typical fantasy book
Yes, this book is definitely fantasy (we have kids with powers, remember?) but it’s not the standard wizard/dragon/potions fantasy. It has a world-building all its own, and Ransom’s beautiful way with words simply takes you deeper into the peculiar world. Time travel, ymbrynes (bird protectors), secret passageways–all work together to plunge you into a fantastic, unique fantasy. If you love fantasy, you will love this book. Not a big fan of fantasy? You’ll still love this book.
The Miss Peregrine’s…book series is by far one of my favorite YA series EVER. You definitely want to check this one out–and then leave a comment letting me know what you thought about it!