Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs
Everything about this book screams Strange, starting with the title, front and back covers, to its title page and its beginning and layout. The text is interspersed with photographs of unusual people and other occurrences as they are mentioned. 15 year old Jacob has always maintained a special relationship with his grandfather, whose spooky stories about monsters gave Jacob nightmares when he was a child. Even though no one is the family including Jacob believed the tales, after his grandfather dies from a brutal mysterious attack in the woods, Jacob convinces his parents to let him trace his grandfather’s enigmatic last words. Jacob and his father travel to a remote island off Wales, where grandfather was evacuated during World War II after being on a kindertransport from Germany. Tracking down the house where grandfather lived with other children, Jacob finds it in ruins from a German bomb. After returning to the house several times, Jacob chases a mysterious girl through an underground cairn and learns his grandfather’s stories may have had some truth.
Even though I was hesitant at first to read this because of its unusual presentation, I kept reading due to its nomination for the 2015-16 California Young Reader Medal award in the Young Adult category. The story gains power as it continues; I became engrossed in it and am glad I read it to the end. The weaving of fantasy and reality blend seamlessly; the reader can believe this story could be possible!
Review by Ellie Goldstein-Erickson