I have to admit that I am a pretty picky reader when it comes to fiction. Mostly, I read realistic fiction but when survival and remote locations are involved I can be coaxed into giving a wider-range of stories a try.
So, when a friend’s sixteen year-old daughter recommended Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, I gave it try.
From the back cover:
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.
In short, this book really operates outside of the box, using authentic, vintage photographs that the author has collected at flea markets to help drive and shape the story and the characters.
I liked the book so much that now I’m almost finished reading the sequel, Hollow City, and it is just as good as the first book.
Please note that these books are not classified as middle grade novels. Really, in my opinion, they defy classification in a good way. The plot is twisty and page-turning, and the photos included match the well-developed, unique characters the author has created. In terms of choosing these books for a middle grade audience, I would say upper middle grade would be as young as I would go, and then it would depend on how individual readers react to potentially scary stories. I’m curious what others think who have read one or both of these books in terms of recommending them for specific age groups, something I’m not an expert at. If you have thoughts, please leave them below.
I totally recommend these books both for a great read and for a fresh look at story-telling technique.
To top it off, the movie of the first book is due out in 2015.
Thanks for stopping by.