Ever since he was a small child, Jacob’s grandfather told him strange stories about being raised on an island in a home for children. Their caregiver was an old bird named Miss Peregrine. Now Jacob is a teen and realizes the stories are crazy and the pictures that go with them must be some kind of trick. Right before his grandfather dies, he gives Jacob a cryptic message. Jacob is the one to find his grandfather killed and is the only one to witness the frightening monster who murdered him. His therapist convinces his parents to allow him to go to this island to fulfill his grandfather’s wish. Searching for the home where his grandfather grew up may give him some closure. Jacob and his father go to the island. The father is busy watching birds and leaves Jacob to do his own investigating. Jacob finally finds someone who will show him the way, he discovers the old house. A bomb hit it during World War II, which raises plenty of questions. Why would Miss Peregrine write to Jacob’s grandfather and ask him to return to a bombed out house? Jacob is drawn to the house, knowing there is more to all of this. When one of the children, who has never aged, finds him in the creepy basement, his adventure with time begins. Ransom Riggs created a fascinating story based on some very peculiar and often creepy old pictures. The pictures add a dimension of intensity and helps make the story come to life. I was reading this book late at night in bed and came upon the part where Jacob’s grandfather is killed by the monster. I then turned the page to find a terrifying sketch of the monster. I didn’t expect that and it made me shriek. I stopped reading it late at night after that. This book pulled me in right away and there was plenty of suspense to keep me interested. Readers who love a light scare will really enjoy this book.
It has the best book trailer I have ever seen!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss the pictures. If you have time, find old photographs and ask teens to make up stories using them.
What does the monster with the mouth tenticles represent? What would the monster of your nightmares look like?
Talk about similarities between the island and the escape of the Kindertransport during WWII.
Should Jacob stay to protect the children? What would you do?
What peculiar ability would you want to have?
Talk about the time the children live in. Would you want to be immortal, trapped in time?