Lizf's Reviews > Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
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Feb 05, 2012

really liked it

Truthfully I'm a little divided by this book. It is certainly peculiar and I did enjoy reading it, even if I have a few hang ups over it. It's definitely something I would recommend to a good number of friends.

As a reader I really enjoyed the incorporation of the photographs. It gave a very unique flavor to the book that really captured the overall feeling. I'm a fan of fantasy elements in otherwise realistic stories as well, and the writing itself is for the most part pretty strong. However, I felt that the pacing in this book was just kind of weird. It takes about 100 pages before the more significant main cast appears (the other family members excluding the father and Jacob's friend really aren't important characters). After that, it takes about another 100 pages for the conflict to come back, and then there's only 100 pages left in the book. Some of the writing was very spot on, while other portions felt rushed. I would have liked to have spent more time in the world of the peculiar children and more time focusing on the actual plot. There was a little too much sudden explanation without time for development of the ideas in regards to the villains, the world of the peculiar, and the time travel. Finding out that the therapist was actually a villain felt way too contrived and forced for me. I had to stop reading for a second and hit my face with the book in annoyance before I could continue reading. I suppose given that this is a YA novel some of these contrivances can be forgiven, but the pacing problems less so. I still really like the concept of the book and the story, but the more I think about it the more it feels like missed potential.

As a teacher I am also unsure if I would use this book in class given the aforementioned issues. I think it could be used given its unique characteristics. There are a few lesson plans I have in mind regarding the incorporation of the photographs in the text. Plus these kinds of books, with the mixed fantasy and realism, are things that students enjoy reading but often get passed over for more classical texts. This book certainly has a place in the classroom, but probably only in grades 6th-9th, possibly 10th.

While I'm still a bit mixed feeling wise for this book, I did enjoy reading it and have no regrets. I've heard the movie rights have been picked up and am excited to see what becomes of it.
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