One of the projects in my high school creative writing class was a photo journalism assignment with a twist: after taking pictures of an event, we sifted through the images and selected one or two to serve as the inspiration for a short story. The only caveat was that the story had to be completely removed from the actual event in the photo.
Reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, I kept thinking of that creative writing assignment and wondering if Riggs went through a similar process to come up with the plot and characters for this novel. From authentic, vintage photographs culled from the personal archives of several special collectors comes an unexpected, well-plotted and highly unusual story peopled with fascinating characters. This imaginative cross-over novel begs for a sequel.
When he was a child, Jacob believed the bizarre stories his Grandpa Portman told him about horrific monsters and he was enthralled with the strange photographs he shared of the levitating, invisible, and freakishly strong children with whom he’d once lived. As time passes however, Jacob loses interest in fantastic tales and his family grows stronger in their opinion that Grandpa is losing his mind. Then a shocking family tragedy occurs that sets Jacob on a path to visit the remote island where his grandfather once lived and uncover the secrets of the children’s home where the stories and photos originated. Jacob’s discoveries will leave him doubting all he ever knew about his family history and believing in things he never dreamed possible.