Jacob Portman’s grandfather, Abe, was sent to a children’s home during World War II to escape Nazi persecution in Poland. Jacob has grown up hearing stories about children with peculiar abilities who lived in this home. Abe even has photos of his fellow residents at Miss Peregrine’s Home to prove that the stories are all true. As a young child, Jacob believed every wild tale.
But Jacob is a teenager now and the rational adult in him is doubting the veracity of his grandpa’s stories and the authenticity of these sepia-toned images. They had to have been faked, right? Pictures of a little girl who can levitate or of a boy covered with bees can’t be real. As much as he enjoys the stories, only a little kid would actually believe in things like that.
When Abe is murdered, Jacob is grief-stricken and the strange circumstances behind his death only make the devastating situation worse. Everything he thought he knew about himself, his family and the world he lives in is called into question as he attempts to unravel the secrets of Abe’s past and find out what happened to him. Jacob travels to Cairnholm Island and discovers that what’s real and what’s fake isn’t as easy to determine as he thought.
This is a dark, quirky, and yes, peculiar novel. There are elements of fantasy, action, suspense and plenty of comic relief. The book is illustrated with photographs of some of Miss Peregrine’s Home’s peculiar residents adding to the book’s mildly creepy tone.
Teens and adults looking for an original read might want to try this one. For me, I saw the very strange photo on the cover and said to myself, “This is a book that I need to read.” I am very glad that I did.