Jacob Portman, 16, spent his childhood looking at strange old photos and listening to the stories of very peculiar children as told by his grandfather, Abe Portman. Abe tells of his escape from the Nazis (and other evils) to Wales, where he was taken in by Miss Peregrine—a bird-like woman—in her orphanage. His stories seemed like sheer works of fiction—tales of an invisible boy, a girl that can create fire in her hand, another girl who was so weightless she had to wear cement show in order to stay grounded, and other amazing entities that you’d only see in a “freak show.” After Abe’s mysterious death, Jacob sets out to find the truth about the orphanage, the bird-like woman, and the peculiar children, leading him to an epic battle and the task of making the most important decision of his life.
This story will keep you on the edge of your seat as you journey with Jacob to find truth, meaning, and a place to belong. Riggs includes many photos throughout this book to help facilitate the imagery. These photos help to add an eerie component to the book, giving it a spooky feel.
I recommend this book to anyone that loves old photos, adventures, and oddities. This book is appropriate for anyone in grade 6 and up.
My Reaction: I loved this book. I have read it a number of times now and it gets better and better with every pass. The characters are well-developed and the imagery is phenomenal. Jacob is a very relatable character and his budding romance with Emma really made me think…could I fall in love with someone my grandmother was in love with? Someone that looks my age, but is really in his 80s? This book has many positive messages and role models, making it a great read for younger readers.
Themes: friendship, belonging, good vs evil, acceptance, doing what’s right, peculiarity, love, teamwork, family, making difficult decisions