FEATURE BOOK OF THE WEEK Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.


 I was born on a 200-year-old farm in rural Maryland, where at the tender age of five I decided that I definitely wanted to be a farmer when I grew up, because being a farmer meant driving tractors.  Then, partially as a result of my new ambition, my mom moved us far away to Florida, where there were relatively few farms but lots and lots of old people and not very much for kids to do.  In retrospect, it was precisely because there wasn’t a lot to do, and because the internet didn’t exist and cable TV was only like twelve channels back then, that I was forced to make my own fun and my own stories -- and that’s what I’m still doing, only now I get paid for it.  So thanks, sleepy Florida fishing village!

I grew up writing stories and making videos in the backyard with my friends.  I knew I wanted to do one or both of those things in some professional capacity when I got older, but I didn’t know how.  For three summers during high school I attended the University of Virginia’s Young Writer’s Workshop, and I still consider it one of the shaping experiences of my life.  I met so many great, brilliant people, and it convinced me that it was possible to make a life for myself as a writer.

I also knew I wanted to make movies.  So I compromised, and went to Kenyon College first to study English,  then moved out to Los Angeles to go to film school at the University of Southern California.  Looking back, that was a lot of time and money spent on school, but I don’t regret it at all.  Being part of those creative communities gave me lots of time to practice writing things and making movies before I had to go out and try to do either of those things professionally.

So now I do a lot of different things, which can make for a rambling and confused-sounding answer when I am asked, as I often am in work-obsessed Los Angeles, “So ... what do you do?”  But I will attempt to answer this question, in list form:

• I write books.  First, a non-fiction book about Sherlock Holmes.  Then a novel about peculiar children (which comes out June 7th).  Then a book of found photographs with writing on them, coming out in 2012.  I'm fairly certain there are more novels on the way. I can feel them clanking around half-formed in my brain.

• I make movies.  I went to film school and made a lot of shorts there, then after I graduated I got jobs making short and some book trailers, too, like this and this.  I also write screenplays and make the occasional video blog.

• I word-blog for mentalfloss.com.  My favorite column is a series of photo-travel-essays called Strange Geographies. (author biography retrieved from author's website.

15 Delicious Comments:

BlackGirl7426 said...

I loved this book. I really liked that Jacob became a Peculiar. My favorite peculiar was Miss Peregrine.
Shantel Lagard
Hazwelwood Northwest Middle School

Anonymous said...

That was a great book!
north Wesy Middle School

adilene said...

It was such a good book!!!! i mean come on the intense drama that was going on i just couldnt stop reading till the very end. I mean the whole world of time holes has totally boggled my mind!!! I mean im like in the process of making a book about time and i have gotten insperation!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!! NORTHWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL

Anonymous said...

OmG!! Best book ever...
North middle school:)

Anonymous said...

i couldnt believe the ending
hazelwood west middle

Anonymous said...

Wow! Such a great book!

This book, I wouldn't call scary, but it's not your average type of book either. In my opinion, it's kind of book that send shiver's down your spine when you are reading. I read this in the dark, and by the middle of the book, I'd occasionally glance over my shoulder, if you know what I mean. It's a...um... 'creepy crawly' kind of book. Yeah, I guess that's what you can call it :)

Such a great book! One of my favorite's on the list!

~Hazelwood West Middle School

Anonymous said...

The book was good. I like the idea of another breed of human, one superior to the human race. I also liked that jacob was, in fact, a peculiur. it had a good plot and storyline. i also liked how the Grandpa's story's translated to real life.

Hazelwood Northwest Middle

Anonymous said...

Although it has a slow start, It was a great story with lots of fantasy with a dash of real life. a great book


Anonymous said...

If you haven't read this book, you MUST read it. READ IT NOW! It's so unique!

~Hazelwood West Middle

Anonymous said...

I love this book! It's so creative, and I've never read anything like it! I love all of the characters and the idea of the time-travel stuff. I think it's cool how you could just reach out and touch the bomb as it drops frm the sky, and it won't explode. The day will just start all over again. Honestly, I would be sort of scared, because I'd live every day of my life knowing that the bombs will drop at the end of the day. Reliving that nightmare of the time we were all supposed to die, over and over and over again every single day, not knowing if someday, it might not hold up and the bomb will drop right on us and execute us all on impact. I think that the pictures are definitley a very important part to the story. it makes it a bit more unique. That monster thing, yikes! That thing seriously creeped me out just reading about it. This tells me that the author did a very good job on the vizualizing aspect of the story. This was a really good read, and I think everyone who's into weird creatures and people with paranormal abilities, or are just looking for a good adventure or spooky story should definitly read this book. :)


Anonymous said...

I loved this book! IF was defintely my favorite out of all of them. The pictures really add to the story! A great book! :D
Hazelwood West Middle School

Anonymous said...

This book is uniquely beautiful.

~Hazelwood West Middle

Anonymous said...

I love how his grandfather calls him Yakob or something like that. :)


Anonymous said...

Aside from the oddities and creepiness, this book had a good plot and good characters and didn't have to many unanswered questions. overall, a good book

Hazelwood west Middle

Anonymous said...

North Middle-
Some parts scared me so much I actually had to put the book down!

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