Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Cover of the book
|Genre||Young adult literature, horror literature, dark fantasy|
Published in English
|7 June 2011|
|Followed by||Hollow City|
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the debut novel by American author Ransom Riggs. The book tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island. The story is told through a combination of narrative and vernacular photographs from the personal archives of collectors listed by the author.
This young adult book was originally intended to be a picture book featuring photographs Riggs had collected, but on the advice of an editor at Quirk Books, he used the photographs as a guide from which to put together a narrative. Riggs was a collector of photographs, but needed more for his novel. He met Leonard Lightfoot, a well-known collector at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and was introduced to other collectors. The result was a story about a boy who follows clues from his grandfather's old photographs which lead him on an adventure that takes him to a large abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island.
The book has been a New York Times best seller. It reached the #1 spot on the Children's Chapter Books list on 29 April 2012 after being on the list for 45 weeks, remaining there until 20 May, when it dropped to the fourth spot on the list. Critics have generally praised the book for creative use of vintage photographs as well as good characterization and settings.
After his grandfather's murder, apparently by a make-believe creature, 16-year-old Jacob Portman goes to Wales to learn the truth about his grandfather's past. He finds that his grandfather lived in a derelict orphanage for "peculiar children". That is where he meets Emma, a "strikingly pretty" girl who can control fire. She uses time travel to take him back to 1940 to meet Miss Peregrine, the orphanage director, who lives with the other children in a "time loop". Jacob enjoys spending time with the other peculiar children, such as Millard, who is invisible, and Bronwyn, who has incredible strength. In the pub where Jacob is staying, he hears stories of mysterious deaths in the region, and he warns the peculiar children. They tell Jacob that the deaths were caused by the "hollows" or "hollowgasts", the same monsters that killed his grandfather, and that Jacob is the only person who can see these creatures. Jacob learns he too is a peculiar and realizes only he can stop the killings.
After Jacob (with Emma"s help) kills one of the hollows, Miss Peregrine is kidnapped. The children rescue Miss Peregrine, but she is in bird form and cannot change back to human form. Ultimately the peculiar children must find another time loop when theirs is taken over by hollows.
Miss Peregrine's spent a total of 63 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list for children's chapter books. It reached the #1 spot on the list on 29 April 2012 after being on the list for 45 weeks. It remained there until 20 May, when it dropped to the fourth spot on the list. The book dropped off the list on 9 September 2012, after a total of 63 weeks.
According to Deborah Netburn for the Los Angeles Times, the best part of the novel is "a series of black-and-white photos sprinkled throughout the book". Publishers Weekly called the book "an enjoyable, eccentric read distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters."
A sequel, titled Hollow City, was released on 14 January 2014. The novel is set right after the first, and sees Jacob and his friends fleeing from Miss Peregrine's to the "peculiar capital of the world", London.
20th Century Fox purchased the film rights to the novel in May 2011, courting Tim Burton to direct and Jane Goldman adapting the screenplay. A release date was originally set for 31 July 2015. before it was pushed back to 4 March 2016. Filming is expected to start in February 2015. Eva Green is set to play Miss Peregrine in the film.
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- Cameron, Claire (19 August 2011). "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012.
- Medley, Mark (21 June 2011). "Freak chic: The "universal creepiness" of Ransom Riggs' new novel". National Post. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012.
- "Best Sellers – Children's Chapter Books". New York Times. 21 August 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012.
- "Best Sellers – Children's Chapter Books". The New York Times. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
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- "Best Sellers – Children's Chapter Books". The New York Times. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Best Sellers – Children's Chapter Books". The New York Times. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Best Sellers – Children's Chapter Books". The New York Times. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Netburn, Deborah. "Found photography drives "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'." Los Angeles Times Books. 2011-05-17. Web. Retrieved 2012-04-25. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/05/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-ransom-riggs.html
- "Children's Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." Publishers Weekly. Web. Retrieved 2012-04-25. http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59474-476-1
- Riggs, Ransom (7 February 2013). "Hi! I'm still alive . . .". Archived from the original on 16 February 2013.
- Lee, Stephan (May 29, 2013). "See the title and an excerpt from the sequel to 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- Lodge, Sally (14 Nov 2013). "Ransom Riggs Returns to Miss Peregrine's Home with 'Hollow City'". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013.
- Michael Fleming (2011-05-17). Deadline.com http://deadline.com/2011/05/20th-century-fox-closes-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-132992/. Retrieved 2014-10-10. Missing or empty
- Michael Fleming (2011-12-02). Deadline.com http://deadline.com/2011/12/x-men-first-class-scribe-jane-goldman-in-talks-for-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-200480/. Retrieved 2014-10-10. Missing or empty
- Daley Lauren (28 January 2012). "'Miss Peregrine's' author is a different kind of image conscious". South Coast Today. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012.
- Ford, Rebecca (20 June 2013). "'Independence Day 2,' 'Peregrine's Home for Peculiars' Get Release Dates". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014.
- Anderton, Ethan (August 1, 2014). "Fox Shifts Release Dates for 'The Martian,' 'Miss Peregrine' & More". firstshowing.net. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- "Eva Green Eyes Tim Burton’s ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’". variety.com. July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.