This is a book I had wanted to read for some time, and when it appeared on Phoebe’s list of optional Summer Reading choices, I thought it would be good choice for us to read together. I knew it was a little bit creepy, but I have long enjoyed Gothic stories, and I thought this might be a good way to introduce Phoebe to the genre. She is not usually into books that are scary in and of themselves. While MPHPC is not frightening, it is sinister and there is a definite creepy vibe–and the odd pictures that are included add to this. Minor spoilers ahead!
The story itself is fairly routine. A young man trying to find his place in the world, dealing with those who refuse to believe him and finding allies and enemies along the way. Many of the reviews I have read compare the premise to the other mutant/meta-human texts out there, and there is a sense of familiarity. However, the fact that the peculiars are children–even if they are technically adults trapped in children’s bodies–does make this unique.
Although this is a tween novel, it may not be appropriate for all kids. There is violence, and there is a lot of swearing. No uses of the f-word, but pretty much everything else–although it is not constant and not on every page. The main character is a teenager, and he talks like a teenager. When we ran across the first curse word, I was actually pretty surprised–especially considering that this was recommended for seventh graders by a school. When they kept coming, I had to decide what to do. Do we keep going or do we stop? I decided to keep going, but sometimes I changed the swear word to something milder. Yes, the word was still there in black and white, and yes, Phoebe could easily read it as she was reading along with me, but it made me feel better to not say them all. Phoebe preferred it as well.
The pictures that accompany the text are delightfully creepy. Since we were reading right before bedtime, I would typically peek at the picture first to gauge the creepiness–we were reading on a Kindle, so there was always a break before a picture, and there are textual clues to let you know when one is coming. There were only a couple that Phoebe refused a close-up look at.
In the end, we both enjoyed the story, and we are eager to read the next two.
Phoebe says: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a great book about Jacob Portman’s adventure to find the peculiar children. Being only twelve, I was a little taken aback by the use of swear words, but, other than that, it was a great book. I love mysteries and solving historical puzzles, so when Jacob found the bombed house and was looking through the wreckage, I was really interested. I also like how Ransom Riggs created pictures. I loved looking at them and their descriptions. I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries.