Friday, October 21, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Published by Quirk Books

I picked up this book because of the unusual title and cover photo. It sat on the shelf for several weeks. I kept thinking it was going to be a scary book, so I decided to read it closer to Halloween. However, it was not as scary as I first thought. In fact, I must say this is one of the most creative books I have read in a long time.

Riggs writes about a fictional boy named Jacob Portman whose grandfather was known for his fantastic tales of growing up in an orphanage in Wales. He told stories about the children that lived in the house who had unusual or impossible talents. Grandpa Portman also backed up his tales with pictures. Jacob believed his grandfather until he was about eight years old. With the help of several school bullies, he had come to the conclusion that the stories were fairy tales and the pictures were photo-shopped. After that, his grandfather never mentioned them again. Jacob grew up quite friendless yet privileged.

Then Jacob learns at age 16 that his grandfather was telling the truth.

I can't say much more than that enticing beginning, but I will tell you that the whole story is based on these old original photographs that Riggs found through various collectors. What I find intriguing is that the story is based on the pictures rather than the other way around. To see the trailer, click on the book's title above. Very spooky, however!

Here is the cover shot of the Levitating Girl (Riggs names her Olivia) whom you will meet in the book:

What did this book have to do with my faith? I loved the idea of a place where even the most peculiar of people can have a home and a place to belong. Should this not be what the church is about? Certainly, Christians are peculiar. We worship a God who killed his own son in order to save the rest of the world. We have the major rule of believing in that son and earning our reward. But our reward is not of a physical nature but a spiritual one. We are guided by something called the Holy Spirit but we don't really have any control of where this Spirit takes us. We focus on loving God and one another. And we do call ourselves children of God. We are very much like the children in this book and look to our leaders, like Miss Peregrine, to help us live each day as Jesus' followers.

I think this may be another book for my top ten (or is it twenty by now?). I highly recommend this book!

Happy reading!


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