Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Gothic? Horror? Fantasy?

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Once upon a time, someone pens a story so strange, so unusual, so peculiar, that you can’t even describe it to others. When that story is happened upon, bizarre things happen. Things like, normally verbose authors not able to even write a word. Or, bloggers who normally read before reviewing, presenting the story without having even read the book. Or this…


I haven’t read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but after watching that book trailer, I am going out to find it. The trailer caught me at once, an old photograph with the word “peculiar”, I was on it right away. And once I hit play, I kept watching, I had to see the entire thing. The lilting, haunting music, the similarities to movie of The Princess Bride, and of course the house.


(click HERE for my post on The Taker, and the gothic.

Apparently this is a YA book, here is Wikipedia’s take:

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 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 that the author found at swap meets.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenThis children’s 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.[1][2] 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.[3] The result was a story about a boy who follows clues from his grandfather’s old photographs that lead him on an adventure that has him at an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island.

Reviews are mixed, but end up with an overall four star rating. I skimmed them, and I believe the consensus was that the old photos and letters were hard to read on the Kindle and so lowered the quality of the reading experience. In other words, go out and find a good old fashioned book.

Have any of you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? I’m very excited to track this one down and I’ll let you know what I think when I do. The idea of finding the old pictures and writing a story is fascinating to me as an author. What experience have you had looking through old pictures or listening to grandparents tell stories? Could you make it into a bestseller?


Filed under Writer's Journey

11 responses to “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Gothic? Horror? Fantasy?

  1. Marie Sexton

    I have this book on my wish list at PaperbackSwap. I’ll be very curious to hear what you think of it. I just finished reading Five Quarters of the Orange (by the author of Chocolat). It also involved an old scrapbook. Really, really great book.

    I have a bunch of my family’s old albums, and there’s one picture that’s always fascinated me. It’s a photo of my great-great aunt, taken when she was in her early twenties. We think it was taken in the late ’30s. The odd thing is, if you look close, she’s wearing a swastika brooch. But she lived in Wyoming. Did she really associate it with Naziism, or did she just like the brooch? I’ve always been curious.

    • Wow! That’s an interesting question and a fascinating story about your aunt. The sad thing about the swastika is it is a very old symbol and it represents the sun and all kinds of good, positive things, I believe it’s from India originally. It was used in traditional weaving of rugs to add positive symbols to the pattern. Of course for most of us living after WW2, it doesn’t represent anything of the sort, but before then it had totally different meanings. Maybe she picked it up traveling the world or it was a gift from someone else.

      Five Quarters of the Orange, hmm, I’ll have to add that one to my extensive TBR pile. Thanks Marie!

  2. Gifted children housed under a wise one’s care for their own protection? Sounds a little like X-Men! Love the gothic twist. Thanks for the intro, Jessica. Good old-fashioned book with paper pages, a cover and binding? Oh, I am so in!

  3. I too found the trailer fascinating. I love those strange stories.

  4. I’ve read the book and thought it was such an interesting read. I really liked it and loved how he tied the photos into the story. Such a clever use of them. I’d definitely recommend it.

  5. Very cool, Jessica. I’ll have to look for it.
    Both my dad’s parents were blind. I’ve always thought there’s a story there somewhere.

  6. This has been on my TBR list for quite some time. I must say that I guess the novelty factor may have helped make this a hit. It couldn’t hurt.

    • I wonder about the novelty factor. But I think this is part and parcel with the movement in middle grade that started with Lemony Snickett, a fascination with old time pictures and stories and something “other”.

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