From my bookshelf


By Ransome Riggs

     To say this is a very odd book would be understating it, really.  Again, this is a children’s book, but challenging enough for adults.  It is the first of a trilogy, followed by Hollow City and Library of Souls.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been made into a film in which Judi Dench plays the part of Miss Avocet.  Ransome Riggs has also written a book of short fairy stories called Tales of the Peculiar.


     The book opens with Jacob, a teenager who is expected to work in his family’s business – and doesn’t want to – being called out to his grandfather who is elderly and not very well and, well, a little odd would be putting it mildly.  However Jacob loves his grandfather, and is concerned for him and so he goes to see what’s happening.


     Jacob is aware that his grandfather says some strange things from time to time, but nothing prepares him for what he encounters when he gets to his grandfather’s home.  It takes many months for Jacob to recover, and then he decides he has to find out more about his grandfather’s background.


     The rest of the book is about his discoveries.


     I can’t say I have ever read a book like it, and I enjoyed the ‘difference’.  (As you know, I try to find different books, and books with a difference to tempt you!).  This book draws you into its world in a way that leaves you wondering if it’s real or not, or what is real and what is not.


     You can look on this book in many different ways – as a fantasy book, which it is, but it has more layers to that; mystery, suspense, tragedy and it says a lot about how we view difference in other people – very topical as I write.


     Ransome Riggs was born and grew up in Florida, but now lives in Los Angeles.  This is his debut novel, published in 2003.


     I hope you will try it, maybe watch the film, and I hope you enjoy them and the subsequent books.


Yours, Lindsay