Literature: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
For years, Jacob had delighted at his grandfather's tales of growing up during World War II in an orphanage run by Miss Peregrine and populated by children like himself. Well, not quite like himself. These children were peculiar. Very peculiar.Today, Jacob is sixteen years old and has outgrown these silly fairy stories... but when his grandfather is killed under strange circumstances, Jacob has only his grandfather's stories and a collection of strange photographs to follow as he finds himself delving deeper into his grandfather's past, where he learns that these silly fairy stories are neither silly nor fiction... and the peculiar children his grandfather spoke of might still be alive...Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is Ransom Riggs's debut novel, and mixes real antique snapshots with a haunting narrative to paint a world where peculiar children might conceivably exist.A sequel, entitled Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Children, was released in January 2014.
This novel contains examples of:
Abusive Parents: Several of the children had these, most notably Emma. When her powers manifested, her mother declared her a demon and walked out. Her father beat her, tied her up, and barely fed her, until her younger sister helped her escape.
Downer Ending: Hollow City ends with the reveal that the bird they've been spending the whole book believing to be Miss Peregrine is actually her wight brother, Caul. He then calls in an army of wights to capture all of the peculiar children and Miss Wren, kills Althea, and drags everyone to the modern day world where they will be subjected to the wight's experiments (which will either kill them or leave them vegetables). The one bright spot is that Jacob and Emma manage to avoid being taken along with everyone else, and Jacob learns he has the ability to speak the hollowgast language and control them.
Eldritch Abomination: As weird as the kids are, they look positively normal next to the hollowgasts and wights...
Invisible to Normals: Hollowgasts. Though it should be noted that even most Peculiars, who are definitely not normal, can't see them either. It takes a special kind of Peculiar for that, such as Jacob and his grandfather.
Lonely Rich Kid: Jacob. At the beginning he has a grand total of one friend.
May-December Romance: Averted with Emma and Jacob. Even though Emma is technically in her eighties, living in the loop means she hasn't aged physically or emotionally in decades and is still essentially a teenager.
Meaningful Name: Miss Peregine, who can transform into a bird. It seems all ymbryne have these, such as Miss Finch, who can transform into a finch, and so on.
Mistaken for Cheating: Jacob's father Franklin and his sister Susie always thought that their father was cheating on their mother with another woman because they found letters addressed to him from a woman who called herself "E." It turned out to be Emma, and he wasn't cheating on his wife with her.
Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Jacob, who early in the novel is diagnosed with acute stress syndrome and suffers panic attacks, hallucinations, and possibly PTSD... actually just can see hollowgasts, and his symptoms are him responding to their presence.
Only a Flesh Wound: Sam, the girl on the cover of Hollow City, reacts this way to being impaled. Apparently, it's happened before.
Our Time Travel Is Different: In order to keep the children safe, Miss Peregrine has hidden them away in a little pocket of time where it has been September 3rd, 1940 ever since... September 3rd, 1940. She makes sure the time loop resets just before the Germans bomb the everloving crap out of the Home, and the children have not aged since that day, though they remember each iteration of the day. It is mentioned that other ymbrynes have created similar time loops as refuges for other groups of peculiars.
Spooky Photographs: A handful of these are included throughout the book. And the best part is that they are all real antique photos collected by the author (and several of his friends and fellow hobbyists) before he ever started writing the book.
Theme Naming: The ymbrynes are all named after birds. Which makes sense, considering they can turn into them.
Those Two Guys: A pair of twins constantly shows up in photographs, but we never get to actually meet them. (Perhaps they're actually not twins at all, but Miss Peregrine's brothers, before it all went wrong?)
Took a Level in Badass: A lot of the peculiar children in Hollow City, once they start using their abilities to fight the hollowgast and the wights. Special mention goes to Emma, for burning a hollowgast's tongue off, Hugh, for summoning an army of bees to kills the wights that had taken the others captive, and Jacob, who's ability develops over the course of the story to not only seeing the hollowgast, but also being able to sense them, speak their language and control them.