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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel

Yen Press has become known for its adaptation of many of the novels from its mother company, Little Brown.  But its latest book adaptation comes from an independent book publisher, Quirk Books, which gained great notoriety with two best-selling titles, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The latter is Yen Press’s latest adaptation into the comic book format. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel
By Ransom Riggs art by Cassandra Jean
Yenn Press, $19.99
Rated T, ages 13+ (I thought this was fine for 6th grade and up)

Jacob has grown up on a steady diet of his grandfather’s stories of his childhood in the World War II era. His grandfather tells him of growing up on an island in Wales where he was sent to be protected from monsters. There he lived with other peculiar children: One who can hold fire in her hand, one who is invisible, and another who can levitate. For Jacob these were just stories—or so he thinks.

Then one day, when Jacob is a teenager, his grandfather calls him at work. Concerned, Jacob goes to check on him. He finds his grandfather in the woods, dead, and there Jacob sees a monster. The monster sighting and the grief from his grandfather’s death send Jacob into therapy. He doesn’t seem to improve until he receives a letter from his grandfather that propels him to go visit the island his grandfather grew up on.

Jacob finds truth on the island. He finds monsters. And he is not safe from the monsters.

The premise for the comic is well executed in Jean’s artwork. She incorporates the period photographs from the original novel while using many elements from manga artwork to convey this eerie and suspenseful story. Mostly, the story is told in black and white drawing, but color is used to convey mood, such as the red tones when Jacob feels the bombing in the time loop, or the full color as each of the children in the orphanage reveals his or her talents to Jacob.

The story ends rather abruptly and without a real end, obviously setting itself up for a sequel. Indeed, the novel’s sequel Hollow City—the Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Children is due out this January. So readers who want to know what happens next can read the next novel while waiting for the next adaptation.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 3 and regularly reviews for SLJ, LMC. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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