This Young Adult novel is one full of time manipulation, an orphanage full of children with abnormal abilities, creatures that want them all dead, and thrilling adventure. Here, we meet sixteen-year-old Jacob who has grown up listening to bedtime stories and learning from his grandfather’s experiences about peculiar children through a set of old photographs. He always thought they were just stories until he takes a trip to a remote island off the coast of Wales after a family tragedy. That’s where he finds the deteriorated and dilapidated orphanage his grandfather spent part of his childhood in and learned that all the stories were true. His whole life is thrown for a loop when he finds out that he’s a peculiar too, and has to use his abilities to protect the other children he finds on the island.
This is just the first book in a series of novels that delve further into the world of peculiars, bird ladies, and time loops written by Ransom Riggs. There could be more books to come, but so far there are three in the entire series. (Take a look at the reviews and the other books in this series on Goodreads.) The children in this adventure aren’t quite as young as they appear, except for Jacob, due to the amount of years they have been stuck in their time loops. So, don’t hesitate just because it’s a young adult novel because there is so much to enjoy. Come delve into this new world that has been described as:
“This is kinda like uh…a hipster Harry Potter. Not a bad thing! I liked it a lot. There are tons of cool vintage photographs that lend the air of a turn of the century freak show. I loved the world and the vibe though.”– Felicia Day
So if you’re intrigued, listen to an audiobook sample on OverDrive and read the book. Check out the photos, first chapter, and details about the author on his website. Then go watch the movie! It just came out on September 30th this year with a great cast of actors, a screenplay written by Jane Goldman, and the film directed by Tim Burton. Try not to compare both the book and movie [against each other] too harshly as they were written by completely different people for two disparate mediums. So, go read, watch, and enjoy!