Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

By Ransom Riggs


Welcome to the mystical and peculiar world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs! 🌟 This novel, first published in 2011, quickly captivated readers around the globe, merging haunting photography with a narrative that’s both enchanting and eerie. Ransom Riggs, an author known for his knack for storytelling and adventure, brings to life a story that transcends the ordinary, making us question the fabric of reality and the tales told by our grandparents.

Set against a backdrop that blends historical fiction with fantasy and a touch of the macabre, Riggs’ novel belongs to a genre that appeals to both young adults and grown-ups alike. The book is the first in a series that explores the concept of time loops, peculiar abilities, and the fight against darkness, making it a perfect blend for lovers of mystery, adventure, and supernatural elements.

Riggs’ inspiration for the book came from his collection of vintage photographs, which not only add a visual depth to the story but also inspire its characters and settings. This unique integration of text and imagery invites readers into a vividly imagined world that feels as real as it is fantastical.

So, if you’re ready for an adventure that takes you through the loops of time, filled with brave hearts, dark forces, and an exploration of the extraordinary within the ordinary, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is your gateway! Let’s dive into the world Riggs has crafted, where every photograph tells a story, and every character brings a world of peculiarity to life. 📚✨

Plot Summary

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a riveting tale that combines elements of fantasy, mystery, and adventure. Here’s a detailed journey through the plot, including the main events, from exposition to resolution:

Exposition — The story begins with sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, who grows up listening to his grandfather Abraham’s extraordinary tales and seeing photographs of peculiar children with unusual abilities. After a family tragedy, Jacob sets out to find Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an orphanage his grandfather once lived in, located on a remote Welsh island.

Rising Action — Upon arrival, Jacob encounters the ruins of the orphanage, destroyed by a bomb during World War II. However, he soon discovers a time loop that takes him back to September 3, 1940, the day before the orphanage is destroyed. Here, Jacob meets the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine herself, who is an “ymbryne,” capable of creating time loops.

Climax — Jacob learns about the existence of hollowgasts and wights, monstrous creatures that hunt peculiars. The climax escalates when the home is attacked by a wight and hollowgast. Jacob, along with the peculiar children, fights to protect their sanctuary, showcasing his own peculiar ability to see the hollowgasts, which no one else can.

Falling Action — In the aftermath of the attack, the children and Jacob devise a plan to rescue Miss Peregrine, who has been kidnapped by the wights. Their journey takes them to different time loops, revealing more about the peculiar world and the dangers it faces.

Resolution — The book concludes with Jacob deciding to stay with his new friends and embark on a quest to save other peculiars. This decision marks a turning point for Jacob, who finally finds a place where he belongs and a purpose greater than himself.

Through this adventurous journey, Riggs crafts a world that’s both fantastical and real, pushing the boundaries of imagination. The plot weaves through the discovery of oneself, the battle between good and evil, and the power of unity in the face of adversity.

Character Analysis

In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs introduces a diverse cast of characters, each with their own peculiarities and personal growth. Let’s delve into the main characters and their development throughout the story.

  • Jacob Portman — The protagonist, a seemingly ordinary boy who discovers he has the peculiar ability to see hollowgasts. Throughout his journey, Jacob transforms from a disbelieving teenager into a brave leader, determined to protect his new friends and unravel the mystery of his grandfather’s past.
  • Miss Peregrine — The headmistress of the orphanage, an Ymbryne who can manipulate time and turn into a peregrine falcon. She is a strong, maternal figure who is fiercely protective of her charges, teaching them about their peculiarities and the importance of staying hidden from the outside world.
  • Emma Bloom — A girl who can create fire with her hands and has a romantic interest in Jacob. Emma is brave, loyal, and a bit headstrong, serving as a key figure in the children’s defense against threats. Her relationship with Jacob helps him find his place among the peculiars.
  • Millard Nullings — An invisible boy who provides much of the comic relief but is also integral to the group’s survival with his intelligence and resourcefulness. His invisibility, both a gift and a curse, shapes his unique perspective on life and relationships.
  • Bronwyn Bruntley — Possessing incredible strength, Bronwyn is the protector of the group. Her character embodies the theme of inner strength and the idea that true power lies in the heart and spirit, not just physical abilities.
  • Enoch O’Connor — A peculiar who can animate the dead for short periods by placing hearts from other creatures into them. Enoch’s morbid ability and gruff demeanor mask a deeply caring personality, concerned with the safety and well-being of his peculiar family.

Here’s a summary table of their character development:

Jacob PortmanSees hollowgastsSkeptical to heroic leaderFinds courage and purpose
Miss PeregrineTime manipulation, shapeshiftingProtective, maternalContinues to safeguard her charges
Emma BloomCreates fireBrave, loyal, headstrongGrows in her relationship with Jacob
Millard NullingsInvisibleIntelligent, humorousOffers strategic insights
Bronwyn BruntleySuper strengthStrong, caringDemonstrates power of inner strength
Enoch O’ConnorAnimates the deadMorbid, caringShows depth beyond peculiarity

This character analysis reveals not just the peculiar abilities of the characters but also their emotional and psychological growth, showcasing how each character contributes to the narrative’s richness and depth.

Themes and Symbols

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is rich with themes and symbols that add layers of depth to the story, weaving a tapestry that explores the human condition, identity, and the concept of time. Let’s delve into the major themes and symbols present in the book.

  • Belonging and Identity — The peculiar children, each with their own unique abilities, struggle with feelings of isolation and alienation in the “normal” world. The orphanage provides a sanctuary where they can be themselves without fear. This theme resonates with the universal quest for acceptance and the importance of finding one’s community.
  • The Past and Memory — The time loops and Miss Peregrine’s ability to manipulate time symbolize the desire to preserve the past and keep memories alive. The photographs in the book serve as gateways to the past, emphasizing the importance of history and memory in shaping who we are.
  • Courage and Sacrifice — The characters’ battles against the hollowgasts and wights highlight the themes of courage and the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. These themes are pivotal in Jacob’s transformation from an ordinary teenager to a hero willing to fight for his newfound friends.
  • Family — Both blood-related and chosen families play significant roles in the story. Jacob’s relationship with his grandfather and the bond among the peculiar children underscore the idea that family is not just about blood relations but also about those who understand and accept us.
  • The Monstrous and the Other — The hollowgasts and wights, with their terrifying appearances and malevolent intentions, symbolize the fear of the unknown and the other. This theme challenges characters and readers alike to question the nature of monstrosity and who the real monsters are.


  • The Island — Symbolizes isolation but also safety and sanctuary. It is a place removed from the mainstream world, where peculiar individuals can live without fear of judgment or harm.
  • Photographs — Serve as a bridge between the past and the present, reality and fantasy. They are proof of the peculiar children’s existence and a means for Jacob to connect with his grandfather’s legacy.
  • The Time Loops — Represent a desire to hold onto the past, to keep safe from the changing and often dangerous outside world. They also symbolize the stagnation and the dangers of living in a constant state of nostalgia.

These themes and symbols intertwine throughout the narrative, providing readers with a rich, multifaceted experience that goes beyond the surface of the story to explore deeper questions about identity, time, and the human desire for connection and protection.

Style and Tone

The unique narrative style and tone of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs play a significant role in crafting the book’s mood and atmosphere. Let’s explore these elements:

  • Narrative Style — Ransom Riggs employs a first-person perspective, allowing readers to experience the story through Jacob’s eyes. This narrative choice deepens the reader’s connection to Jacob, making his discoveries, fears, and triumphs intensely personal. The incorporation of vintage photographs throughout the text is a distinctive stylistic choice that blends reality with fiction, giving a tangible sense of history and mystery to the tale.
  • Tone — The tone of the novel fluctuates between wonder, eeriness, and suspense. Riggs masterfully balances the awe of discovering a hidden world of peculiarities with the chilling undertones of danger lurking around every corner. The tone shifts as Jacob’s journey progresses, from the skepticism and curiosity of his initial exploration to the urgency and determination as the plot unfolds.
  • Mood and Atmosphere — The mood is heavily influenced by the setting and the peculiar characters. The decrepit orphanage, the fog-shrouded island, and the haunting photographs contribute to an atmosphere of mystery and timelessness. Riggs uses detailed descriptions and a keen sense of place to immerse the reader in the peculiar world, where the line between the fantastical and the real blurs.
  • Language and Imagery — Riggs’ use of vivid imagery and descriptive language paints a vivid picture of the peculiar world. The peculiar abilities of the children, the sinister hollowgasts, and the ethereal time loops are described in rich detail, making the fantastical elements of the story come alive. Riggs’ language is accessible yet evocative, capable of conveying complex emotions and the otherworldly beauty of the peculiar world.
  • Humor and Irony — Despite the story’s darker elements, Riggs incorporates humor and irony, often through Jacob’s observations and the peculiar children’s interactions. This not only provides relief but also adds depth to the characters, making them more relatable and human.

The interplay between the narrative style, tone, mood, and language in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children creates a captivating reading experience. Riggs’ storytelling not only entertains but also invites readers to ponder the nature of time, memory, and what it means to be peculiar in a world that values normalcy.

Literary Devices used in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs employs a variety of literary devices in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to enrich the narrative, add depth to the characters, and enhance the thematic elements of the story. Here are the top 10 literary devices used in the book, each contributing uniquely to the storytelling experience.

  1. Foreshadowing — Riggs uses foreshadowing to build suspense and hint at future events. Early mentions of Jacob’s grandfather’s peculiar stories and the mysterious photographs set the stage for the discovery of the peculiar world.
  2. Imagery — Vivid imagery is used extensively throughout the novel, especially in describing the peculiar children and the settings. Riggs crafts detailed visual scenes that allow readers to vividly imagine the eerie atmosphere of the island and the orphanage.
  3. Metaphor — The use of metaphor is evident in the comparison of the time loops to bubbles of the past, encapsulating moments in time. This metaphor extends to the theme of memory and the desire to preserve the past.
  4. Symbolism — Several objects and elements act as symbols, such as the photographs representing windows to the past and the island symbolizing isolation but also safety from the outside world.
  5. Personification — Riggs personifies elements of nature and the peculiar home itself, giving life to the settings and enhancing the mystical atmosphere of the story.
  6. Irony — There’s a notable presence of situational irony, particularly in the discovery that the monsters Jacob believed were mere fairy tales from his grandfather are, in fact, real, turning his skepticism into belief.
  7. Allusion — The book contains allusions to historical events, such as World War II, which ground the fantastical elements in a real-world context, adding depth and realism to the narrative.
  8. Simile — Riggs uses similes to draw comparisons that enhance descriptions, such as comparing the silence in the house to a tomb, amplifying the eerie and suspenseful mood.
  9. Parallelism — The parallel stories of Jacob and his grandfather, both encountering the peculiar world in their youth, create a narrative symmetry that ties together themes of family, destiny, and the passage of time.
  10. Flashback — Through Jacob’s exploration of his grandfather’s past, Riggs uses flashbacks to reveal crucial backstory, enriching the narrative with history and character motivations.

Each of these literary devices contributes to the complexity and allure of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, allowing Riggs to weave a tale that is both fantastical and deeply human.

Literary Devices Examples

For each of the top 10 literary devices used in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, here are tables providing examples and explanations:


Jacob’s discovery of the old photographsSets the stage for his journey into the peculiar world, hinting at the reality behind his grandfather’s tales.
Early mentions of strange creaturesPrepares the reader for the eventual encounter with hollowgasts, subtly suggesting their importance.
The recurring nightmares Jacob experiencesSuggests a deeper connection to the peculiar world and foreshadows his role in it.


Descriptions of the abandoned orphanageCreates a vivid picture of decay and history, evoking a sense of mystery and timelessness.
The portrayal of the peculiars’ abilitiesAllows readers to visualize the unique abilities in a realistic and tangible way.
The misty, eerie atmosphere of the islandSets a foreboding mood that envelops the reader in the story’s setting.


Time loops as bubbles of the pastIllustrates the fragile and isolated nature of the loops, encapsulating moments away from the linear flow of time.


Photographs as windows to the pastSymbolizes the connection to history and the tangible evidence of the peculiar children’s existence.
The island as a haven and prisonRepresents the safety and isolation experienced by the peculiar children, cut off from the outside world yet protected within.


The house seeming to breatheGives the orphanage a life of its own, enhancing the magical and mysterious aura of the peculiar home.


Jacob’s initial disbelief in the peculiar storiesContrasts sharply with his eventual role as a protector of the peculiars, highlighting the twist from skepticism to acceptance.


References to World War IIGrounds the fantastical elements in a real historical context, adding depth to the story’s setting.


Silence in the house like a tombAmplifies the eerie atmosphere, making the silence and stillness more palpable and unsettling.


The mirrored journeys of Jacob and his grandfatherDraws a parallel between their experiences, linking past and present and emphasizing themes of destiny and family.


Jacob’s exploration of his grandfather’s pastProvides crucial backstory and context, enriching the narrative with a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations.

These examples showcase how Ransom Riggs skillfully uses literary devices to enhance the storytelling in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, adding layers of meaning, depth, and emotion to the narrative.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – FAQs

Q: What genre does Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children belong to?
A: The book is a blend of fantasy, young adult fiction, and mystery, with elements of historical fiction woven throughout.

Q: Who is the protagonist of the story, and what is his peculiar ability?
A: The protagonist is Jacob Portman. His peculiar ability is being able to see the hollowgasts, which are invisible to others.

Q: How does time manipulation play a role in the story?
A: Time manipulation is central to the story through the use of time loops, which allow the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine to live the same day repeatedly, staying safe from the outside world and aging slowly.

Q: What are hollowgasts, and what threat do they pose?
A: Hollowgasts are monstrous creatures that hunt peculiars for their eyes. They pose a significant threat due to their strength, invisibility to normals, and hunger for the peculiars.

Q: Can you explain the significance of the photographs in the book?
A: The photographs serve multiple purposes: they are proof of the peculiar children’s existence, a bridge to the past, and a narrative device that adds a visual dimension to the storytelling.

Q: What is an Ymbryne, and what role do they play?
A: An Ymbryne is a peculiar who can create and maintain time loops, as well as transform into a bird. They protect peculiar children by hiding them from dangers in these time loops.

Q: How does Jacob’s relationship with his grandfather influence his journey?
A: Jacob’s relationship with his grandfather propels him into the peculiar world. His grandfather’s stories and death motivate Jacob to uncover the truth about the peculiar children, leading to his own self-discovery and growth.

Q: What themes are explored in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?
A: The book explores themes of belonging, identity, the impact of the past on the present, courage, and the concept of family both by blood and by choice.

Q: Is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children part of a series?
A: Yes, it is the first book in a series that follows Jacob and the peculiar children on various adventures and challenges.


QuestionABCDCorrect Answer
What is Jacob’s peculiar ability?Time travelSeeing hollowgastsFlyingInvisibilityB
Who can create and maintain time loops?HollowgastsPeculiar childrenYmbrynesWightsC
Where does Jacob first discover the peculiar children?In his hometownOn a remote islandIn a dreamAt a circusB
What role does Miss Peregrine play among the peculiars?ChefGuardianTeacherHistorianB
How do the peculiar children avoid aging normally?Magic potionsLiving in time loopsAvoiding sunlightRegular exerciseB
What is the main threat to the peculiar children?TimeNormal peopleWights and hollowgastsWeatherC
Which of the following is not a peculiar ability shown in the book?InvisibilityTelekinesisReading mindsCreating fireC
What motivates Jacob to explore the peculiar world?CuriosityA mapHis grandfather’s storiesA peculiar childC
How does the book blend photographs into the narrative?As chapter headingsAs evidence of peculiaritiesAs artworkAs random insertsB
What significant event prompts Jacob to seek out the peculiar children?His birthdayHis graduationHis grandfather’s deathFinding a peculiar photographC

This quiz is designed to test comprehension of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, covering key aspects of the plot, characters, and unique elements of the book.


Spot the Literary Devices

Read the following paragraph from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and identify the literary devices used. Write down your answers, and then check them against the provided key.

“The house seemed to know we were there, its windows dark and watchful, the front door slightly ajar as if it were yawning or perhaps beckoning us to enter. The air was thick with the scent of overgrown gardens, and somewhere in the distance, a dog barked, its sound carrying eerily in the still air. We stepped inside, the floorboards creaking under our weight, whispering secrets of the past.”


  1. Personification – The house is described as knowing they are there and beckoning them to enter, attributing human characteristics to an inanimate object.
  2. Imagery – Vivid descriptions of the house’s windows, the scent of overgrown gardens, and the sound of a dog barking create a vivid sensory experience.
  3. Onomatopoeia – “Creaking” and “whispering” provide sound imagery that enhances the atmosphere.
  4. Foreshadowing – The mention of whispering secrets of the past hints at the mysteries and stories to be uncovered within the house.

This exercise is designed to help students recognize and understand the use of literary devices in enhancing narrative and thematic elements of a story.