In a place of Carinholm Island, the time always stays the same: September 3, 1940. No matter how many years passed, the day always repeat the same, day after day… This house was un-killable, as if time had stopped at the night everyone thinks they ‘died’. Right now, all the peculiar children are in danger. Between the choice of sacrificing or refusing to face the truth, the story begins……
Our main character Jacob Portman, a 16-year-old boy, was born and raised in Florida, his childhood was mostly taken care by his grandpa. His grandpa was making the Nazis into literal monsters: “They were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep” (Riggs, page 47) because he was a solider during WWII. Jacob first “half believed” his grandpa’s theory, later on everyone thought grandpa was crazy. Until that day grandpa was killed miserably, Jacob finally went to Wales to find out the secrets of his grandfather’s past and why he was murdered.
Miss Peregrine’s Home was where Jacob’s grandfather and the peculiar children stayed. That was also where Jacob meet Emma, who used to be grandpa Portman’s girlfriend. Emma can control fire. Emma took Jacob into the loop and meet Miss Peregrine when time sets back in 1940.
Inside the time loop, each child has a peculiar talent that was kept unknown from common people. For example: Millard has the power of invisibility. Enoch has the ability to take life from one source and put it into another. He was also able to raise the dead to speak with them by using the life from another animal’s heart. Bronwyn possesses superhuman strength. Olive has the ability to float on air. Claire has a mouth on the back of her head…… Miss Peregrine created the time loop to protect them because they have such powerful and peculiar abilities. No one knows what humans can do to them. Miss Peregrine believes Jacob also has a peculiar talent, like his grandfather. But yet, this is not discovered.
A loop is run by an ymbryne. The ymbryne can only be a woman. The loop repeats one day over and over again, but every time it repeats you can do something new. Each evening, they have to put a smoke/gas mask on because the bomb is dropped by the Nazis. The only people who can enter a loop is peculiar people and hollows. Hollows are not welcomed because they eat peculiar people. Once they found a loop they will enter it to eat the peculiars inside. This is also how grandpa Portman died.
On the other hand, there’s many hollows that tries to break the loop and kill peculiars. Dr. Golan was Jacob’s psychiatrist, he turns out to be a wight that has been following Jacob his entire life, trying to break through loops. His companion, Malthus, killed Martin (one of the peculiar children). Jacob and Emma realized this issue when Miss Avocet escaped the the wights that tried to kidnap her, and came to warn Miss Peregrine about the danger.
The wights are different than hollows. Wights look just alike common people, they have no peculiar abilities. But because they can pass through the loops, they live in servitude to their hollow brethren, acting as scouts and spies and procurers of flesh. The only thing that can part wights and human is their eyes lack pupils.
In the end of the book, Jacob was going to leave his family behind, to save the peculiar children. He talked to his dad, but his dad doesn’t believe him until Jacob’s peculiar friends showed up. “‘YOUR FRIENDS ARE IMAGINARY!’ he shouted. He came toward me, his face turning red. ‘I wish your mother and I had never let that crackpot therapist talk us into brining you out here, because it has been an unmitigated disaster!’” (Riggs, page 344) Even after Jacob’s father saw the peculiar children, he still think he’s dreaming. But for Jacob, he doesn’t care what dad thinks anymore. He knew he can never come back.
The main theme of the book is you always need to sacrifice something to save something. In this story, you need to sacrifice your family and your past old lives to exchange the safety of all the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine. Jacob did it, he left everything behind and left.
The future is unpredictable. But the future also lays ahead of us. What would you choose? Family and your past old lives, or your friends and promises?
Ten peculiar children and one peculiar bird were made to fit in just three stout rowboats, with much being jettisoned and left behind on the dock. We rowed faster. (Riggs, page 352)
P.S. The citation of the websites:
-Fandom. “Peculiar Children Series.” The Peculiar Children Wiki, 2018, thepeculiarchildren.wikia.com/wiki/Peculiar_Children_series.
-Riggs, Ransom, et al. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Characters.” GradeSaver: Getting You the Grade, 1999, www.gradesaver.com/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children/study-guide/character-list.