Jacob stopped believing in Grandpa’s monster stories years ago, but what else could kill someone so thoroughly? Fatally attacked, Grandpa gasps that Jacob “must go to the island” where he will be safe, as he sees the blackened creature of his nightmares disappear into the Florida woods.
Now 16 year old Jacob has the nightmares, the monster alternating with the old photos of “peculiar children” who were his grandpa’s friends at the Welsh orphanage which rescued him from the Holocaust – an invisible boy, the floating girl…real or faked? Clues found at Grandpa’s house convince him that he must find that island and the orphanage, or go insane!
Thankfully, his psychiatrist agrees, so Jacob and his dad head for Wales, and the mystery grows deeper. If the orphanage was bombed-out in 1940, how did Grandpa get there later? Why can Jacob hear voices in the old building when no one else can? Who is following them on the tiny island?
As the past and present tangle and unravel, Jacob finds the old photos to be new truths as the monsters pursue children for their peculiar talents. A chilling debut novel for very mature readers which ponders how the balance point between good and evil loops through human history…
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA
When he was young, Jacob loved his grandfather's stories about his life, especially the ones about the peculiar children. They all lived at Miss Peregrine's Home for Orphans on a tiny island in Wales, and each had different talents. They ranged from being able to lift huge boulders, to being invisible, to being able to float through the air. And there were also the monsters that were chasing Jacob's grandfather.... Now, at sixteen, Jacob hears a cryptic message from his beloved grandfather, now deceased. He has a recurring dream about his grandfather telling him to "find the bird, find the loop, find the grave." His other dreams are about monsters, whose mouths are lined with dangerous teeth and tentacles. Jacob has a chance to find out what exactly his grandfather was talking about by going to this mysterious island in Wales. But are they truly tales or the truth? Ages 13 and up
Recommended by Naomi Bates, Northwest High School Library, Texas, USA
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