Here’s a harsh realization. I’m at an age where I’m choosing to write about a book in my spare time, rather than for a homework assignment. [Quickly recites a poem memorized in high school to prove I’m not decrepit and I’ve still got it. In case you’re wondering, I’ve still got it. And in case you’re nosy, it was A Poison Tree by William Blake.]
I’ve always been a bit fascinated by books. The worlds they introduce you to and the journey that can be taken simply by reading words on a page is one in which I become easily enthralled. Well, at least that’s how it was when I was younger. Books would come with me on the shortest of road trips. In fact, I once brought a book to a play so I could read during intermission. I know what you’re thinking…and no, I did not have a Steve Urkel-like childhood. Once I was into a book, it was just hard for me to come back to the real world until I had read the very last word on the very last page. I hadn’t had that feeling in a few years, but I’m pleased to say I just revisited it and have a particular book to thank for the happy homecoming.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children reignited a part of my imagination I assumed had rather rudely taken a leave of absence. That missing sense of wide eyed wonderment came rushing back halfway through the first chapter. Ransom Riggs, the creator of this twisted world, not only told the story through his words. He peppered the book with authentic, vintage photographs he’s collected at various antique stores and flea markets. The haunting images made the world of Miss Peregrine even more convincing and thus even more bewitching to me as a reader.
There’s something to be said about the power of a child’s imagination. If only we could tap into our former selves as adults – the things that would be invented! For 352 pages, I felt what I thought was a long forgotten childlike sense of an imaginary, but seemingly legitimate, world. So much so that I purchased the sequel before I finished the book. No matter the genre of book you prefer, I strongly encourage you to revisit your former naivete and step into Ransom Riggs’ world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. You, along with your elementary school self, will be pleasantly surprised.
This was a fun book. And you’re right about the imagination: you need to hold on to that. Neil Gaiman is another one that really is a testament to keeping a kid-like imagination. He’s also a great inspiration for newer writers. Good work!
Thanks so much for the suggestion! I’ll be sure to check him out.
Be sure to check out his blog, too. He’s a true inspiration.