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Tales of the Peculiar
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tales of the Peculiar, by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), is a collection of stories allegedly meant for peculiar children trying to make sense of the world and their place in it. It follows the time-honored tradition of sharing/inventing children's tales much loved by characters in a book series (see Tales of Beedle the Bard). Supposedly edited by series character Millard Nullings, and dedicated to Miss Peregrine herself, the stories range from dire warnings to happily-ever-after. As we've come to expect from the Miss Peregrine series, there's creepiness aplenty in these fables (such as the folks who make a nice living for themselves selling their limbs to cannibals and then growing them back) but a lot of heart and sweetness at the core.
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What's the story?
In the life of an epically successful series, there often comes a collection of childhood stories that helped make the characters what they are. Now it's Miss Peregrine's turn with TALES OF THE PECULIAR, a collection of stories ("edited" by a series character) essential to the upbringing of children with deep secrets and unusual powers. One tale, concerning an ill-fated relationship between peculiars and cannibals, teaches the wisdom of being content with what you have. Another tells of a man who seems to be turning into an island. There's also an origin tale of the first "ymbrene" -- bird-women like Miss Peregrine who create loops in time to protect peculiars -- and lots more pearls of wisdom in strange, sometimes sad, and often sweet stories.
Is it any good?
Fans of the Miss Peregrine series will love this collection of "childhood tales" involving time travel and unusual powers, but if you've somehow missed the craze, this isn't a bad place to start. Author Ransom Riggs offers the collection of tales no peculiar child should be without -- while warning all others to stay away, making it all the more irresistible.
In contrast to the original series, which used lots of strange vintage photographs to help tell the story, Tales of the Peculiar begins each installment with an evocative black-and-white image by Andrew Davidson.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the trend of books claiming to be the stories read by fictional characters. Do you think reading Tales of the Peculiar helps you understand the characters better, or is it just more fun in a well-drawn fictional world?
Some Tales of the Peculiar involve alternative endings, especially when the narrator doesn't like the original one. What stories can you think of that would be a whole lot better with a different ending?
Why do you think time travel is such a popular theme in storytelling?
- Author: Ransom Riggs
- Illustrator: Andrew Davidson
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Adventures, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Dutton Books
- Publication date: September 3, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.