The Conference of the Birds: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, Book 5

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Conference of the Birds:  Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, Book 5 Book Poster Image
Fifth in creepy series delivers chills and suspense.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Strong messages about staying loyal to your loved ones. Also, messages about showing courage and resolve in terrifying situations, learning that everyone's "peculiar" talents are important, and that working together makes you stronger and able to accomplish more than you could on your own. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the kids in Miss Peregrine's "brood" model loyalty, courage, bravery, supporting their loved ones, and putting in the hard work when it's needed. Jacob wants to do whatever it takes to help his friends and continues to assume more of a leadership role. New love interest Noor is also brave and immediately loyal to the welcoming group, putting her own interests on hold to help others. They still sometimes break rules for the greater good, which usually lands them in trouble or worse, but they're showing better, more mature decision-making capabilities.

Violence

Fantasy and real-world violence includes fighting with guns, drugged darts, magical abilities, choking, biting, and gouging eyes out. There's no gore or detailed descriptions but blood's mentioned and pain, injuries, and horrifying monsters are briefly described. Lots of scariness and peril from being chased, monsters, and being hit or crushed by falling debris. Some dream imagery has bleeding, an eye torn out, a hole in someone's chest, and boiling seas of blood. Past deaths of a grandparent and a foster parent are mentioned. Lots of eerie atmospheres described and vintage photographs reprinted.

Sex

Growing romantic feelings lead to holding hands and a kiss.

Language

"Asshole," "hell," "goddamned," "holy s--t," and "damned."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Miss Peregrine smokes a pipe once that makes green smoke. A teen takes a sleeping potion. A couple of mentions that people are addicted to "ambrosia." A saloon setting has a sour smell and an adult drinking at the bar. A teen drinks ale in a pub with a meal.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Conference of the Birds is the fifth in the popular Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series. Reading the series in order will really enhance your understanding of the characters and plot. Fantasy and real-world violence includes horrific monsters that kill people, and fights that include magical abilities and guns. There are no gory, detailed descriptions, but things like eye gouging, a face caved in, blood, and injuries are mentioned. Lots of peril from being chased and from dark, creepy, eerie atmospheres. Themes of loss are brief and involve a dead grandparent and dead foster parent. Strong language is rare but includes "asshole," "holy s--t," and "goddamned." A blossoming romance has some holding hands and one kiss. Miss Peregrine is described smoking a pipe once, and a couple of scenes takes place in a saloon and a pub. An adult drinks at the saloon and a teen has ale with a meal at the pub. There are a couple of mentions of people addicted to a made-up drug called "ambrosia." The teens break rules for the greater good, but overall they're starting to make better decisions. Overall messages are positive about loyalty, friendship, courage, and using your special talents to help others.

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What's the story?

THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS picks up right where A Map of Days left off, with Jacob and Noor trying to escape the clutches of a ferocious clan leader. First they need to get to safety and from there, if Jacob's last tie to his grandfather is to be believed, they need to find the mysterious agent V. V's gone to great lengths to make sure she isn't found, though. So it'll take all the talents of Miss Peregrine's peculiars to track her down. Even if they do ever find her, will she really be able to shed light on the mysterious prophecy that ties Noor to the fate of the entire Peculiar world?

Is it any good?

This fifth installment in the creepy Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series delivers for fans on all fronts. The Conference of the Birds brings back favorite characters, introduces new ones, and comes right out of the gate at a full gallop. Exciting action and spooky atmospheres are balanced with periods of relative calm while the kids try to find answers to puzzling clues. Series fans will enjoy the twists and turns; old enemies; and inventive, new locations in this highly imaginitve world.

Reading the other books first is highly recommended to better understand the characters and how they've been shaped by past events. And the cliffhanger ending will have fans eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Conference of Birds. How much is too much? Is it different in books than in movies, games, or videos? Why, or why not?

  • Have you read the other books in the series, or seen the movie of the first book? Which did you like best? Why do we like scary books, movies, games, etc.?

  • What do you think of the vintage photos that author Ransome Riggs includes in each book? Do they add to the atmosphere or the story? Do they help you picture things in your mind, or do they distract you from the story?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror and suspense

Themes & Topics

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