Study Guide

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children The Supernatural

By Ransom Riggs

The Supernatural

Prologue

"There was a girl who could fly, a boy who had bees living inside him, a brother and sister who could lift boulders over their heads." (Prologue.15)

It's easy to dismiss these stories as fairy tales (as Jacob later does), but his grandfather catches him at just the right age to convince him that they're real, if only temporarily.

Every time he described [the monsters] he'd toss in some lurid new detail: they stank like putrefying trash; they were invisible except for their shadows; a pack of squirming tentacles lurked inside their mouths […]. (Prologue.6)

Either Grandpa watches a little too much anime, he's crazy, or he's telling the truth about scary supernatural creatures. It takes a few pages for Jacob (and us) to realize it, but Grandpa is telling the truth—monsters are out there.

The girl's feet weren't touching the ground. But she wasn't jumping—she seemed to be floating in the air. My jaw fell open. (Prologue.27)

These photos are especially surprising to Jacob because they're Grandpa's. If he saw them online, he's just assume they were computer altered, but at this point, Grandpa is still a trusted source in the story.

Chapter 1

In that narrow cut of light I saw a face that seemed to have been transplanted directly from the nightmares of my childhood. (1.98)

This is the moment when Jacob realizes, if only for a second, that the stories his grandfather told him were true. Or at least partially true: Monsters exist.

Chapter 2

Three [photos] were so obviously manipulated that even a kid would've seen through them. (2.58)

We're not sure why Jacob still believes the photos have been manipulated. Has he managed to deny the fact that Grandpa was killed by a monster? Or can he accept monsters but not peculiar children?

Chapter 5

In her hands she held a flickering light, which wasn't a lantern or a candle but seemed to be a ball of raw flame, attended by nothing more than her bare skin. (5.58)

Notice how Jacob says "seemed to be" here—while he can't explain it, he's still not willing to admit yet that Emma is generating fire with her bare hands.

I opened my mouth to protest my innocence—and stopped when I noticed a cup floating toward me. (5.137)

Almost anything Jacob has seen thus far could be explained away somehow, but since David Blaine isn't anywhere nearby, levitating dinnerware can only be the result of something supernatural.

Chapter 6

"At base, it is a simple dichotomy: there are the coerlfolc, the teeming mass of common people who make up humanity's great bulk, and there is the hidden branch—the crypto-sapiens, if you will—who are called syndrigast, or "peculiar spirit" in the venerable language of my ancestors." (6.88)

Whenever supernatural people are being discussed, it helps to have fancy names for them, from the casters of Beautiful Creatures to the Volturi of Twilight. Miss Peregrine's sets itself apart by being nearly unpronounceable. Must be because they're in Wales.

We just kept walking, the girl who could make fire with her hands and the invisible boy and me. (6.2)

Jacob feels right at home amongst the peculiar children pretty quickly, even though he still feels as though he doesn't quite fit in, being normal and all.

Chapter 11

"That's time travel," I said, astonished. "Real time travel." (11.58)

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, the supernatural quotient gets turned up to eleven in the final chapter (which just so happens to be… Chapter 11), making us crave more for the sequel.