Study Guide

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Summary

By Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Summary

When Jacob Portman (we hope he introduces us to cousin Natalie) is young, he idolizes his Grandpa Abe, a man who was raised in an orphanage, fought in wars, and even performed in the circus. Grandpa Abe tells Jacob fantastic stories and shows him photos of peculiar children—invisible boys, strong girls, and people with mouths in the back of their heads. Jacob believes these tall tales until he gets old enough not to. Just as kids stop believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, Jacob stops believing in Grandpa's peculiar childhood.

When Jacob is fifteen, his grandfather starts ranting and raving about monsters coming to get him. Jacob and his dad write it off as dementia. Big mistake: When Jacob goes to check on his grandfather, he finds him dead… and he comes face to face—well, face to tentacle—with the monster that killed him. Jacob's grandfather dies in Jacob's arms, but not before uttering the most cryptic last words since "Rosebud."

No one believes that a monster killed Grandpa. (Official cause of death: rabid dogs.) Jacob starts having nightmares and slips into a deep depression. His psychiatrist, Dr. Golan, suggests he go to the island where Grandpa was raised, and maybe find the explanation behind his mysterious dying words.

Jacob and his dad fly to Cairnholm Island, in Wales, and Jacob finds Miss Peregrine's home way out past the island's bogs. Snooping around the decaying estate, Jacob finds a cache of old photos like the ones Grandpa had. Maybe the tales were true?

Jacob realizes that they're definitely true when he gets caught snooping by a girl who can generate fire with her bare hands. This girl and her friends run when they see Jacob, but he chases them. They turn out to be Emma Bloom, firestarter, and Millard Nullings, an invisible boy. They lead Jacob on a chase through a cairn, which turns out to be a portal into the past, which takes Jacob to September 3, 1940, the day before Miss Peregrine's home was destroyed by a bomb dropped during World War II. The house is restored, and it's full of peculiar children.

By peculiar, we mean kids with superpowers or strange deformities.

Grandpa Abe was raised here, but Miss Peregrine (who can turn into a peregrine) tells Jacob that he left to fight the hollowgast, the evil monsters that hunt the peculiars, and the same type of monster who killed Grandpa Abe. To stay safe from the hollowgast, Miss Peregrine created the time loop. They repeat the same day every day, and the bomb that falls on the house never explodes.

As Jacob starts to fall in love with Emma, his grandfather's ex-girlfriend who still looks sixteen thanks to the time loop, he learns that there are groups of bad peculiars trying to gain immortality. When their big experiment failed, they became the hollowgast. With the help of wights—monsters who look human—the hollowgast roam around and eat peculiars. Only Jacob can see them.

The hollowgast launch a plot to kidnap Miss Peregrine and other ymbrynes—shape-shifting women who can control time—to try the immortality thing again. Jacob's psychiatrist, Dr. Golan, turns out to be a wight, and Jacob leads him right to Miss Peregrine. Golan birdnaps Peregrine and her mentor, Miss Avocet, and carries them out to sea.

Jacob and his new peculiar friends give chase, kill Golan and the hollowgast, and rescue Miss Peregrine. Miss Avocet is taken away, and Miss Peregrine is stuck in bird form. Because she can't change back, the time loop collapses, the bomb falls, and the home is destroyed.

Even though he knows he can never return to the real world if he stays, Jacob decides to stay in the past and accompany Emma to find Miss Avocet and change Miss Peregrine back to normal. He says goodbye to his father, returns to 1940, and paddles away in a boat to destinations unknown.

  • Prologue

    • Our narrator tells us about his or her grandfather, Abraham Portman. We don't know our narrator's name yet. Could it be Natalie?
    • Grandpa Portman (don't call him Grandpa Abe) fought in wars, performed in circuses, and spoke three languages.
    • His grandchild wanted to be an explorer, used to pretend to be a pirate, and dreamed of traveling the world.
    • Grandpa used to tell the "tallest tales" (Prologue.4) about monsters with tentacles coming out of their mouths, and how he used to live in a magical place where no one got sick or died, and they all lived in a house protected by a wise old bird. Sounds like Sesame Street… well, without the tentacles.
    • Grandpa tries to convince "Yakob" (Prologue.11) that he's telling the truth. He even has pictures of all the "peculiar" (Prologue.13) children, like the invisible boy or the levitating girl.
    • Jacob tries to believe Grandpa, but eventually he can't do it anymore. He stops asking Grandpa to tell him stories, and Grandpa stops sharing.
  • Chapter 1

    • Jacob, now fifteen, gets a call at the pharmacy where he works; it's Grandpa, and he's frantically searching for the key to his gun cabinet.
    • He says, "It's not safe" (1.27), and he needs the guns to protect himself.
    • Jacob's dad has taken the key because he doesn't think it's safe for his senile old man to have access to tons of firearms.
    • Jacob calls his dad, and his dad asks him to go check on Grandpa.
    • Jacob gets a ride from his friend Ricky and the two of them rattle over to Grandpa's neighborhood in Ricky's rickety car.
    • On the way there, they pass a creepy old man watering his lawn: "His eyes were a perfect milky white" (1.61). Jacob wonders why Grandpa never told him that one of his neighbors is blind. Um… why would he mention that? It's not like he's a serial killer or a child molester.
    • The boys enter Grandpa's house and find the place a total wreck.
    • Jacob notices a gleam of light from the backyard, and he finds Grandpa's flashlight abandoned in the grass.
    • He decides to search the woods which, "according to local legend, [are] crawling with snakes, raccoons, and wild boars" (1.74). In other words, they're like every single forest everywhere.
    • After tracking Grandpa through the forest (no raccoons in sight), Jacob finds him with his shirt clawed open and bloody.
    • With his dying breaths, Grandpa tells Jacob to "go to the island" (1.89) and "find the bird. In the loop" (1.95), as well as stuff about Emerson and September 3, 1940. He's either going crazy or he was watching Lost before whatever just happened to him.
    • Grandpa dies in Jacob's arms, and Jacob realizes something in the woods is watching them. And it ain't a chipmunk.
    • It's a creepy tentacle-mouthed creature.
    • Ricky shows up just in time and fires his gun in the general direction of the creature, even though he doesn't see it.
    • Then Jacob passes out. Heroic.
  • Chapter 2

    • After Grandpa's death, Jacob is haunted by nightmares of the creature with tentacles that killed Gramps. Seems reasonable to us.
    • He stops leaving the house and falls into a deep depression.
    • It doesn't help that no one believes him, and his friendship with his best friend (read: only friend) Ricky falls apart, because even Ricky swears he never saw it.
    • The official conclusion is that a pack of feral dogs killed Grandpa. Here's the video.
    • Jacob's parents send him to Dr. Golan, a psychiatrist, who diagnoses him with "acute stress reaction" (2.26). His mother "[doesn't] see anything cute about it" (2.26), though. #momjokes
    • One day in therapy, Jacob tells Dr. Golan about Grandpa's last words, about the bird and the loop and something about Emerson.
    • Dr. Golan encourages him to research Emerson, but that doesn't help since Emerson died way before September 3, 1940.
    • Dr. Golan's next piece of advice is for Jacob to return to the scene of the crime, so he goes with his dad and Aunt Susie to sort through Grandpa's things.
    • Dad and Suze just want to throw everything away, which upsets Jacob; he stomps up to Grandpa's bedroom, where he finds a cigar box under the bed.
    • Lots of Grandpa's weird photos are in there: contortionists, twins, a girl trapped in a bottle.
    • Jacob thinks they're all fake, so he trashes them.
    • He soon turns sixteen, and his mom throws a party for him.
    • He gets a digital camera (what year are we in, 2004?) and keys to a car, and, from Aunt Susie, The Selected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    • She found it in Grandpa's stuff, and it seems he wanted Jacob to have it. We even see an illustration of Grandpa's inscription: "To Jacob Magellan Portman." (Magellan?)
    • There's a letter inside the book, a handwritten one from Headmistress Alma LeFay Peregrine; she talks about the island and how someone named "E" misses him.
    • The return address is Cairnholm Island, in Wales.
    • Jacob wonders if this is the island Grandpa said he grew up on. He wants to go check it out.
    • His parents think this is a ridiculous idea, but when Dr. Golan says that the trip might help his anxiety, they agree to it.
    • Dad will go, too, because he's an ornithologist and wants to research the birds on the island.
    • Before the trip, Jacob tries to verify that a Ms. Alma LeFay Peregrine lives on the island, but he can't get through on the island's one phone.
    • This is going to be quite the trip.
  • Chapter 3

    • Jacob and dad are on a ferry to Cairnholm Island. Dad's checking out the local birds; Jacob is trying not to barf.
    • The ferry captain tells them that they're sailing over a nautical graveyard, the resting place of many ships sunk by U-boats.
    • After the ferry docks, Jacob and his dad look for the bed and breakfast where they have a room.
    • The man at the museum tells them it's called the Priest Hole and he gives them directions.
    • Before they leave, Jacob asks the man where the old children's home is; according to the man, it's on the other side of the island, but it's not worth heading over there.
    • Dad and Jacob head over to the Priest Hole, which is near a statue called the Waiting Woman.
    • The Priest Hole isn't a bed and breakfast, though—it's more like a bar and bedroom.
    • The barkeep, Kev, leads them to their room, and lets them know that the town basically shuts down at 10:00PM. Power is expensive, and the generators go off at that time.
    • Jacob asks why the place is called the Priest Hole, and Kev tells him how Catholic priests sought refuge there when Queen Elizabeth was after them.
    • That night, Jacob falls asleep and doesn't have a single nightmare.
    • The next morning, Kev serves up breakfast. Fried toast. He says that there isn't a food "that couldn't be improved by frying" (3.43). Truth.
    • Jacob tells Dad he's going to find the house, but Dad insists that he find someone to go with him.
    • The fishmonger refers Jacob to a kid named Dylan, and they set off toward the other side of the island.
    • On the way, they bump into another teen, this one named Worm.
    • He and Dylan do a white boy rap, and then lead Jacob across the bog together.
    • They get to a small boarded-up house, and the boys tell Jacob to look inside.
    • It's a makeshift sheep stable, and it's full of sheep poop.
    • The boys laugh at their prank, then tell him where the real house is—but they won't go with him.
    • Jacob follows their directions and reaches the house.
    • It's not the "bright, happy place" (3.116) Grandpa acted like it was, and instead, it's almost totally destroyed and collapsing in on itself.
    • Jacob walks around the house and finds a doorway minus a door, and walks on in.
    • Some of the rooms are missing walls, many are overrun by plants, and there's mold everywhere, as well as "evil-looking stains" (3.122) in the kitchen.
    • Jacob feels "further than ever from the truth" (3.123).
  • Chapter 4

    • Jacob leaves the house feeling disappointed. It's a wreck and the other kids on the island that are his age don't even like him.
    • Back at the bar, Jacob asks Dad about Grandpa, and Dad admits that he "gave up trying to understand [Grandpa] a long time ago" (4.18).
    • Dad says that Grandpa was always leaving without telling the family exactly where he was going.
    • Once, they found a letter from a woman to Grandpa: "I love you, I miss you" (4.40), it said. Understandably, Dad and Susie thought he might be having an affair.
    • Jacob doesn't want to give up just yet, so he heads to the museum to talk to Martin Pagett, the curator, about the island.
    • Looking for Martin, Jacob is scared when he finds a display case holding the blackened corpse of Cairnholm Man.
    • Martin tells him that it's a 2700-year-old body found in the bog. Yikes.
    • They suspect that Swamp Thing sacrificed himself to the gods, because they believed the bog was an entrance to heaven, and the way to get in was to sacrifice themselves. (We hope Bruno Mars doesn't try the same thing next time he gets locked out of heaven.)
    • Jacob changes the subject to the old children's home. Martin has a succinct answer when Jacob wonders about the inhabitants' whereabouts: "They're dead" (4.81).
    • He says that his Uncle Oggie knows everything about the island, so they go to pay him a visit.
    • Oggie says all the people there were weird (dare he say, peculiar?) and they were bombed on September 3, 1940.
    • Dun dun dun… That's the date Grandpa uttered in his final words.
    • Oggie says there was one survivor that day: Jacob's grandfather.
    • After chatting with dad at the bar, Jacob tries to go to sleep, but he can't stop wondering if this Miss Peregrine character was Grandpa's "other woman" (4.138).
    • Jacob realizes that the postmark on Miss Peregrine's letter is from way after 1940, so she must still be alive.
    • He falls asleep, and when he wakes up, a huge bird is perched on his dresser.
    • Jacob screams for dad, who runs in and says it's a "peregrine falcon" (4.148). Gasp.
    • That's one weird coincidence too many, and Jacob decides that he has to return to the house.
  • Chapter 5

    • Jacob describes the morning as looking like "one of those heavily retouched photos that come loaded as wallpaper on new computers" (5.1)—or perhaps like one of the photos in this book.
    • He returns to the house and starts exploring, going through old books, toys, and clothes; it is "as if time had stopped the night they died" (5.5). Creepy.
    • Speaking of creepy, Jacob feels like he's being watched, but he keeps exploring.
    • He finds an old suitcase under a bed, but it's empty.
    • Jacob says he feels empty, too, and he starts crying.
    • It starts raining outside, even though it's still sunny.
    • Jacob notices something else in the room he's sobbing in: a trunk under another bed.
    • He tries to pull it out, but it's super heavy.
    • Once he shimmies it out, he can't open it, because it's locked.
    • Jacob gets a chair leg and hits the lock over and over again until it breaks. The chair leg, that is.
    • A light bulb goes off in Jacob's head: He doesn't have to break the leg if he can break the trunk itself.
    • It takes a lot of effort but he manages to push it to the balcony, and right over the edge.
    • It smashes… right through the floorboards and into the basement.
    • Jacob gathers his nerves to go into the dark, scary basement and uses his cellphone as a flashlight to find the shattered trunk.
    • Photos have spilled from the trunk all over the floor. Jacob gathers them up, recognizing some of the "freaks" (5.46).
    • As he's sifting through the photos, he hears footsteps above… Jacob accidentally shakes something loose, drawing the attention of whomever is upstairs.
    • A voice calls out, "Abe? Is that you?" (5.53). Either she's looking for a dead president or a dead Grandpa.
    • A lantern illuminates above, and Jacob looks up to see a half dozen kids staring down at him.
    • He recognizes them from the photographs, but when they see him, they run.
    • Jacob gives chase, running after a girl in a white dress, but she disappears into the mist.
    • Jacob, who is a master tracker all of a sudden, is able to follow her footsteps to a big stone cairn. Hmm, could be where Cairnholm gets its name…
    • He crawls through the narrow tunnel and ends up in a tiny room at the end of it.
    • No girl, though.
    • Jacob figures he must really be losing it and that he just imagined the girl.
    • He really wants to just go home now, so he crawls, dejected, out of the cave.
    • Outside, he's "blinded by the light" (5.77), which is weird because it was rainy and dark when he went into the cairn.
    • Before someone comes along to wrap him up like a deuce, he heads back for town; the path is completely dry, which is also weird.
    • Town is strangely quiet, because none of the generators seem to be running.
    • And then a horse clops by.
    • Everyone is staring strangely at Jacob, so he rushes for the Priest Hole.
    • A different barkeep is there, and he swears he's never seen Jacob's dad, and that Jacob doesn't have a room there.
    • The men in the bar decide that Jacob is an American spy.
    • Jacob runs away from the bar and down an alley, where someone grabs him and puts a knife to his neck.
    • It's the girl in the white dress—she thinks he's a wight, and wants to kill him.
    • Jacob says he can prove he's not a bad guy, and he pulls out the letter from Miss Peregrine to show her.
    • She drags him into an old shack, where Jacob notices the calendar: September 3, 1940.
    • Realizing he's somehow gone back in time, he passes out.
    • When he wakes up, the girl in the white dress is talking to an invisible boy.
    • They introduce themselves: Emma and Millard Nullings.
    • They say that people are searching all the houses for Jacob, so they have to escape.
    • A group of men chases them through the streets, but Millard pulls a rope across the alleyway and trips them up.
    • Emma and Jacob go to the Priest Hole, where the barman doesn't recognize Jacob at all for some reason.
    • Emma orders a drink, pours it on the bar, and manages to light it on fire with her bare hands.
    • She drags Jacob toward the fireplace, where they pry open a secret crawl space: the priest hole.
    • Emma generates a ball of flame with her hand and leads the way through the dark passage.
    • They meet Millard at a horse-drawn wagon, and they hide in the back.
    • Millard tells Jacob that they're in a loop, and the same thing happens day after day after day.
    • Emma shushes them as the cart starts to move.
  • Chapter 6

    • The kids slip out of the wagon and walk through the forest to the house.
    • It looks like the complete opposite from when Jacob was just there: "There wasn't a shingle out of place or a broken window" (6.3).
    • Emma ties Jacob's hands behind his back, and Millard says that he can't go inside the house with dirty shoes, so Jacob removes his shoes and socks and rolls up his jeans (all with his hands tied behind his back).
    • While Emma goes to fetch the headmistress, Jacob observes all the other kids, who are playing a game in the topiary garden.
    • One of the girls levitates, and one of the topiary bushes even moves on its own.
    • Millard tells Jacob that they're "peculiar" (6.17) and he asks if Jacob is, too.
    • "I don't know. I don't think so" (6.18), he says.
    • Emma returns, and says the headmistress is ready to see him.
    • Jacob recognizes the headmistress immediately: It's Miss Peregrine.
    • She recognizes him as Abraham Portman's grandson, and sends Emma and Millard out of the room to talk to Jacob in private.
    • Miss Peregrine says she's been watching Jacob—she was that bird in his bedroom.
    • She wonders why Abraham never explained anything to Jacob, and Jacob says that he did, but he never really believed him.
    • Jacob explains what happens to Grandpa, and she tells him to keep it from the children.
    • It's almost dinner, and Miss Peregrine throws open the door; there's Emma, eavesdropping at the keyhole.
    • She runs away crying, and Miss Peregrine explains that she and Jacob's grandfather were "admirers, paramours, sweethearts" (6.81), and other synonyms for canoodlers.
    • Miss Peregrine leads Jacob to the library and tells him about the difference between the coerlfolc (regular peeps) and the syndrigast or "peculiar spirit" (6.88).
    • Miss Peregrine is an ymbrynes, which means she can transform into a bird and create temporal loops.
    • She created the loop to keep everyone from dying by a bomb on September 3, 1940.
    • She explains that someone must cross the doorway to the loop often to keep it open, or the whole thing becomes unstable. That doesn't sound good.
    • With the loop open, they repeat the same day over and over again: "Tomorrow never comes" (6.133). Sounds like a Bond movie.
    • Jacob takes a bath and heads to dinner. They give him a change of clothes, which belong to a kid named Victor who "doesn't need them anymore" (6.155). Fingers crossed that's just because he had a growth spurt or became a nudist…
    • All the kids pester Jacob with questions about the future, and he tells them that things aren't like The Jetsons or anything—no flying cars or cities on the moon.
    • The kids tell him how old they are. They range from seventy-five and a half to one hundred and eighteen years old.
    • As dinner comes to an end, the sound of bomber jets hums overhead.
    • All the kids put on gas masks and lead Jacob outside.
    • They take Jacob to a topiary replica of Michelangelo's Adam and wait for the bombs to fall.
    • Jacob kind of doesn't want to blow up, so he ducks and covers.
    • But nothing happens.
    • When he opens his eyes, the raindrops are frozen in place—and so is the bomb, balancing motionless on Adam's finger.
    • Then boom, "perfect whiteness spread out before [Jacob] and swallowed everything" (6.224).
    • No, the bomb didn't explode, the loop reset; it's the evening of September 2, 1940.
    • Jacob says he needs to head home, so Miss Peregrine has Emma escort him to the cairn.
    • On the way, she admits that she knew who Jacob was, because he looks so much like his grandpa. She just didn't want to admit that Abraham was dead.
    • Jacob scuttles through the cairn and emerges in his own time.
    • He returns to his room at the bar, and his dad wonders why he's wearing someone else's clothes.
    • Jacob says he found them in the house, and his were dirty.
    • Dad worries that Jacob is getting obsessed with this house, so he calls Dr. Golan, the psychiatrist.
    • Dr. Golan says that Jacob should be allowed to continue exploring his Grandpa's past, so Dad backs off a bit.
    • Jacob has trouble hearing Dr. Golan, who says he's at the airport picking up his sister.
    • Up in his bed, Jacob wonders what it would be like if he decided to stay with Miss Peregrine in the time loops: "What exactly would I be missing?" (6.297), he wonders.
  • Chapter 7

    • It's a rainy morning as Jacob tells Dad about the friends he met on the other side of the mountain.
    • Dad wants to meet them, and Jacob says he'll introduce them… eventually.
    • When Jacob zips back to September 3, 1940, all the peculiars are putting on a little show. Here's an abbreviated version of the program: Miss Peregrine comes out as a bird and turns into a human; Olive floats above everyone else; Bronwyn lifts a rock the size of a fridge; Fiona makes plants grow; and Hugh spits out bees to pollinate Fiona's flowers.
    • After the show, Miss Peregrine goes to teach a lesson to the younger kids (by which we assume she means the sixty year olds) and Jacob has lunch with Emma and Millard.
    • Emma convinces everyone to go swimming, and they walk through town to the harbor.
    • Jacob is amazed that the town has pretty much reset exactly the way it was yesterday… which is today… which is also tomorrow… anyway, the point is that no one recognizes him.
    • The kids swim, and nap, and swim, and nap, and Jacob entertains them all with tales of the future.
    • On the way back, Jacob helps Emma pick an apple, and she kisses him on the cheek and gives him the apple.
    • He wants her to come with him to the other side, but she says it's a "bad idea" (7.108).
    • She agrees to go with him just for a minute, long enough for him to snap her pictures on his cellphone.
    • When Jacob returns to the bar, his dad tells him there's been a murder.
    • Well, not that extreme—a sheep has been killed. But these people love their sheep, and they're treating this like an episode of How To Get Away with Murder without Viola Davis.
    • The farmers think one of the white-rapper kids did it, either Dylan or Worm or Macklemore, or whatever his name is.
    • They also suspect Jacob, but his dad gives an alibi: He's with his friends on the other side of the island.
    • Of course, the farmers know that there is no one on the other side of the island, so Jacob says that his friends are imaginary.
    • They think Jacob is nuts—a kid with imaginary friends must be a sheep-killer, too.
    • Everyone tromps off to the scene of the crime. There are sheep parts everywhere like an exploding sheep charged in and went off.
    • The farmers decide Worm did it when he breaks down crying, and they lock him up in the museum.
    • Back at the inn, Dad is mad that Jacob lied to him.
    • He also wonders how Jacob got sunburned on such a cloudy day (it's not cloudy sixty years ago).
    • Before bed, Jacob sets the apple on his nightstand and gets out his cellphone to stare at Emma's picture until he falls asleep.
  • Chapter 8

    • In the morning, Jacob is surprised to see the apple has disintegrated overnight.
    • He leaves before Dad wakes up, and returns to 1940.
    • Miss Peregrine is waiting for him in the entryway, and she tells Jacob to stop telling the kids about all the amazing technology of the future: "They cannot leave, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't make them want to" (8.28).
    • Why can't they leave? Miss Peregrine explains that they will wither and die if they spend too much time outside the loop.
    • After their chat, Miss Peregrine tells Jacob to go find Emma: "I'm sure she's dying to see you" (8.46), she says. Bad word choice, Peregrine.
    • Hugh, the bee boy, tells Jacob that Emma is gathering supplies in the village. (If everything resets each day, what is she gathering?)
    • He takes a nap, and is woken up by a little clay creature poking his foot.
    • A boy named Enoch comes up and explains his homunculi to Jacob.
    • They're little clay soldiers, and he powers them with real hearts, like from mice and other animals.
    • Enoch asks Jacob if he's going to come live with them, and Jacob says he doesn't know yet.
    • Enoch gets all conspiratorial and whispers, "Emma told you about Raid the Village, didn't she?" (8.79)… Uh no, buddy, she didn't.
    • And Enoch won't tell him.
    • Enoch also won't stop Jacob if he goes upstairs to the room at the end of the hall. Nudge nudge.
    • He says his friend Victor is in there. (You might remember Jacob wearing Victor's clothes his first night in the house.)
    • Jacob finds the key to the room above the door and enters; Victor is on the bed, not moving.
    • He's not moving because he's dead.
    • Bronwyn enters the room and yells at Jacob for being in there.
    • Then Enoch shows up and says he could wake Victor up with one of the cow hearts he has pickling in the basement. (There's a recipe for that.)
    • Bronwyn almost tells Jacob how Victor died, but Enoch keeps her from blabbing; they get interrupted when they hear Miss Peregrine coming up the stairs.
    • Bronwyn runs to hide, but Jacob blocks Enoch's path—he won't let him pass until he explains "Raid the Village" to him.
    • Enoch agrees, and they hide from Miss Peregrine.
    • It seems that "Raid the Village" is a game where the kids run in and destroy the village. Sometimes they hurt villagers, although they're not allowed to kill them.
    • The village resets the next day, and no one remembers.
    • Enoch says that Emma doesn't play it, though, and that she "Says it's evil" (8.142).
    • They part ways, and Jacob hears Miss Peregrine coming again.
    • He ducks into a room, which turns out to be Emma's bedroom.
    • She has a box tied up and labeled "Private Correspondence of Emma Bloom. Do not open" (8.152).
    • So Jacob opens it.
    • Inside are pictures and letters from his Grandfather. One of the pictures is of Grandpa and Aunt Susie at four years old.
    • That's the last letter.
    • Emma catches Jacob, and even though she's mad that he's snooping through her stuff, she tells him about her relationship with his Grandpa.
    • "He said he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he sat out the war while his people were being hunted and killed" (8.172), so he left. And never came back.
    • Jacob thinks it would be a little creepy to make out with his grandfather's ex-girlfriend, so he decides to leave.
    • Emma asks him to meet her later that night, after everyone falls asleep, and Jacob agrees to return.
    • Back in the present, Dad tells Jacob that a new ornithologist showed up. The competition discourages Dad from his work.
    • Speak of the devil, or at least the rival bird-watcher, the other man stomps into the tavern.
    • He orders a couple steaks. Rare.
    • After Dad falls asleep, Jacob sneaks out again.
    • Emma wants to take him to a special place, and she leads him to the harbor, near the lighthouse, and gives him a snorkel.
    • They wade out to a canoe hidden among the rocks and paddle out farther.
    • Emma gets out of the canoe and starts walking on water. What, is she Jesus, too?
    • No, she's standing on a shallow shipwreck, and they're going to dive inside.
    • They swim deep inside, using a plastic tube to breathe, until they get into a room of total darkness.
    • Jacob is amazed at all the glowing little fish swimming around under there.
    • When they surface, Emma explains they're flashlight fish: "They hide" (8.283), she says, and they're "peculiar" (8.285).
    • We guess that's enough for Jacob to forget the whole Emma-is-eighty-years-old-and-Grandpa's-ex-girlfriend thing because then they make out.
    • After coming up for air, Emma asks Jacob to stay.
    • He says no: "It's him you want, not me. I can't be him for you" (8.297).
    • She says no, and she says that Jacob isn't as common as he thinks.
    • Bombshell (1): "Common people can't pass through time loops" (8.304).
    • Bombshell (2): "Abe had a rare and peculiar talent, something almost no one else could do. […] He could see the monsters" (8.306-8.307).
    • Holy cow.
  • Chapter 9

    • Jacob tells Emma that he can see monsters, too, to which Emma replies, "I knew there was something peculiar about you" (9.3). She means it in a nice way.
    • Emma says she can't see them at all, which is another reason everyone stays in the loop: Monsters can't enter them.
    • She says that Victor left the loop and got killed by a monster. She's sure glad Abe wasn't killed by monsters.
    • Yeah, about that… Jacob confesses that Grandpa was killed by monsters.
    • Emma takes a moment to be sad before they head back to the shore.
    • Hugh and Fiona are waiting on the shore. Something has happened back at the house, and they have to hurry back.
    • On the way, Hugh says that one of the Bird's ymbryne friends showed up "yelling blue murder" (9.24).
    • Miss Peregrine is taking care of her teacher, Miss Avocet, in the sitting room.
    • Jacob is unable to keep himself from asking Miss Peregrine when she was going to tell him that he, too, was peculiar.
    • She says she was afraid he'd run away if she told him.
    • She goes on to explain that his grandfather moved to America because there were few "hollowgast" (9.58) there, and he lives in relative safety while not fighting them.
    • Miss Avocet wakes up, and she tells Miss Peregrine that wights broke into her loop and kidnapped some of her children to lure the adults away: "The children were merely bait" (9.81).
    • Misses Bunting, Wren, and Treecreeper have all been abducted.
    • Miss Peregrine insists that Jacob spend the night, and he agrees to, but only if she tells him all about the hollowgast.
    • All About the Hollowgast:
      • Around the turn of the century, a "splinter faction" (9.110) of peculiars broke away to search for immortality; they thought they could achieve it by mastering the time loop.
      • The masterminds were Miss Peregrine's two brothers, but she refused to assist them.
      • They convinced other ymbrynes to accompany them to Siberia to conduct their experiments, but something went wrong, and there was a huge explosion.
      • They survived, but were transformed into terrible creatures: the hollowgast. "Rather than becoming gods, they had transformed themselves into devils" (9.114).
      • If a hollowgast, which lives in constant physical torment, gobbles up enough peculiars, it becomes a wight, and can pass for human.
      • Wights lack pupils, though (remember Grandpa's "blind" neighbor?).
    • Miss Peregrine shows Jacob some creepy photos of white-eyed wights.
    • She's concerned that the wights have followed Jacob to the island, and that he'll only be safe with them.
    • Jacob doesn't want to leave his parents, but Miss Peregrine tells him that his parents just don't understand.
    • He returns to town anyway, wondering if the new ornithologist is a wight in disguise.
    • Jacob warns Dad that the ornithologist might be the sheep killer, but Dad thinks he's talking nonsense. See? He just don't understand.
  • Chapter 10

    • Jacob ponders a big question: should he stay or should he go?
    • He starts avoiding his dad and spending more time at the Home.
    • All the kids there are restless, even Horace, who has prophetic nightmares. This one is about "seas boiling and ash raining from the sky and an endless blanket of smoke smothering the earth" (10.21). That's either a nightmare or a Nic Cage movie.
    • Back in Cairnholm, Martin, the museum curator, is missing; his body is fished out of the ocean. Chances are, it wasn't one of the punk teens who did this.
    • Dad says he bumped into the ornithologist the other night—literally.
    • Jacob asked if he noticed anything weird about the man's face, and Dad says he was wearing his sunglasses. At night. That seals it: He's either a wight or Corey Hart.
    • Jacob sneaks away to report this strange occurrence to Miss Peregrine.
    • Miss Peregrine announces that no one may leave the house… including Jacob.
    • He says he needs to leave, because he's worried about his dad. She says he may leave… but if he does, he may never return.
    • Emma says she'll help Jacob escape and investigate the wight. She says you have to be out of the loop for "hours and hours" (10.89) before turning into a grizzled old prune, so she'll be fine.
    • Bronwyn and Enoch decide to come with them, and Olive the floating girl helps them jump out of a high window and escape.
    • They run to the fishmonger's shop, where Martin's body is being kept on ice until the storm passes and he can be shipped to the mainland.
    • Enoch uses his supply of animal hearts to bring Martin back to life, Pushing Daisies-style, so he can tell them who killed him.
    • Martin tells him that his "old man" (10.181) killed him, saying, "He got big. And strong, so strong" (10.181).
    • Jacob realizes that Martin is talking about the bog boy, and somehow makes the connection that this means Martin was attacked by a hollowgast, which is conveniently visible to anyone when it's eating.
    • The interrogation is interrupted when the ornithologist shows up.
    • He knows who everyone is, even Jacob, and he's been tracking Jacob for a long time.
    • It turns out he's been following Jacob in disguise—he was his middle-school bus driver, his Grandpa's blind neighbor and his psychiatrist, Dr. Golan. Eek.
    • He pulled this feat off by wearing contact lenses. Plus, he was already a licensed therapist. Convenient.
    • Golan introduces Malthus, the tentacle-mouthed hollowgast who also ate Grandpa, then Golan leaves so Malthus can be alone with his meal.
    • Emma tries to fry it with her fireball, but the tentacles avoid her flame.
    • Bronwyn, the strong girl, whacks it with the entire ice trough, then kicks a Bronwyn-shaped hole in the wooden wall so everyone can escape.
    • They run like heck, and Emma and Jacob split up from the rest to draw the hollowgast away from the others.
    • They hide in the sheep-poop coop, and Emma flings a flaming stone into the distance, hoping to distract the creature.
    • It doesn't work. The creature finds them, even in the sheep poo, and starts chomping through sheep like Pac-Man through power pellets to get to them.
    • Jacob grabs some sheep shears for defense, and the two kids run again; Jacob tries to hide in the cairn tunnel.
    • A tentacle grabs him and drags him outside, but Jacob manages to jab it in the eye with the shears and it dies. That was easy.
    • Unfortunately, as its corpse starts sinking into the bog, it drags Jacob down with it.
    • Emma shows up with a tree branch and fishes Jacob out. They smooch.
    • They find Bronwyn, Enoch, and Hugh in the loop, but someone has been left out of the loop: Miss Peregrine. Golan came in, made her turn into a bird, stuffed her in a cage, and took her.
    • They think Golan must still be in the loop, and will try to get Peregrine off the island.
    • Fiona runs up and says they're right: He went to the harbor, and Millard followed him.
    • They all give chase and meet Millard and the other kids at the cliff near the lighthouse.
    • Golan is on the lighthouse rock, and Millard, Bronwyn, Emma, and Jacob decide they have to go after him.
    • They swim for the shipwreck and catch their breath before continuing to the lighthouse.
    • Golan shoots at them, so they hide behind the hull.
    • Millard decides he can go after him, because he's invisible and everything—but invisible people aren't that invisible in the water, and Millard gets shot.
    • Afraid Millard will die if they head for the shore, they decide to make a run for it.
    • Bronwyn tears a steel door off the shipwreck, and they use it as a shield to charge Golan.
    • It works, and the gunshots ricochet off the makeshift shield until Bronwyn gets close enough to just whack Golan with it.
    • He flees up the stairs.
    • Bronwyn stays behind to tie a tourniquet around Millard's gunshot wound, and Emma and Jacob pursue Golan up the lighthouse.
    • Golan still has bullets, so Jacob and Emma shake the lighthouse's rickety staircase until Golan loses his balance and drops the gun.
    • Jacob and Emma climb the stairs and find Golan at the top. He's bleeding, and the birdcage is at his feet with a little red tracking device blinking on it.
    • Golan does the super-villain thing and explains his entire plot: They're kidnapping ymbrynes to try the whole eternal-youth time-loop again.
    • After he's done with his diabolical monologue, he flings the birdcage off the lighthouse balcony and then leaps on top of Jacob.
    • Emma wrestles Golan off, her flaming hands sizzling his skin—but Golan is stronger, and he starts choking Emma.
    • Jacob fires the gun, right into Golan's throat; he dies and falls over the edge.
    • Emma and Jacob search frantically for the birdcage, and they see the red light blinking on the waves.
    • They run out of the lighthouse and charge into the water.
    • They make it to the birdcage just as a giant object surfaces from the water: a German U-boat.
    • A wight emerges from a hatch and takes the birdcage, and the sub goes back underwater.
    • Emma and Jacob start to swim away, but they see that Miss Peregrine somehow escaped the cage.
    • She's bobbing in the water, bird-shaped, her wing broken.
    • They grab her and take her to shore. Unfortunately, though, Miss Peregrine is unable to turn back into her human form.
  • Chapter 11

    • The kids, with Miss Peregrine in tow, return to the house to find it no longer standing.
    • The loop didn't loop, so the house was bombed and now it's a wreck.
    • The kids seem to have escaped, though, and Jacob's crew fills them in on what happened.
    • Hugh says they have to stop them, and Horace, the prophetic dreamer, dreamed where the wights took Miss Avocet.
    • He draws a picture of a fence made of bars and razor wire. A concentration camp? Is the boy with the striped pajamas there, too?
    • The kids decide they have no choice but to search the loops until they find Miss Avocet.
    • Emma fetches the Maps of Days, which lists every loop ever known to exist.
    • The catch is that Jacob will never be able to return to the time he came from.
    • He decides to say goodbye to his dad first.
    • Dad is angry that Jacob has been running away every day, and he flips out when Jacob says he was with his friends, who are imaginary.
    • Well, on cue, said imaginary friends show up.
    • Olive floats in, Millard the invisible boy comes in (a bandage floating in air), and Emma and her flaming hands show up.
    • Dad goes into shock, and pretty much just passes out.
    • Emma leaves Dad a note saying that she'll keep Jacob safe, and that she knew Grandpa Abe. She includes a picture of Abe and herself lying in the grass together.
    • Back in the loop, they bury Victor and then load up in the rowboats.
    • Who knows where they're going? We'll have to buy the sequel.