I first heard about Ransom Riggs when award-winning author and vlogger John Green shared a video Riggs had posted about his photograph collection. It appears that these photographs played some role in inspiring Riggs to write this book for young adults*.
Jacob is a teenager who was fascinated by photographs of extraordinary children his grandfather showed him when he was young. As Jacob gets older, he dismisses the stories surrounding these photographs as mere fantasy and accepts his ordinary life as the way things really are.
When his grandfather is killed in the woods behind his house, Jacob thinks he sees one of the tentacled monsters that were the villains of those stories. Ensuing nightmares lead to visits to a psychiatrist and a diagnosis of acute stress disorder. To resolve Jacob’s continuing questions, he talks his parents into letting him visit Cairnholm Island, the setting of his grandfather’s stories of peculiar children threatened by monsters.
Readers will get drawn into Jacob’s journey to seek the truth. What he finds is an intriguing and dangerous world with some very peculiar children indeed. Their meeting will cause irreversible changes to the worlds of both Jacob and the children.