Hollow City (hardcover)
by Ransom Riggs
AR Level 5.7, 15 points
Did you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? If you didn’t, don’t bother reading this book, because it’s part 2, electric bugaloo. So at the end of the last novel, Jacob and his friends were leaving the island with a Miss Peregrine who couldn’t change back from her falcon (bird) form to her human form due to something the wights had sprayed on her. The kids have about 3 days (they believe) to change her back, or she’ll be in bird form forever. The novel begins with the kids rowing their way across the channel to what they hope is near London, because they believe if they find another ymbryne, she will be able to help them. The story is the kids’ journey to, through, and out of London. They face new challenges, meet new friends, and of course, develop their characters even more. We learn their backstories, which will explain how they discovered their peculiarity, and enlighten us to why they behave the way they do. The love story between Emma and Jacob takes some turns, and there’s a wild twist at the end. But of course, I won’t give away too much.
What I liked about this book was the fact that in many ways, this isn’t a children’s novel at all. Yes, Riggs uses words like “whit” instead of “shit” and he does avoid the inappropriate topics that make fifth graders giggle, but he throws in a naked man at the end, and discusses going to Hell. I think this is what I love about authors such as Riggs and Snicket- there are so many topics and situations in this book that are so well-written, their meanings are lost on younger readers, but they have adults rolling or on the edge of their seats, or pondering the deeper philosophical meaning. I’d be interested to see what my student (who lend me this book) would think if she read it again in 5 years.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it was kind of dark. The wights were just pure evil, and hollowgast are frightening for young readers, I would think. Some of the characters are forced to kill. There is a lot more death and destruction in this novel, and then you have to deal with love and loyalty, and not being able to change the past. But then again, the reader has to know what they’re getting themselves into… it’s a story that takes place in London, during World War II, with wights and hollowgast chasing these orphans. It was an exciting story, but not a lot of humor or positivity. Because it’s book 2 of an ongoing series (how many are in the series, I’m not sure), it left off with a cliffhanger. What I hated the most was the fact that we don’t know when book 3 comes out (sometime in 2015 is not specific enough for me!).
Thanks again to Daniela for lending me the book.
Book 9 of 52