Bookmans is passionate about literature and there are few things we love more than helping young people get interested in reading. To that end, we have a Young Adult Book Club which meets several times a year to discuss our latest reads, snack, and be creative. This past meeting Bookmans Speedway discussed Hollow Hills by Ransom Riggs, which we highly recommend. Earlier in the summer, our club read the fantastic Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Hollow Hills

If you are unfamiliar with the book it is a wonderful tale whose inspiration was old photographs found by author Ransom Riggs at estate sales, antique stores and attics everywhere. The photography was so intriguing, and often disturbing to modern eyes, that Riggs was curious about their origins. The vast majority of these weird pictures came to Riggs without any context, background or explanation. The often morbid images stood mute, unwilling to disclose their secrets. Author Ransom Riggs was left to create their stories on his own.

Riggs devised not only explanations for the individual photographs but put them in their own world, giving them stories. We don’t want to give anything away, and it is not necessary to have read either the 1st book or even finished Hollow Hills to attend our meetings. We can give you a nibble though…

The ongoing tale concerns itself with children possessed of unique gifts or powers who are termed “Peculiars”. The world and others who have abused their own peculiar powers are a threat to the orphans, thus they live on a secluded isle. The time frame of the book is not vital, as the children are safe within a time loop. Those details are sufficient to set you up for book 2 of the series, Hollow Hills. We can safely divulge that the curious kids are on the run, their worlds are threatened and enemies abound. We feel it important to mention that Ransom Riggs has written such an inventive and thrilling tale that it deftly crosses the young adult/adult fiction line. (A line we might add is purely imaginary and wholly unnecessary.) We love to defy the line. In fact, it pains us to even speak of the line not just because it was Banned Book month for Bookmans but also because you like what you like and can read what you want, especially if you are an adult.

We give the Peculiar Children series a definite recommend, to all regardless of age. The story is so transcendent, the tales spinning so wildly along, it’s characters believable and fantastic that it will keep readers of any age thoroughly involved. It’s perfection lies within the included pictures because each one is a crooked world, canted and off-balance. The photos are mesmerizing, begging to be considered at length.

So join us for our next meeting of our Bookmans Speedway Young Adult Book Club for a few hours of fun, food, literary exploration and creativity. Each meeting includes an activity based on the theme of our chosen work. When we read Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children we made a found object craft. Each member went home with their own wonderfully curious work of art. Trust us, once you open to the first page the rest of the pages turn themselves. To confirm your attendance you may contact Bethany or Dani at