A story about an orphanage for unusual children? No, this is not another X-Men movie (though there is an X-Men connection). It’s the premise of a novel by Ransom Riggs called ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’ scribe, Jane Goldman, is reportedly in talks with 20th Century Fox to adapt it for the big screen.

The official premise of the book from Amazon sounds very intriguing:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

However, I prefer the Amazon.com review synopsis:

As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at 16, he is reeling from the old man’s unexpected death. Then Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs–alive and well–despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a monster only he can see.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ was just published several months ago (June, 2011) and was one of Amazon’s best books for that month.  This is a visual book in that it uses old photos and hand written letters to tell the story. It’s no wonder that Tim Burton is said to be in early talks to direct it as his films tend to lean towards a lot of visual imagery.

If you want to know more about the book (and see how it could really work as a feature film), here’s a short trailer written and directed by the author himself: