In chapter one, we are introduced to the main character Jacob, or Yakob. Jacob is a teenager who is going through a time of struggle, stress, anger, etc. While Jacob is at work, which is a family business that he just so happens to hate, he gets a call from his grandfather who is slightly losing his mind due to his old age. He tells Jacob a bunch of weird things that are supposedly happening even though they don’t make sense to him. Worried, Jacob calls his dad and tells him what happened and decides to go with his friend to his grandfather’s house. When he gets to the house, it is a mess and he can’t find his grandfather anywhere. He goes outside and finally finds his grandfather covered in blood, barely living. His grandfather grasps life just to tell Jacob about a monster that lurks and about a letter just before dying in the woods. Right after that, he shines a flashlight into the woods and sees a monster and assumes it is the one his grandfather was talking about. After he sees the monster, he loses consciousness.
In chapter two, Jacob decides that he should talk about recent events. We find out he has been having nightmares about the monsters. He talks to police officers, who offer to let Jacob explain the monster to a sketch artist who would come to the house. His parents take him to a therapist, Dr. Golan, who also helps Jacob talk about the monster that he saw in the woods and the death of his grandfather, and his haunting last words. Even though everyone thinks Jacob is going crazy, they still listen. When Jacob, his father, and his aunt go to clean out the grandfather’s house, he finds a letter that is from Miss Peregrine with the date 1940 on it. In the letter, there is talk about an island his grandfather visited and he immediately wants to go to that island. After a lot of discussions, with the help of his therapist, Jacob convinces his dad to take him to the island, but lies and says it is for “closure” even though he just wants to investigate.
In chapter three, Jacob and his dad are on a ferry heading toward the island, of Cairnholm. On the ferry, Jacob asks the captain about the house that his grandfather grew up in, but he seems shocked and confused. Even with his confusion, he still tells Jacob where the house is but warns him not to go by himself. When they arrive on the island, they ask a few questions and learn a bit more about where they are but decide to go to bed early. When they wake up in the morning, Jacob is ready to find the house and tells his dad he is going to find it, before leaving, his dad reminds him of what the captain said about not going alone. On the way to the house, he finds two boys that are around his age and they walk with Jacob in the direction of the house, but only go so far. When he arrives at the house on his own, it is completely run down with no one in sight. The only thing that he finds are some old toys lying around, so he is very confused as to what happened to the house and he is upset that he may never find out answers about his grandfather.
When he gets back to the main part of the island, he finds his dad at the bar they are staying above which also happens to be one of the establishments on the island. That is when his father tells him his grandfather had a bad side, but Jacob refuses to listen to it and doesn’t believe it is true. Angrily, Jacob walks out of the bar and wanders around until he finds a museum. When he walks in, a man named Martin who works at the museum shows Jacob around. Given the opportunity, Jacob asks Martin about the old house and says that the house was destroyed by bombs. After the bombs struck, Martin remembers a young man, Jacob’s grandfather, asking for a boat so that he could go back to the mainland. Jacob then went back to the bar and fell asleep. He was woken up by a peregrine falcon flying into his room.
More determined, Jacob returns to the house and decides to look around more carefully. He finds a bunch of old pictures of peculiar children that are the same ones his grandfather showed him when he was little. Jacob heard a voice in the house and realized it was coming from one of the girls in the pictures. She ran away from Jacob, but he decided to follow her. He followed her all the way back to the main part of the island and walked into the bar/hotel, only to see that it was no longer a hotel. Confused, Jacob left the bar and the girl found him and questioned him. They went back to the house and all of the children from the pictures questioned him too. When he saw the date, which was 1940, he was very confused but learned that he was inside a time loop.
When Jacob returns to the house with Emma, who was the girl, and Millard, another peculiar child, he is stopped by the head of the house, Miss Peregrine. She says that she wants to speak to Jacob alone. She introduced herself to Jacob and told him she had seen him before which leads to them bouncing stories off of each other. Miss Peregrine invites Jacob in for dinner which makes all of the peculiar children a little more comfortable with him. After dinner, Emma takes Jacob back to entrance of the time loop. This is when Jacob finds out that his grandfather and Emma were in love, but once he left, they never spoke again. When Jacob gets back to the current time, his father is very mad at him and asks him lots of questions and even has Jacob talk to his therapist on the phone.
Jacob yet again tells his father he is going to visit the other side of the island but promises to be back for dinner this time. When he gets back to the house, Emma brings him to a show the peculiar children are putting on to show all of their special powers. After talking for a while after the show, Jacob returns to the present again to his dad looking for him. While Jacob was away, a herd of sheep had been killed and everyone thought it was Jacob who did it because he was gone for so long. After questioning everyone on the island, the blame went to two teenagers who were always looking for trouble. When he got back to the bar and went to bed, he couldn’t help but think about Emma.