Who is a peculiar? One who is seen as weird, bizarre, strange by the majority, who is more of unusual, fascinating, amazing and unique. Note that these adjectives though seemingly synonymous, differ subtly but surely in meanings. The first half of the list carry negative connotations while the latter with more neutral and even positive ones. The peculiar children are kind of like the X-men, or rather X-kids. Due to their special abilities, they tend to be ostracised and persecuted by the ignorant and thus easily fearful masses, thus being sheltered in Miss Peregrine’s home, herself being a peculiar. Peculiarity is relative anyway, as to the peculiars, they are not peculiar. To ostracise is to be peculiar!
Of course, this does not mean all peculiars are nice. The antagonists in the story are bad adult peculiars, who wish to take advantage of the nicer ones. What Peregrine did was to create a time-travel loop of a single day (not that it is possible), such that the children can stay safe and young in it, away from more dangerous times and thus places. The kids go through a Groundhog Day of sorts, with certain tasks done daily, especially for helping others, such as catching a squirrel who would fall from a tree in the garden at a fixed time. The kids try not to venture far though, so as to stay safe, though the adventurous visit other time loops or even break free entirely to go independent.
This is similar to parents educating their kids in a loving sanctuary, till they mature enough to leave, while some might feel bored with routines, thus seeking ‘liberation’. These sentiments were echoed by Jake – ‘Do you ever feel like nothing you do matters? You leave footprints on the beach and tomorrow they’re gone like it’s just today over again.’ The truth is, everything done intentionally creates karmic imprints, planting seeds that can grow into fruits in time. Emma later says, ‘And you (Jake) felt ordinary, like nothing you do changes anything. And, NOW you have a chance to do something that changes everything.‘ Though the line was situational, it is universal truth too, that we have the opportunity to break otherwise pointless rebirthing time loops by what we do NOW!