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Normal Shmormal, Celebrate Peculiar People Day!

By Beth Clark • January 10, 2019

Peculiar People Day is a time to celebrate the quirky, eccentric, silly, weird, curious, colorful, irreverent, and intriguing oddballs in your life. You know the ones…they see the world a little—or a lot—differently, have a unique style that's all their own, and/or make you laugh when you least expect it by saying the things most people only think. Just make sure the person you're celebrating knows they're peculiar and isn't self-conscious about it…peculiarity and sensitivity frequently go hand-in-hand. If you're the peculiar one, lucky you…embrace your wonderfully brilliant uniqueness in all its splendor and let your freak flag fly! (Your way, of course.)

What Makes People Peculiar?

The short answer to what makes people peculiar is: DNA! Most are born pre-programmed to march to their own beat. Everyone has unique traits, characteristics, or talents, but a select few truly stand out, even though they'd rather not at times. Sometimes it's obvious early on because they do things at an exceptionally young age, like speak in full paragraphs before their first birthday, or read independently by the age of three. Other times, they do things late in the game, like not saying a word until the age of four. Or they may simply do things differently, like propelling themselves around by scooting on their bums instead of crawling. Regardless of what sets them apart, today celebrates who they are and how they see the world, so peculiar people everywhere, we heart you! Below are nine of our favorite peculiar literary characters.

Peculiar Literary and Screen Characters

1. Miss Alma Peregrine from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Not only is Miss Peregrine peculiar, she runs an orphanage that serves as a sanctuary for peculiar children, and whether you're peculiar or not, there's much to love about the books in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series.

2. Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone describes himself as a "mathematician with some behavioral problems." Christopher has Asperger's Syndrome, and tells the story from the unique perspective of someone who feels like an outsider and sees and experiences the world differently. Even the chapter numbers (all primes) are peculiar in this award-winning novel.

3. Merricat in We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat, whose full name is Mary Katherine Blackwood, is 18 on the outside, but 12 on the inside and one of the most peculiar heroines in the literary world. She's unique, complex, and undeniably tragic. Few books have the ability to impact your soul the way this one does.

4. Skink in Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

Clinton Tyree, aka Skink, is in seven Hiaasen books, and described as a "half-crazed, half-feral, one-eyed ex-governor." (A yes on peculiar.) Skink is also fit, dazzlingly handsome with perfect white teeth, charismatic, articulate, opposed to runaway development, and grills a mean roadkill (he lives in the woods near the Everglades).

5. and 6. Meg Murray and Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

Meg is one of those peculiar girls who's never fit in (and gets teased incessantly because of it), and her wise-beyond-his-years telepathic little brother, Charles Wallace, is equally peculiar…both of which turn out to be good things in L'Engle's timeless classic.

7. Beatrice (Tris) Prior in Divergent by Veronica Roth

It kinda goes without saying that Tris is peculiar since divergent is essentially the ultimate definition of it, but she embodies many of the challenges peculiar people face—and struggle with at times—as well as the victories and she's highly relatable in that regard.

8. Hermione Granger in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series

Hermione is a brilliant, sassy, loyal, and brave bookworm who always strives to be the best. She doesn't quite fit in and she knows it, but she stands up for herself and owns her peculiarity…as it should be.

9. Lauren Olamina in Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Butler's Earthseed series is full of peculiar characters, but Lauren is a standout for her hyperempathy syndrome, being the writer daughter of a preacher who invents/creates her own religion, and her badassery in trying to save the world.

Those were nine of our faves, but there are LOTS more, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest and tell us yours!

Read more by Beth Clark

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YA | Fantasy | horror | SciFi
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