Sunday, May 22, 2011
Hereville Graphic Novel Review
Hereville : How Mirka Got her Sword by Barry Deutsch
Genre: Juvenile Graphic Novel
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Library book
Set in a well-realized contemporary Orthodox Jewish community, this sweet and engaging tale of 11-year-old Mirka’s thirst for a dragon-slaying adventure unfolds in well-integrated images and text. Mirka’s family includes a stepmother who is strict but not evil, a marriage-obsessed older sister, and a little brother for whom Mirka alternately takes responsibility and finds unwontedly cumbersome. Deutsch creates authentic characters spiced with just enough fantasy to surprise: the members of the community use Yiddish and Hebrew expressions, which are translated as they appear in the text, and the arrival of a talking pig in the village presents a challenge for Mirka, as pig and girl compete to outmaneuver each other in arguments as well as actions. And then there’s the space alien who challenges Mirka to knit for her life. Details of Orthodox daily life are well blended into the art and given just the right touches of explanation to keep readers on track. Mirka is a spunky, emotionally realistic, and fun heroine for her peers to discover.
I’m new to reading graphic novels and am planning to read more of them to get familiar with them. This one was a lot of fun and a quick read.
Mirka wants to find monsters, very unJewish-like, and meets a witch who can help her get a sword for fighting monsters. She has to fight a troll in order to get the sword.
The novel has Yiddish thrown in and the reader is told what the words mean, so you also get a glimpse into the life of Orthodox Jews.
I enjoyed this book and hope anyone who reads this enjoys it as well. This is aimed toward 9-12 year olds and will appeal to young girls who think just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you can’t fight monsters.