Genre: fantasy graphic novel
Length: 139 pages
Setting: Hereville, an orthodox Jewish town, it felt like the 1960s or 1970s
Interest: I’ve seen it reviewed in a few places lately and decided to pick it up. The kids love graphic novels, so I’m always on the lookout for good ones.
Summary: Mirka lives in an orthodox Jewish household, but she doesn’t really fit in her prescribed role in life. For example, she really wants to be a dragon slayer when she grows up. One day, after running away from some bullies, she comes upon a house she’s never seen in the woods. Even more amazing, there is a woman floating in the air out in front. When she brings her siblings back to the house the next day, she takes a grape from the fence to show her bravery. Unfortunately, that earns her the ire of a talking pig that lives in the garden. The pig stalks her, until she confronts it. She also saves the pig from some bullies, which results in a boon from the pig’s owner.
Final thoughts: While I found the graphic novel interesting in terms of its setting and characters, I didn’t love it as much as I have other graphic novels. Deutsch did a great job introducing us to Mirka’s life as an orthodox Jew, including celebrating Shabbot and sprinkling Yiddish words (with translations) throughout the text. My favorite part was the knitting contest Mirka competed in to get her sword. You see Mirka’s internal monologue and just know she’s going to produce the greatest sweater ever, and it’s awful – multiple arm and neck holes, uneven arm lengths, and so on. And yet, she’s able to argue her way into winning the contest (and not get eaten). There are other books that follow Mirka’s adventures. I’ll have to ask the kids if they want to read them. You can get more information about the series at its website.
Title comes from: Hereville is the setting of the story and the subtitle explains the plot.
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