Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch

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The graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch is subtitled “Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl,” and that just about describes its universality and its strangeness. Mirka lives in an Orthodox Jewish town, and she is struggling not only with being a preteen but also with her nemesis: learning to knit. One day, she stumbles upon a witch’s house with a strange monster (a pig, which she has never before seen since she is an Orthodox Jew).

As her adventures get stranger, so does her reward, and in the end, she fights a troll and wins. I don’t want to describe too much of the story. Because it is a graphic novel for young readers, it is pretty short and straightforward. I enjoyed the clever twists, the new setting, and the Jewish culture, and as a book for kids, it still feels universal in Mirka’s struggles as a girl between childhood and young womanhood. I also liked the illustrations in the novel.

Reviewed on May 4, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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