Horrendo’s Curse: The Graphic Novel

Anna Fienberg, Author, Remy Simard, Illustrator, Alison Kooistra, Adapted by
Anna Fienberg, adapted by Alison Kooistra,
illus. by Rémy Simard. Annick (Firefly, dist.), $24.95 (104p) ISBN 978-1-55451-548-6
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
Paperback - 158 pages - 978-1-55037-772-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-78428-3
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-1-55037-773-6
Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-74343-328-7
Hardcover - 101 pages - 978-1-55451-549-3
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Born in a town where nastiness is next to godliness and people punctuate their speech with ample cussing, Horrendo has been cursed with manners and tact. As if being a social oddity weren’t bad enough, he and a handful of other 12-year-old boys are seized by a crew of pirates to use for drudgework, and only those with a steely resolve and slimy disposition can hope to survive. It’s an outlandish premise, adapted from Fienberg’s 2002 novel of the same name, and an effective setup for a jokey romp and an entertaining exercise in G-rated obscenity (“white-livered milksop,” “greasy ball of slug spawn”). Kooistra’s adaptation hews to the book’s major plot points, but the visuals don’t quite keep up with the colorful language; Simard opts for blocky shapes and bright, flat colors that do little to evoke the story’s absurdity and grime. In the end, Horrendo and the other boys win over the surly pirate crew with a little TLC and use some clever trickery to save the day. A lighthearted lesson in the benefits of killing ’em with kindness. Ages 8–10. (Oct.)
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