Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Barry Deutsch, Abrams/Amulet, $15.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8109-8422-6
Spunky Mirka wants to be a dragon-slayer, but everyone in the small Orthodox Jewish community of Hereville is against it. When a witch and a talking pig turn up in the woods near home, Mirka can’t help getting involved, much to the dismay of her seven sisters, brother, and argumentative stepmother. The book brings new material to the original Web comic, completed in 2008, allowing Deutsch to make a great comic even better. His expressive, surprising drawings give life to Mirka’s quest and to the unusual and genuine relationships she has with family members and magical creatures. Deutsch weaves in information about Shabbos, phrases in Yiddish (translated at the bottom of the page), illustrations of the different looks (rebel, pious, popular) girls create with the white shirts and long black skirts they wear—and all of it is lively and engaging. Fantastical elements mesh perfectly with the deep emotional heart of Mirka’s story. “I live in the family your mother made, surrounded by her children and under her roof,” Mirka’s intelligent, prickly, loving stepmother tells her, in one poignant scene. This is a terrific story, told with skill and lots of heart, that readers of all ages will enjoy. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Paperback - 137 pages - 978-1-4197-0619-6
Hardcover - 144 pages - 978-1-4197-0800-8
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