Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hereville: How Mirka got her Sword

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
Sydney Taylor Book Award 2011

Deutsch, B. (2010). Hereville: How Mirka got her sword. New York, NY: Abrams.

I thought this was a bit on the strange side.  I think because I didn't really know it was a fantasy and that is something I like to know going into a book.  Especially one like this with all the Jewish words and traditions that I don't know a lot about.  In that regard, I thought it was very well done. 

It is a graphic novel, fantasy.  The illustrations are fascinating, extremely well done.  Deutsch did a great job of showing motion and emotion through the cartoon strips, which adds a great deal more to the story.  Mirka lives with her step-grandmother, Fruma, and Fruma keeps the family heavily involved in Jewish customs.  Mirka is to learn to knit, go t o school, and generally be a good little Jewish girl.  Mirka, on the other hand, is interested in more action in her life.  She wants to fight dragons.  Her brother is always trying to keep her out of trouble.  One day she takes a grape from a vine which unleashes a fierce pig on her.  Next, she runs into a "witch".  This witch is indebted to Mirka for saving her pig from some bullies.  The witch will grant her a wish and places her hands on Mirka and "sees" that Mirka wants to be a dragon-slayer.  The witch says that Mirka will first need a sword and tells her how to get one.  Mirka must fight a troll for it.  The witch tells Mirka that Fruma actually holds the secret to defeat the troll.  How can her grandmother possibly hold the key to her dream?

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