Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
By Barry Deutsch
Published 2010 by Amulet Books
I had heard about this book from a few different sources and wasn't really sure what it was all about. Then I found out it was a graphic novel and I picked it up almost as soon as I saw a copy in the library. This tells the tale of Mirka, an Orthodox Jewish girl living in Hereville, who desperately wants to be a dragonslayer. But her stepmother just wants her to knit properly and her sister (well, one of her sisters) wants her to think about finding a husband and how her actions might affect everyone else's chances of finding a husband. The lack of dragons doesn't faze Mirka, and soon she is becoming a true heroine and undergoing a challenge put forth by a strange witch.
I'm so glad I picked this up. It's a bewitching little tale. In fact, I wish it were longer. It seemed like Mirka had so many stories and adventures in her that I can only hope this is just part one. Mirka is a dynamic and fun character, and another one that I think many girls could relate to. She doesn't want to disobey her family traditions, but she does want to do things for herself and develop her own personality. The art is whimsical and lovely to look at and I enjoyed learning bits of Hebrew throughout the story. I think it's great that Deutsch chose this community for his story - it provides an excellent foil for Mirka's adventures. This was a very fast read and I really enjoyed every second of reading it. It didn't last long enough for me. Delightful - I hope there is more to come! After all, Mirka has just gotten her sword - what challenges await her now that she is armed??