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HOW MIRKA GOT HER SWORD by Barry Deutsch Kirkus Star

HOW MIRKA GOT HER SWORD

From the Hereville series, volume 1

By Barry Deutsch

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8422-6
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Like all 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girls, ebullient Mirka must face a six-armed troll to avoid becoming his dinner and obtain a dragon-slaying sword--wait, what? This utterly ingenious graphic novel spins the darling yarn of Mirka, who finds tasks like knitting dull and tedious. She keeps herself amused while stitching by conversing with her stepmother, Fruma, a top-notch debater who can adeptly argue her way out of any dispute. A magical encounter leads Mirka to discover a witch who sends her on a quest to acquire a sword perfect for a fledgling dragon-slayer, just the role Mirka envisions for herself. When Mirka must battle a fierce troll, the skills she’s learned from Fruma prove to be not so entirely useless. Deutsch creates a beautiful, detail-rich world with a muted, ethereal palette that masterfully blends faith and fantasy with astounding harmony. Each page conveys fluid motion through his panel layout and text-bubble placement; readers can easily grasp and empathize with Mirka’s feelings. Undoubtedly one of the cleverest graphic novels of the year; let's hope this isn't the last of Mirka. (Graphic fantasy. 10-14)