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Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword Paperback – October 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Hereville Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 320 (What's this?)
  • Series: Hereville
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks; Gph edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419706195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419706196
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl," says the byline. Well seriously. How was I supposed to pass that up? I'd grabbed a copy of Hereville at an American Library Association conference along with a whole host of other books. I don't think I even gave it half a glance at the time. Just nabbed, stuffed, and scooted. It was only back in the comfort of my hotel room as I repacked my bags that the byline got my attention. I sat down for a quick look. Twenty minutes later I was still reading, with no intention at all of repacking anything until I was done. In my experience, fantasy novels for children do not like to involve religion in any way, shape, or form. And children's graphic novels? Puh-leeze. You're as likely to find a copy of Babymouse wax rhapsodic on the topic of organized religion as you are a copy of Harry Potter. So to read Barry Deutsch's book is to experience a mild marvel. There is religion, fantasy, knitting, some of the best art I've seen since The Secret Science Alliance, and a story that actually makes you sit up and feel something. This is like nothing I've ever encountered before, and I think it's truly remarkable. Without a doubt, this is the best graphic novel of 2010 for kids. Bar none.

Mirka has a dream, but it's not the kind of thing that gets a lot of support. More than anything else in the entire world she wants to fight dragons. The problem?
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By Loshman on September 27, 2015
Format: Paperback
I was going to order this last spring to review it as a possible read for our sixth grade graphic novel book club. When I saw that our school library had it, I snatched it up and was excited to get reading. Unfortunately, I wasn't as riveted as most of the reviewers here. It seemed to me that there is a very small audience for this book, and as I kept reading, I found myself rolling my eyes. Sorry, Mr. Deutsch. Not every book is for every person. In any case, even though I am Jewish, I found certain elements, both graphic and text, disturbing. For example, I can't help but wonder who the sisters were modeled after. The drawings of Mirka's sisters made it look they were boys dressed up in girls' clothing, especially her older sister, and why stereotype the stepmother with her long nose? Also, her older sister goes on and on about how Mirka's mistakes could ruin it for the lives of the girls' in the family, but someone from another culture might think that's odd and I didn't see how it fit with the main story line. Why not keep it simple and say others may think the family is bonkers? I was dismayed when I got to the page where there were three girls dressed for school and the author chose to describe their personalities based on what they were wearing. Who cares? I thought it was out of place in the story. So, though I'm glad that others enjoy this book, I can't say that I'm one of them. Needless to say, we won't be considering this for our graphic novel book club after all.
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Format: Hardcover
E. R. Bird "Ramseelbird" has written a very good review of Hereville: How Mirka Got her Sword. I just wanted to add that I enjoyed the book immensely as an adult and as an eager reader of graphic novels.

When I first heard about Hereville on the internet I was intrigued. The art was impressive, and I was attracted to the book's themes. I've read many graphic novels with Jewish themes, but few about the lives of religious Jewish children. Moreover, the comic strips I've read about Orthodox or Hassidic children centered on boys.

I put the book on my Wish List and I was delighted to receive it as a present. I read it in one sitting. Deutsch's storytelling is engaging and he weaves in the strands of Mirka's tale like a master knitter into a superb creation.

I'm familiar with many children's books as I work in a library and visit the children's section to check out titles that look striking. I'm sure children would love How Mirka Got her Sword. It's wonderful to see a spunky heroine follow her self-confidence and her instincts, not allowing others to discourage either her imagination or her ambitions. I also loved how throughout the book Judaism is not portrayed as something negative or confining, but rather enriching and ennobling. When I was a girl I looked forward to the magazines we were given in Hebrew school which included comics and stories. Alas most were aimed at boys: the ones that addressed girls debated such issues as whether or not a girl could say a blessing over the food on the Sabbath. I would have loved to read Mirka when I was a girl: it's a pleasure to see a girl confront demons -- dragons and trolls and her own personal inner ones -- without agonizing over whether it's appropriate for her gender.
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Format: Hardcover
This wonderful middle-grade graphic novel covers the adventures of Mirka Herschberg, "yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl." Mirka, a bit of an imaginative tomboy, doesn't feel that she fits in amongst her nine sisters. She's terrible at knitting and most household chores, and longs for adventure, preferably slaying dragons or the like. Sadly, her greatest enemy (besides a basketful of knitting, of course) is a local wild pig, fond of pushing her over on her hike through the woods to school.

One of the things that really struck me about this book was the seamless blend of ordinary life and the fantastical. Mirka lives in a world where she knows trolls, witches and dragons must exist... yet, her warm and loving family and the ordinary daily tribulations she must handle at school are so expertly drawn, you nearly wonder if she's only imagined the fantasy elements. When Mirka approaches her stepmother with her worries that her mother may be a dybbuk (a restless, wandering spirit) her stepmother reassures her, "I live in the family your mother made, surrounded by her children and under her roof, I think I'd know it if she were still here." Unobtrusive footnotes for many of the Yiddish phrases were most welcome.

After meeting a mysterious woman in the woods (she must be a witch, Mirka decides) she manages to get directions to a hidden (magical?) sword. The adventure is on! Armed only with the knowledge that the sword is guarded by a troll, and that trolls are often easily outwitted, she sneaks out prepared to do battle.
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