Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

By: Barry Deutsch

While babysitting, Mirka gets into a battle with an angry, magic fish—but not just any angry, magic fish: this one has a history. And it involves Mirka’s stepmother, Fruma. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781419708008

JLG Release: Jan 2016


Series: Hereville
Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Graphic novels , Jewish folklore , Magic , Family stories , Monsters

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Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

Grades 2-6

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Awards & Honors

2016 Sydney Taylor Honor Book, Older Readers

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

In a third adventure in the Orthodox community of Hereville, Mirka learns more about her stepmother when she meets a magic fish whose powers are held in check by a wish Fruma made when she was a teenager. The fish takes Mirka’s stepsister, Layele, hostage, making Mirka the “worst babysitter ever.” A mix of humor and drama, with pl In a third adventure in the Orthodox community of Hereville, Mirka learns more about her stepmother when she meets a magic fish whose powers are held in check by a wish Fruma made when she was a teenager. The fish takes Mirka’s stepsister, Layele, hostage, making Mirka the “worst babysitter ever.” A mix of humor and drama, with plenty of suspenseful chases and battles, this is an enjoyable and absorbing read. Cartoon-style illustrations with bold, clear lines and a limited color palette highlight Deutsch’s deft use of the comics medium. At one point Layele, enchanted by the magic fish, dissolves into a school of fish that bombard Mirka with statements reflecting her conflicted feelings about their relationship. Dynamic paneling heightens the action and emotion in many scenes. In one, Fruma transforms into a giant redwood. A close-up of Mirka’s shocked face is layered over smaller panels sequencing the transformation. On the next page, panels bleed into a wide view of Mirka running to the rescue. This sophistication and subtlety extend to the depiction of Mirka’s relationships, particularly the push and pull with her stepmother. Fruma is argumentative and unsentimental, but she is a reliable and caring adult in Mirka’s life. This stand-alone volume should appeal to readers of other graphic novels starring plucky female characters such as Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters (Scholastic, 2014) and Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost (Square Fish, 2014), as well as fans of humorous adventures such as Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series (Scholastic) and Shannon Hale’s Rapunzel’s Revenge (Bloomsbury, 2008). VERDICT An entertaining graphic novel adventure in which Mirka learns more about herself and her family relationships.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Mirka is stuck babysitting her pesky six-year-old half-sister Layele while the rest of the family is away from their all-Hasidic community. Fruma, Mirka’s stepmother, leaves strict orders to stay out of the woods, where bizarre magic always seems to happen (Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, rev. 11/10;
[STARRED REVIEW]
Mirka is stuck babysitting her pesky six-year-old half-sister Layele while the rest of the family is away from their all-Hasidic community. Fruma, Mirka’s stepmother, leaves strict orders to stay out of the woods, where bizarre magic always seems to happen (Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, rev. 11/10; Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite, rev. 11/12) and where Fruma saw “things” when she was Mirka’s age. Of course, Mirka does go into the woods, dragging Layele with her, and before long she’s wheedled the troll from the first book out of a hair elastic with time-travel capabilities (the illustrations denote the time travelers by superimposing them onto the landscape in transparent purple and white). The girls encounter a wishing fish, the same one who lost a battle of wits with a young Fruma (then called Fran and dressed in modern garb) and who now has a wicked plan to gain power by controlling and kidnapping Layele. Though the expressive and often humorous illustrations in this graphic novel do much to convey each scene’s tone and highlight important characters and objects, words make the world go ’round here. (Check out Mirka’s punctuation-marked skirt!) Speech bubbles wind in and out of the variably sized panels, and the eventual solution involves verbal gymnastics as much as heroics and compassion. shoshana flax

Book Details

ISBN

9781419708008

First Release

January 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

144

Accelerated Reader

Level 2.6; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.4; Points: 4;

Lexile

Level GN320L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Amulet

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Graphic novels, Jewish folklore, Magic, Family stories, Monsters,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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