fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

I read a lot but I don't post a lot of book reviews, largely because I figure that most people I know also read a lot and have a good idea of what they like. But every now and then a book comes along that makes me want to grab everyone I know and force them to read it.

Barry Deutsch's Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword is an expanded version of his webcomic about "yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl." The additions make it all the more charming. For example, early on, Mirka and her siblings encounter a pig, which they believe is a monster. Well, except for step-sister Rochel, who hasn't seen a pig before but once read "a book about a pig and a spider," a lovely little shout-out to Charlotte's Web. The comparison of the different ways the girls wear their school uniforms are hsyterical - and accurate. There are other delicious little pop culture details in the choice of treasures the troll offers to Mirka before their battle with the noblest of all weapons.

I only caught one detail that Deutsch got wrong (Shabbos ends when there are three stars in the sky; it starts earlier). There ar a few language quibbles I have. His spelling of "khale," while linguistically correct is unusual; "challah" is far common. His use of "sixth day" for "erev Shabbos" sounds odd, though is an accurate translation. And since the characters speak Yiddish, I think they'd be more likely to say "Gut Woch" instead of "Shavua Tov." (I also think Mirka should knit Eastern crossed, but the drawings are ambiguous enough as to knitting style.) None of those details make the least bit of difference to my enjoyment of the book.

I can't wait for Mirka's further adventures.
Tags: books, judaism

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