“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. […]
Confession: Truth be told, there is very little in this book I do not like. What’s more, it offers me, a children’s librarian, a sneaky way to introduce kids to religions and creeds they might not otherwise have any exposure to in a format they already love. Bereft of any kind of stereotyping you might name, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword could only make me angry if it failed to produce a sequel in the future. Until then, we’ll just have to be content with this. A remarkable little book and, I guarantee, like nothing else you have on your bookstore, library, or personal shelves.
There’s a lot more to her review, but you’ll have to click through to read it.