Friday, March 29, 2013

Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite


Hereville:  How Mirka Met a Meteorite
by Barry Deutsch
Amulet Books, 2012. 125 pgs.  Graphic Novel

     Mirka is back! (Hereville:  How Mirka Got her Sword, 2010)  Once again "boldly going where no 11-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has gone before."  In this outing, Mirka goes to see her old friend (NOT) the troll who informs her that a meteorite* will hit the earth in 15 minutes and that he can't stop it.  Mirka nearly kills herself running to tell the witch who does manage to stop it in time, but in a way that will drive Mirka to the brink:  the witch changes the meteorite into a spitting-image copy of Mirka.  At first Mirka doesn't mind having a friend around who looks just like her, especially if she will do half her chores.  But soon the fake Mirka, aka Metty, has taken over Mirka's life--very successfully in fact, because she quickly becomes better at everything than Mirka is.  Also, since they can't both show up at the dinner table at the same time, Metty grabs all the eats and Mirka is soon faint with hunger. This is especially not a good thing because when Mirka demands her life back, Metty offers three challenges.  If Mirka wins even one, Metty will leave. But Metty really is better at everything than Mirka--except the one thing that will make all the difference. Our young readers may not know enough about Jewish culture and practice to get all the laughs out of this funny book, but there are laughs--and good lessons--to be had in spite of that.
*The meteoroid in this story is described as a meteorite before it hits the earth, but when Metty arrives, she explains to Mirka that she was a meteoroid before she landed but once she got to earth, she became a meteorite.  Just so we're clear about that.

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