How Mirka Got Her Sword

Deutsch, Barry

Graphic Novel - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn't interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There's only one thing she does want: to fight dragons! Granted, no dragons have been breathing fire around Hereville, the Orthodox Jewish community where Mirka lives, but that doesn't stop the plucky girl from honing her skills. She fearlessly stands up to local bullies. She battles a very large, very menacing pig. And she boldly accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, a challenge that could bring Mirka her heart's desire: a dragon-slaying sword! All she has to do is find--and outwit--the giant troll who's got it! A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, Hereville will captivate middle-school readers with its exciting visuals and entertaining new heroine. Accolades and Praise for Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword Sydney Taylor Award Eisner nomination Harvey nomination Ignatz nomination Nebula nomination "Utterly ingenious." -- Kirkus , starred review "Withouth a doubt, the best graphic novel of 2010 for kids. Bar None."-- School Library Journal , starred review "A terrific story, told with skill and lots of heart."-- Publishers Weekly , starred review "Mirka is a spunky, emotionally realistic, and fun heroine."-- Booklist , starred review "Sequel, please!"--Horn Book Magazine

Publisher: New York ; London : Amulet, c2010
ISBN: 0810984229
Branch Call Number: HEREVILL
Characteristics: 137 p. : chiefly col. ill. ; 24 cm


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Aug 07, 2013
  • angiem99 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Not at all what I was expecting, but still an entertaining read. It took me a bit to understand the meaning of the ending, when I did, I appreciated this book much more.

Jun 04, 2013
  • Mark_Daly rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Clever execution of a polyglot premise (comics, Orthodox Judaism, medieval fantasy). Transcends any pedagogical inclinations through the sheer exuberance of its distinctively strong-willed heroine, Mirka, who no doubt will captivate many young readers who enjoy seeing their wishes for youthful power fulfilled. I enjoyed the interplay between Mirka and her equally energetic and forceful aunt.

Mar 12, 2013
  • chaysim rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Nothing like the Orthodox world! More like the Orthodox world seen from a sarcastic non-Orthodox teenager's view. Gorey and strange.

Mar 11, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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 one of the best graphic novels for kids I've seen. Bar none.

Dec 13, 2012
  • savtadina rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A delightful book, seemingly for grades 4 to 7 but fun for adults too! My (adult) son gave it to me for Hanukkah and we both enjoyed it. The graphics are really good with lots of details worth noting including the eyes different in a variety of situations. Although the author was not raised as an Orthodox Jew, he has presented that view of Judaism in a respectful manner and written a very good story! I'm looking forward to the next stories in this series.

Jun 21, 2012
  • emkeller rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Wonderful illustrations. A fun peek into the world of an imaginative, smart, brave. Orthodox Jewish young woman.

May 22, 2012

Join Mirka, the spunky clever heroine from the popular webcomic "Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl," on her quest to escape knitting lessons and become a dragon-slayer. In a captivating mix of faith and fantasy, this imaginative narrative blends seamlessly with delightful and expressive artwork to tell a story full of heart.

Dec 08, 2010

Deutsch's charming and energetic story takes the form of a classic hero tale, but its hero is, as the cover declares, "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." The depiction of an Orthodox community is smart and sympathetic, and Mirka's struggles with bullies and boring chores, as well as a stepmother who turns out to be the opposite of wicked, will ring true to many kids. The twist at the end makes us hope for a sequel.


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Mar 11, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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Mar 11, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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? She’s eleven, a girl, and she lives in the Jewish Orthodox town of Hereville. Still, Mirka gets a bit closer to her dream when she incurs the wrath of a witch’s pig, then does it a good deed, thereby indebting its witch to her. As it turns out, the witch tells Mirka that there is a good sword in the neighborhood, but the only way to get it is to defeat a troll. And when push comes to shove, Mirka’s going to have to use all her smarts and cunning to defeat an enemy that prizes one of the arts she loathes the most.


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