Graphic Novel Review: Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite

Barry Deutsch

128 pages

Published in October 2012 by Abrams Books

Source: Publisher

Mirka is at it again in Barry Deutsch’s latest Hereville book, How Mirka Met a Meteorite. In the first book, Mirka wants to fight a dragon. But after many twists and turns, including a duel with a troll, it didn’t happen. Now she just wishes that she had a villain to fight. When a troll sends a meteorite to the witch’s house, Mirka saves the day (and Hereville) by warning the witch just in time. Unfortunately, the witch transformed the meteorite into Mirka’s double. The new Mirka is faster and better at just about everything than Mirka. Sharing Mirka’s life isn’t good enough. One of them has to go.  Will it be Mirka?

Mirka is definitely one of my favorite middle grade characters. In case you haven’t read the first book, Hereville is a village of Orthodox Jews. Readers see Mirka and her family celebrating the Sabbath, find out rules about non-relatives touching, and more in a way that never bogs down the story but enlightens it. Hereville fills a space in literature. Before reading the first book, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with an Orthodox Jewish girl as the main character especially not in a graphic novel. The emphasis is never on the religion but on Mirka. She’s an average girl who dreams of being of hero and doesn’t find it out of the ordinary when she finds herself talking to trolls, fighting a talking pig, or seeing magic performed by the witch who lives on the outskirts of the village. In her view, anything is better than learning how to knit.

Sometimes when you read a fantastic first book in a series, you often wonder how the next book will stand up.  How Mirka Met a Meteorite was just as good as the first book though I do have to say that I miss the talking pig. The book starts out with Mirka still being grounded after her last adventure with the troll. After getting off of punishment, Mirka’s stepmother Fruma tells her that whenever she needs to make a decision, she should imagine the person that she wants to become and ask “what would that person do?”. That advice is one of the reasons why I really love the Fruma character. She’s one of the many strong and opinionated female characters in the book.

Since I had an advance reading copy, the artwork and coloring wasn’t finished but it didn’t take away at all from the story. The story stands on its own. Not every graphic novel can say that.

How Mirka Met a Meteorite is a fantastic book with a spunky protagonist. I waited a year for this book. I hope the next story in the series comes out soon. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

You can find a preview of the book on the author’s site here.

If you’re still unsure about the series, you can find my review of the first book here.

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10 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

  1. Sounds wonderful, and Mirka sounds like a great character. Your saying that although the artwork isn’t complete in this ARC, but the story really stood out without it, shows just how good a book this is. Great review!

  2. It is very true that there aren’t many portrayals of Orthodox Judaism in fiction! I know only a quite small amount of information about Orthodox Judaism. And I’m delighted that this series keeps on being good — it’s nice to know the author’s going to sustain quality as it goes along. (Not always true! Alas!)

  3. I have heard about the first book in this series, but not anything after that. I do want to read it – it sounds really fun and sweet and I love a quality female lead in middle grade fiction!

  4. I also think this sounds interesting, and I am glad that the second book was worth the wait. I can imagine that I would also miss the talking pig, because those are so rare, don’t you think? This was a really great review and it gave me an itch to start this series, even though I don’t read a lot of middle grade books.

  5. I’m going to echo Beth’s comment: you nudged Hereville onto my stack in the beginning, so though it was Barry Deutsch who actually got me solidly hooked on Mirka, you’re the reason the books got onto my reading radar to begin with. Thanks for the reminder about this series.

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