Saturday, January 7, 2012
Booktalk: Mirka dreams of becoming a dragon slayer while her step mother tries to get her to focus on knitting. All her dreams remain fantasy, however until one day when she steals a grape. Suddenly a pig starts chasing her around, eating her homework, and making her life miserable. Everyone thinks she's making it up, so she develops a plan to catch the troublesome pig. Soon she's consulting with a witch, battling trolls, and risking her life to get her own sword. When her dreams start to come true will she rise to meet the challenge--or will she discover she's stuck in a nightmare?
Rocks my socks: The tagline reads "Yet another troll-fighting 11 year old orthodox Jewish girl" and that is precisely what I love about this comic. I am always glad to see bold heroines and there isn't much juvenile fiction set in an orthodox Jewish community either so it was a refreshing new perspective. Readers will learn about what life is like in the community but without it ever feeling didactic. The book is full of humour both written and visual and many children will relate with Mirka's struggle of staying true to who she is despite her family's pressure for her to conform to the norm. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of her step-mom who while she does force Mirka to knit and do chores clearly has good intentions and cares about Mirka. They fight sometimes, but Mirka also goes to her for comfort when she sees a vision of her dead mother. She is shown as having a sense of humour as well. The troll has a lovely old-world feel but also brags about its treasure of a "shirt once worn by J.K. Rowling. No rips." Really this comic is worth it for the knitting battle scene alone and her way of winning it reminded me of my method of surviving art classes.
Rocks in my socks: Nada
Every book its reader: I'd give this to fans of adventure comics. Grades 3+
Buy it or check it out today!