Young Readers: Reviews of Monster and Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

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Young Identities

Gwen and Andy are back this month to discuss two new graphic novels for young readers. First up, they discuss Monster  (Amistad/Harper Collins), a book for teens by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims and with art by Dawud Anyabwile. Based on the multi-award-winning young adult novel by Myers, the graphic novel version of Monster chronicles the tension-filled trial of Steve Harmon, a African American teen being tried as an accessory to the murder of a convenience store clerk. Gwen and Andy both agree that Anyabwile’s stunning black-and-white art delivers a powerfully effective treatment of this famous novel and in some ways enhances an already stunning look at how society looks at race and identity.

Monster-Hereville

Next, the two people with PhDs look at a book for younger readers, Barry Deutsch’s Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish (Amulet/Abrams). If the title sounds familiar, that’s because How Mirka Caught a Fish is actually the third book in the Hereville series, following How Mirka Got Her Sword and How Mirka Met a Meteorite. But no worries! Gwen and Andy give you just enough info about the first two books to bring you up to speed without giving away any major spoilers. Mirka is an 11-year-old orthodox Jewish girl who has adventures fighting trolls, encountering meteors, and even time-traveling, and as much as Gwen and Andy like the first two volumes, they think this third may be the best of the bunch. And while Monster and the Hereville books may appear to be vastly different, Gwen and Andy find that they share some interesting similarities.

As an added bonus, Gwen and Andy also discuss four additional current titles that listeners will want to check out. (But you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out what those books are!)

Get your copies of the books discussed on the episode:


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The Comics Alternative is a podcast and blog focused on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.

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