Welcome back to Hereville, where Mirka, the world’s first time-traveling, monster-fighting Orthodox Jewish girl, faces her greatest challenge yet: babysitting! Mirka just wants to find new adventures, but instead she’s stuck babysitting her disapproving little sister, Layele. When Mirka pushes her sister into a stream, they both get in too deep with an angry magic fish. No matter how hard Mirka fights this fish-out-of-water, it gets stronger and stronger—and it’s out for revenge. Mirka is in over her head, and this time, her whole family is on the line! When the fish kidnaps Layele, Mirka must find a way to save her little sister, and the clues she needs are hidden in her stepmother Fruma’s past. Mixing adventure, cultural traditions, squabbling siblings, and preteen commotion, Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish is sure to captivate readers with its exciting visuals and indomitable heroine.
Eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg is as disheveled, prickly, competitive, and impulsive as ever in this companion to Deutsch's Hereville (2010). She's both a fish out of water (she dreams of being a sword-wielding dragon slayer) and committed to her Orthodox Jewish faith, family, and community. All of this makes her one of the most original and comically endearing heroines to come down the pike in a long time. The meteorite in the title is actually an alien life form dubbed "Metty" that becomes Mirka's reverse doppelganger: a too-good-to-be true twin who's not only neater, defter at dispatching bullies, and better at basketball than Mirka, but also determined to permanently displace her. With unexpectedly effective help from Mirka's family (who are savvier and more accepting than Mirka realizes), her messy personality triumphs over perfection. The drably handsome olive and peach palette provides visual cohesion an anchor that allows Deutsch's extravagantly chronicled emotions to fly high while simultaneously making the story's extraterrestrial elements and scenes (colored in bold yellows and blues) all the more magical and alien by contrast. Ages 8 12.