What's a graphic novel? According to m-w.com, and the easiest possible way to explain, a graphic novel is "a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book." Some of the most well-known graphic novels in the Jewish world include Maus I and Maus II, as well as the bounty of works by Will Eisner. I used to read a ton of graphic novels -- they were the ginger to my sushi, clearing my palate between "real" books.
So a friend suggested the graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, which I devoured very quickly, while learning some Yiddish on the way. The interesting thing about this comic? It's a comic book about an 11-year-old troll-fighting Orthodox Jewish girl.
Yeah, you read that right.
The graphics are really great, and the inclusion of a bounty of Yiddish terms and explanation of Jewish traditions (like Shabbat and challah), and the theme of the narrative is interesting. A girl growing up in a town where pretty much everyone is like her and where there are certain expectations, she finds her own way without losing sight of who she is as a Jew.
My advice? If you have a kid, get them this graphic novel. At least check it out from the library. And tell your super frum friends who don't read my blog to read it, too. I think this book would be kosher for any Jew, whether you're observant or not, I think the book has a great message.
And to the author, Barry Deutsch? Give us something else soon!