While there are three graphic novels in the Hereville series, each book does well as a stand-alone. How Mirka Caught a Fish (second in the series) has found a home in the teen loft collection. In this particular tale, our heroine Mirka summons a reluctantly dutiful troll, seeks support from a frighteningly powerful witch, and outsmarts a magical wishing fish with a bad temper. As Mirka follows her curiosity and upholds her duty to her half-sister, we learn about the values and way of life for this religious blended-family. Mirka is an “11-year-old time-traveling Orthodox Jewish babysitter,” with a penchant for misadventure. Ultimately the choice she must face is a difficult one, but Mirka has learned from her stepmother that doing the right thing is meaningless if you only do it when it’s easy.
The death of postwar Yiddish writer Chaim Grade’s widow on May 2, means that his many untranslated, unpublished writings, which were jealously guarded by Inna Hecker Grade, may finally become available to general readers. Grade lived in Lithuania until the Nazis arrived. Eventually, he made his way to the New York, where he wrote for Yiddish newspapers. Not a lot of his work has been translated into English, but the good news for EPL users is that the library carries three of Grade’s fiction books, The Seven Little Lanes, The Yeshiva, and Rabbis and Wives, and a memoir, My Mother’s Sabbath Days. For more on Chaim Grade, see the New York Times. Also see EPL’s reference book in the Dictionary of Literary Biography series Writers in Yiddish on the library’s 3rd floor.
(Mary B., Reader’s Services)