ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hereville: Witches, ghosts, pigs, and precocious Orthodox Jewish girls

Updated on February 4, 2012

Mirka is a precocious 11-year old Orthodox Jewish girl who enjoys arguing with her step-mother Fruma and daydreaming about fighting dragons. One day while wandering through the woods, she discovers a strange tall house whose owner is a mysterious woman who seems to walk through the air. When she goes back to show her friends the house, she picks a single grape from the house's grape vine, which attracts the hostility of a giant hog which chases Mirka around, eats her homework, and otherwise drives her crazy.

It will take all of her bravery and cleverness to defeat the pig, and even then there is still the witch who owns it to deal with. The witch is willing to offer Mirka instructions on how to get anything she desires, but following them might just get the girl into even more trouble.

Mirka as a character is very interesting. She's impulsive, short-tempered, and can be rather pig-headed, but we also get to see her protecting her young brother and her friends, and her bravery and cleverness are often on display. I also loved that her solution to the test she finds herself having to prove herself with is such a quintessentially Jewish solution.

Speaking of Judaism, I loved how much the Orthodox Ashkenazi culture of Hereville permeates the story so much. Characters often using Yiddish words and phrases, all of which are translated at the bottom of the page. I liked how only one of Mirka's friends knew what the pig was , as since Hereville is a Jewish shtetl, of course no one keeps pigs. I also liked how Mirka's stepmother Fruma, despite looking a bit like your typical evil stepmother (particularly her incredibly long and pointy nose), and despite her frequent arguing with Mirka, is in the story a very good and helpful character, who genuinely loves Mirka and is loved in return by her.

The one thing I was not particularly impressed with was the art. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's fairly formulaic and is rather lacking in style. It's serviceable, but aside from a few scenes (such as when Mirka encounters a troll), it's not in any way remarkable.

I also had some trouble placing when and where this story is supposed to take place. Hereville is obviously a shtetl, but shtetls don't really exist any more, while dialogue and a few scenes (in particular Mirka's school) looks rather modern. I'm not sure when and where this is supposed to take place, and wondering is rather distracting.

However, the interesting story, humor, and interesting use of Orthodox Ashkenazi culture is worthy of being commended. It's certainly an interesting, and I would recommend checking it out if you happen upon it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)