Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hope Larson digs for treasure with Mercury

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 10:38 PM

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Hope Larson's Mercury is a graphic novel for young readers. In other words, you could call it a comic book for kids. You could also call it a multigenerational family drama, a work of magical realism, and a story of the legacy of gold mining in rural Canada. Yet, the truth about Mercury falls somewhere between all those generic tags.

The novel transpires in French Hill, Nova Scotia, a fictional town near Halifax. The Fraser family has lived in the same house in French Hill since the mid-19th century, when Nova Scotia was still unincorporated frontier. Mercury alternates between two young members of the family – from the rustic life of Josey in 1859 to the 10th-grade concerns of Tara in 2009.

A calamitous fire in the Fraser family home has turned Tara's teenage life upside down. She's living with a friend since her mother has left town to find better work. Her interactions at school are perpetually awkward. She fields insinuations about her short hair in the locker room. Fickle, tactless teenage boys stumble around her, not sure of what to say.

Continue Reading "Hope Larson digs for treasure with Mercury"

(Photo courtesy Atheneum Books)

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