Sunday, July 31, 2011


Title:               Mercury
Category:       Graphic Novel
Grade:            13-16
Author:          Hope Larson
Publisher:       Atheneum
Place:              New York
Date:               2010
Pages:             234

Mercury combines both the past and the present in this parallel graphic story of a family.  Tara is a very unhappy contemporary teen living with her aunt in the aftermath of a destructive fire that cost her family everything.  Centuries before, her ancestor Josey had lived in the house, when a mysterious traveler, Asa, came to pass.  He claimed (and proved) that the Fraser family had gold on their farm and entered into an agreement with them to co-run a mine and split the fortunes.  Although he fell in love with Josey, he killed her father and hid the gold after her father refused a marriage between the lovers.  Asa left behind a curious necklace wit a drop of mercury in it that Josey kept and passed down.  In the present, Tara’s aunt gives her the necklace as a gift.  Tara soon discovers that it will lead her to whatever she is looking for, and after learning there once was gold on her family’s property, she sets out to find it.  She and her friends discover not only the gold but the remains of Josey’s father, William and are able to save their family home.

While the plot of this book was intriguing, teens may have difficulty telling the multitude of characters from both stories apart, making parts of the story hard to follow.  As can be the case with graphic novels, some events were confusing, although in general, rereading corrected the issue.  While graphic novels tend to appeal to boys, this one seems targeted toward girls, which could cause a lower circulation.  I am not a particular fan of graphic novels; Mercury was somewhat interesting, but not the best of the genre I have read.


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