Rummanah Aasi

Description: Long ago, in a small village in the middle of a deep, dark forest, there lived a lonely, deaf girl named Maggie. Shunned by her village because of her disability, her only comfort comes from her vivid imagination. Maggie has a gift for inventing stories and dreams of one day finding her fairy-tale love. When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side. The boy of Maggie's dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare.

Review: Piper is a graphic retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin fairy tale. The authors attempt to fill in some of the unanswered questions about the fairy tale such as where did the Piped Piper come from and how did he learn how to use music to control people and animals. The graphic novel centers around Maggie, a deaf teen who feels isolated and bullied in Hamelin. She speaks and reads lips to communicate and finds comfort in telling stories to her loving guardian, Agathe, based on the cruelty she receives from the townspeople and dreaming of romance. Hameln has a bigger problem: it is overrun with rats that destroy the village’s resources and rapidly spread disease. Piper stays pretty true to the original story, adding a few changes such as a budding romance between Maggie and Piper, which ends tragically but did not make feel anything. There is a twist on the familiar ending which is just as horrifying as the old one.
   While the art is nicely done, it did not represent Maggie's disability consistently. There are multiple panels in which a character is not in Maggie’s sight lines but Maggie responds as if she has read their lips. The text is also problematic with this representation too where only one or two words are misspoken by Maggie. While there is an attempt to answer unsolved questions about the mysterious Pied Piper, I felt disconnected to the cast characters and did not learn anything new with this fairy tale retelling. I think this story would have been more suitable to a short story instead of a graphic novel.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Breath by Donna Jo Napoli, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
2 Responses
  1. This sounds interesting, because there really is little info on the infamous Pied Piper. It is too bad that it wasn’t executed better.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    Too bad this didn't have enough consistency, which is just kind of weird right? Oh well. Glad it was a still read despite that though!

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