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Mercury

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  2,799 ratings  ·  363 reviews
August 31, 5:15 PM, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Tara is running. She runs through her nice neighborhood and up a road to the burned ruins of what was once a beautiful house--her family's house.

August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 5th 2010)
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Best Graphic Novels for Middle School
14th out of 100 books — 120 voters
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YA Novels of 2010
356th out of 622 books — 2,680 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ken-ichi
Have to admit I was underwhelmed. This book and its author pop up a lot in discussions of comics' current crop of bright lights, so perhaps my expectations were set a bit high. Given the big-eyed, effeminate look of every character and the parallel time periods / magical realist storyline, this read a bit like a high schooler's mashup of shojo manga and A.S. Byatt. Sadly, like many American high schoolers' attempts at manga, I found Larson's faces to be mostly inexpressive, and, like my least fa ...more
Monica!
I picked up a copy of Larson’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time last week, but could not actually… open it. I froze, book in hand. I’m sure it’s a brilliant version, but I love the original with the fire of a thousand suns and became panicked that the graphic novel might somehow sully that.

BUT! Then I felt bad for poor Hope Larson. It’s not her fault that I was all freaked out by her very nice looking novel. So I put Mercury on hold instead! It’s not an adaptation of a childhood favorite, so I’m
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Jan
Although I am a fan of Hope Larson, I was a bit disappointed by Mercury. The story, which travels back and forth between 1859 and 2009, links two teenage girls who have both grown up in the same house in French Hill, Nova Scotia. In the present day, Tara Fraser is now living with an aunt, as her childhood home, which has been in the Fraser family for generations, has burned down. Tara’s mother is in northern Alberta, trying to earn enough money to reunite with Tara. Tara is trying to cope with a ...more
Amy
I didn't really know what to expect from this graphic novel. It was an okay read but I don't think I'll be picking it up again!

- This is a graphic novel following the story of two young women, one living in the present day (Tara) and one living in 1859 (Josey). We see how the story of Josey and the events in 1859 effect the life of Tara living in the present. Josey lives on a farm with her family, they are struggling for money but one day a handsome young man named Asa arrives and claims to be a
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Rebecca
When I was recently at the bookstore I was drawn to the cover. Then I read the back and was intrigued. After opening the cover and realizing this was a graphic novel, I was totally sold!

Let me start out by talking about the amazing artwork that told the story. From start to finish these black and whites are wonderfully detailed. I loved Larson’s ability to capture the character's emotions in her work.

Mercury is the story of two teenage girls from the same family that just happen to live 150 year
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Janessa
Graphic novels intimidate me. In the same way I’m intimidated my new technology. Or teenagers, even. They seem elusive, somehow. Difficult to capture. I can try to understand them, but I end up feeling like I’ve missed something.

I think one reason for this is that where a traditional novel develops plot and character through words, graphic novels do this through images. And a picture truly is worth a thousand words here. A lot depends on a single frame. You have to pay attention, and you also ha
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Anthony
“Mercury” is, for me, the embodiment of a great graphic novel. Larson tells a strong story that is realistic with just a hint of magic. And her illustrations show so well just what can be done in simple black and white.

Hope Larson takes us to a place that most of us have never been, or even thought of going, and she takes us to a time and event that we didn’t even know happened. I had no idea that there was a Nova Scotia gold rush, but there was one in the 1860’s and beyond. In truth there is st
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BookCupid
A magic pendant -- wish I had one of those.

Tara Fraser's home went up in flames. Since then her mom left town to find work and Tara's staying with some relatives. Trying to cheer her up, they give her a pendant (yup, the magical one) that used to belong to her mother. Every time Tara wears it, she is guided to her heart's desire. There is a dual story in the book meant to explain how the pendant came along. Although, both stories are sweet and relate to teenage love, I was expecting a more trag
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This odd graphic novel tells the parallel stories of two Nova Scotia girls, one in 1859 and one today. I knew as I read that the stories of these two would come together at the end, but when they did, I'm sorry, but I didn't get it. Maybe it's me, but I just found the graphics hard to interpret at times. For instance, I had trouble keeping the characters straight, because in some cases two characters tended to look alike, and I had to figure out from context who was who. Color illustrations rath ...more
Brennon Baker
this is a really good graphic novel. its about a girl and her house burns down and shes living with someone else. her mom is trying to get there life back together but she works to much. then on the other hand, the story of how the way things started on there farm is told. its almost two stories mixed, but there is a connection with the two
Melki
The storyline in this book plops back and forth between 2009 and 1859. Both tales are set in rural Nova Scotia and involve teenaged girls.

The 1859 tale about a farm family who falls under the spell of an enigmatic drifter was rather enchanting, which made it all the more annoying to be yanked out of that world, and thrust into the modern day story which involved a magical necklace that can locate solid gold AND...car keys. Really? Yeah. Really.
Tessa
Usually I complain about too much explication but I wanted a little more in this story. I cannot be pleased. Actually, I think I just wanted more of Hope Larson's wonderful artwork and more of the present-day storyline. The whole plot's denouement was a little blurry for me. I got what was going on, but couldn't suss out the details if anyone asked me how it would have really worked out. But, basically, I am a huge fan of Hope Larson and I want more.
Li
I feel like I don't get this book.

We have Tara living in modern day Nova Scotia and Josey living in the olden days of Nova Scotia on the same land.
Their stories intertwine and a mystical necklace ties them together.
Other than that, I don't know what to tell you.
Tara lost everything in a fire and her mom is MIA because she's working far away. Why the fire caused mom to bounce? Never explained.
Tara likes Ben who looks a lot like her. Does anything happen there? Can't tell you.
Animosity with some
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Tasha
A fascinating combination of history and fantasy, this graphic novel tells two parallel stories, both set in Nova Scotia. Different generations of the same family, one modern and one from 1859, are played against one another. Tara is the modern girl who is dealing with her family home burning to the ground. Her mother has had to leave and find work elsewhere while Tara stays with a friend. Tara has been homeschooled the last two years, and is returning to the school district that she used to att ...more
Emmy
This book really did nothing for me. I could barely get through it. Besides the fact that the plot moved like something written by a 12 year old, there were so many things wrong with this book. The story really made no sense; I had trouble discerning a real storyline, and even what storyline there is contains a weak and barely worthwhile plot. I mean seriously: A mary-sue faux lesbian (apparently just a tomboy) transfers to a school where everyone confuses her for a Chinese classmate? and even w ...more
Anastasia (Here There Be Books)
-- This review was originally posted at Here There Be Books on December 9, 2013. --

Okay, so, I like the art and everything and the story is fascinating in a spooky, almost time-travel kind of way. But it's also super boring, and I don't know if that's because I rushed too quickly through it or if it's a fault inherent in the book itself.

Here's my problem: it's a story about two different people in two different time periods, one in the past and one in the present. The present person is thinking
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Miaree
Rating: 4 out of 5
Overall, this is an entertaining and quick read. I found this was a really good graphic novel for me. I have not read that many, but this one had a great storyline and not just a lot of action or cool illustrations. What is also great about the graphic novel form is that you don't have to work an aside into the narrative or dialogue. An aside can be there without interrupting the flow of the story. The illustrations of this story are pretty basic, but the points come across mos
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Are you looking for a graphic novel to try for the first time? Or you are already a fan of the genre? In either case, look no further than Hope Larson's MERCURY.

MERCURY is a story told in two voices: Josephine and Tara. Separated by over 100 years, the two girls are connected far more than Tara could imagine.

The story starts in the present. Tara is currently living with her aunt and cousin because the old farmhouse she had lived in with her mother has burne
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jess
This is the best that Hope Larson has ever been.

The story: Josephine and Tara are two girls separated by a couple hundred years. They live in the same house, Josephine in the late 1800s and Tara in modern day Nova Scotia. They share genes, a necklace, and the sort of eternal angst of crushing on boys, being a teenager, and conflicting with your folks. The two girls look almost identical, except Tara has cut her hair short. Their stories run in tandem in the novel, interspersed pages differentia
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Christina
Two stories intertwine in this graphic novel: one, set in 1859, follows a young woman named Josey who is intrigued by a young man, Asa, who appears out of nowhere to help her father by finding in his previously unsuccessful mine. The other story is set in modern day, but in the same small Nova Scotia town as the mining story, where Tara is living with her aunt and cousin after her house burned down. Tara is negotiating high school, encountering a cute guy there, and then she finds a mysterious p ...more
Sarah Sammis
Mercury is Hope Larson's second graphic novel to make it to the Cybils' short list. It's two parallel stories that take place at the same home but centuries apart. The setting is French Hill, Nova Scotia, modern day and 1859.

In the present, Tara is running to the charred remains of her ancestral home. She and her mother lost everything and now her mother is miles away trying to scrape together enough money to provide her herself and her daughter.

In 1859 a grifter comes to the family home and wit
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Sian Lile-Pastore
Enjoyed this quirky little story which is set in Nova Scotia, partly in 2009 and partly in 1859. The stories are slightly linked but in quite a subtle way and the ending feels quite open and unresolved in some way - like the reader has just experienced a little slice of someones life - which I liked a lot.

love the illustrations too.
Nichole
Manga/Graphic Novel
Hope Larson’s Mercury is an Eisner Award winner, which is the highest award any graphic novel can receive. It weaves two stories, one from the current modern day and the life of Tara and her daily life of high school, boys, friends, and living with her cousin while her mother works in rural Canada, and that of a distant relative, Josey and her life of a more simple time. Josey meets Asa when he is passing through town and decides to settle down and help Josey’s father search f
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Lauren
A solid 3.5 stars. Loved the artwork but found the storyline tenuous. I appreciated what Larson was going for with the two storylines set in two different centuries, but I found myself much more interested in the modern characters of Tara and her friends and family and only mildly interested in the historical characters. Perhaps I missed some references, but I didn't really "get" the supernatural elements in this book (ghost funeral, crow with a man's head) but in the end, I just went with the f ...more
Shazza Maddog
A tale of two girls, family separated by approximately 150 years, Mercury tells of Josey Fraser, and her current-time kin, Tara Fraser. The setting is Nova Scotia, though that really doesn't come much into play; the author could've said this story took place in Southern Georgia, and it probably would've made no difference to the storyline.

Josey's family has a farm, and, while her mother is off visiting (remember, this would be an undertaking of some weeks back in that time period), a strange ma
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Millenia

MERCURY is a fairly good graphic novel. The individual stories are bland: the historical one is a run-of-the-mill tale of forbidden romance, bad omens, and tragedy, and it falls completely flat; the second, by far the stronger, is a sweet slice-of-life story about mother-daughter relationships and highschool friendships, but is still fairly typical and forgettable.

However, in combination, the two work really well. There is a great degree of parallelism, with similar characters and plot points i
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Jesse
I love Hope Larson's artwork and Mercury is no exception. While I feel like I have no idea how the two stories really fit together, it was still fun to read.
branewurms
I feel like I missed something? Idk, I just expected the two narrative threads to tie together in a more profound way? Maybe I did miss something.

Also, everybody was so bizarrely casual about the creepy crows and the talking crow with a face and the PIT OF SNAKES?! Again, maybe... I missed something...
Kelly
I liked how the history and the present linked so well. I could have enjoyed a little more story, really. I didn't connect too well to the characters, particularly Tara. Entire review is here: http://stackedbooks.blogspot.com/2010...
Tommy Hancock
A cool premise, some good artwork, and a mostly enjoyable read. I honestly didn't feel like it really went anywhere, though. And the character Josey was a bit... meh.

I'll give more Hope Larson books a look, but this one wasn't really my jam.
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Hope Larson is an American illustrator and comics artist. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
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