Danni is twelve when her faithful companion Pirate the dog dies. While trying to work through her grief, a substitute teacher named Miss Pallas introduces the class to mythology. Since there weren’t enough copies of the textbook for everyone in class, Miss Pallas gives her personal copy to Danni to use. Reading the book of mythology helps Danni start to recover gradually. However, when they read the section about Hades, one of the illustrations looks familiar. Danni is sure the entrance to Hades is a cave she used to visit with her family when she was younger.
Danni decides to leave immediately, in the middle of the night, to find Hades and bring back Pirate. If Orpheus could do it, so can she. Unfortunately, her younger brother, Sammy, follows her and they tumble into Hades together. Upon meeting Cerberus, Danni learns she is on an official quest from a god or goddess and that she can’t go home to drop her little brother off and then come back to continue. After choosing a hero to protect them, Danni faces several obstacles on her quest to find her faithful companion and bring him home.
This is an interesting introduction to myths for young readers set in a contemporary setting before entering the world of mythology and quests. I was reminded of the Percy Jackson series, if the main characters were aged down a few years in strength, wisdom, and priorities. The pacing is just right for younger readers ,as well, and there aren’t as many words per page as other comics meant for upper middle grade audiences. My favorite aspect of this retelling is using Danni’s knowledge of the world as a clever way to progress the plot instead of a detriment to her success. I am interested to see where the story goes in the next volume. I recommend this series for any public or classroom library that has middle grade readers looking for adventure, retellings, or help dealing with grief.
Fetch, book 1: The Journey
By Mike Sizemore
Art by Dave Kennedy
Storm King Productions, 2023
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)