I’m a teacher, and The Time Traveler’s Wife experienced something of a resurgence in my classroom this year. Many seniors discovered it for the first time and, like me, now claim it among their favorite books. Their enthusiasm renewed my interest in Niffenegger, and so I sought any work I could find at my local library.
Hence, Raven Girl.
Written and illustrated by the talented Niffenegger, she claims this seventy-seven page book is a modern day fairy tale written in conjunction with a ballet.
It is the story of a postman who falls in love with a raven after bringing it home and caring for it. They have a child, a human girl with the heart and soul of a raven. She wants to be true to herself, and when an ingenious doctor comes into her life, her greatest wish may just be possible.
Like all fairy tales, and literature, Raven Girl is open to interpretation. This story could be analyzed as a work encouraging tolerance, self-discovery, and even medical advancements. There is a villain, of sorts, but like all good villains his intentions are seemingly honorable. It’s even conceivable that he’s no villain at all, merely misguided.
Niffenegger’s artwork is unique and particular to to her style. Her illustrations fit the tone. They are both unsettling and warm.
I absolutely recommend Raven Girl. It can be read in a single sitting, and it’s thought-provoking plot line is full of potential analysis.