Monday, January 26, 2015

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

My favorite graphic novels tend to be autobiographical. Two excellent ones from the past year are El Deafo and March Book One. Persepolis, written in 2003, is the story of a girl exactly my age growing up in Iran. Up until age 10 she enjoyed much freedom. But after the "Islamic Revolution" her co-ed secular school is closed and she must wear a veil and attend an all-girls school. Marjane is a rebel, though, and this book chronicles the next few years in which she refuses to be silenced. Readers may need to refresh themselves on some Iranian history as she lives through political turmoil and the war with Iraq. In some ways it is a difficult, disturbing story complete that includes torture and war, but at its heart it is a coming of age story of a girl trying to be herself in the midst of a repressive regime. Recommended for readers interested in history, human rights, and knowing more about the world. (High school and up.)

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