Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis: the story of a childhood. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN-13: 978-0375422300
Annotation: In Satrapi’s graphic novelization of her childhood in Iran, she depicts the horrors and hardships experienced on a daily basis by citizens who just want a better life for themselves.
Reaction: This book deals with recent history from a part of the world about which I feel most American teenagers aren’t taught. I know I learned a lot about Iran and the tensions in that country. Satrapi uses black and white cartoon-ish drawings to illustrate her story, giving the reader some space from the true awfulness of growing up in a country ruled by such an oppressive government, while at the same time highlighting the hardships through the juxtaposition of the cartoony drawings with the depictions of protesters being held prisoner and executed by the government. This book would be a great tool in classrooms as part of a world history section focusing on the Middle East, and the easy to read format will inspire classroom discussions on the situations described. I believe teachers could utilize this book in classrooms of all ages, though grades 8 and up might benefit from it the most, as they should be able to grasp some of the political issues that 5th-7th graders may not comprehend.
This book has also been made into a French animated film that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 for best animated feature (IMDB.com).
This book is on the 2011 Students’ List for “Books receiving votes for Top Ten Favorites from students in Summer 2011.”
IMDB.com, Inc. (2012). Awards for Persepolis (2007). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808417/awards