Persepolis

Sartrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. NY: Pantheon.

This is the story of the author and artist, Marjane Satrapi, growing up in Iran during the fall of the Shah and the Islamic Revolution. Marjane and her family are not supporters of the Western backed Shah, they even cheer as he flees and is removed from power. They are not religious fanatics either, so once the Shah absconds to Egypt, and an Islamic regime is established, Marjane’s family finds themselves in what takes shape as an unfamiliar country. The climate gets so unpredictable and dangerous that Marjane’s parents come to the decision that the best thing for their daughter would be to leave Tehran so that she can study in Vienna. The art is fantastic, and it really works to convey the important sense of innocence in a troubling time; it makes the story both endearing and heartbreaking. The use of the black and white panels enhances the focus on the story itself. You could easily go through this book without looking at any of the captions or dialogue and know the story from Satrapi’s illustrations alone; that is the sign of an excellent comic. This is a great graphic novel, well worth the read for anybody. It is a wonderful childhood memoir that uses the graphic medium to tell an unforgettable story. I would recommend this book to kids in grades 5th and up.

Extras:

Book summary

Interview with author re: movie based on book

Teacher resources

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