Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. New York: Pantheon, 2003.
Marjane’s world is turned upside down when fundamentalist rebels overthrow the Shah of Iran. The graphic novel traces the ups and downs of an average teenage girl who is into rock music and playing with her friends set against the backdrop of revolution and an increasingly frightening totalitarian regime. At first everything is new and exciting and Marjane and her parents are excited about the changes in their country. But as more and more restrictions confine them, regulations about the wearing of veils for women and bans on western style music, they begin to grow worried about their future and their country. Marjane is at first impressed and excited about stories from her uncle Anoosh of how he survived torture and later becomes totally devastated when she discovers that he has been executed by the state.
Persepolis is the story of an ordinary girl growing up in extraordinary times. Perspolis is an autobiographical graphic novel. The artwork is stark and simple but startlingly effective. Some images of torture may be inappropriate for younger readers, but the story would form an excellent complement to any history or social studies lesson plan that covered Middle Eastern history.
– Source for choosing this book: Booklist Editors’ Choice : Booklist
– Grades 7-12
– Related Book: January, Brendan. The Iranian Revolution. New York: Lerner/Twenty-First Century, 2008. Found in Booklist. Both books chronicle the Islamic Revolution in Iran and how “the revolution rid the country of an autocratic, corrupt ruler only to replace it with an equally oppressive regime.”