Elizabeth Phelps's Reviews > Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
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's review
Oct 08, 2011

really liked it

This is a great text to start with if you're just getting introduced to the genre of graphic novel (though technically this is a graphic memoir). The illustrations are entirely black and white, and it is interesting to examine the ways that the graphics add to the story. The comic-book-look shouldn't suggest that this is light material, though. This is a serious memoir about a young girl coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

I would give it to high school students to read (though I think they might need some background information on the historical setting), but it is important to understand that reading graphic novels/memoirs requires a unique literacy--teachers may think they are being cool and hip and meeting kids "on their level" by handing them a graphic novel, but it could backfire and simply frustrate struggling readers even more. Don't take for granted that kids understand that the straight boxes across the top are the main story line and can differentiate between "thought bubbles" and "dialogue bubbles," and understand the order in which all of these need to be read for each graphic box. Overall, a good book and certainly appropriate for students.

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