Saturday, August 09, 2008

PERSEPOLIS: The Story of a Childhood

Author: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: YA NF Graphic Novel
Published: 2003
Personal Rating: 4.25/5
Yearly Count: 105

In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi begins her story at the age of 10 and ends at the age of 14. She depicts the torment to her family and country through graphics by showing us the overthrowing of the Shah's regime, the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq. The graphic format clearly portrays the horrors of war, while at the same time educates its readers on the history of Iran. Marjane's preadolescent age contributes to this understanding by adding the innocence and intelligence of a child.

As this book settles in my mind, I'm "liking" it more and more. I felt a little out of sorts in the very beginning (looking back at it now - I have no clue why), but as it progressed I became immersed in Marjane's world. In the end, I have discovered that I learned a great deal from this story and look forward to Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.


  1. Anonymous4:57 PM

    I enjoyed this, too, and the sequel is just as well done. I'm really digging the whole graphic novel thing!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a student from Iran this year who didn't speak a lot of English (none in September, and he was put in grade 11 physics!)
    After I read it I showed it to him but I'm not sure if he read it.

  3. This was my first ever graphic novel and I was so surprised by how much I was moved by the illustrations.

  4. Anonymous6:30 AM

    This is a fantastic story that everyone should read. It annoys me when some people won't try it as it is agraphic novel, like it is somehow less than a regular novel. I hope you enjoy the second part as much though I am not sure I would class it as YA.

  5. Carrie ~ Every time I read a graphic novel, I'm surprised at my delight. What a fun way to learn and experience a story!

    Raidergirl3 ~ The value of education is viewed differently in other counties (some worse/some better). There are too many other distractions here that deter children - beginning with parents' attitudes. Michigan has increased its graduation requirements - I'm thankful; however, the kids still have to perform.

    Marg ~ I know! You just don't think you can get so immersed, do you?

    Rhinoa ~ I have learned a lot through this medium - it has been terrific. Persepolis is classified as a YA in all my neighboring libraries.

  6. I was surprised by how much I could be moved by a graphic novel, the second is an interesting read too

  7. I keep seeing this everywhere, so I think I'm going to make this one my first graphic novel. If I can just get my lazy butt to the library to check it out. :) I like books that have me thinking about them still after I've shut the cover.

  8. Katrina ~ I think I'll read the Persepolis 2 in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to it.

    Trish ~ I think I have thoroughly enjoyed every graphic novel I have read thus far, except one. It's kind of weird at first, but they have the same potential to pull you in just like any other book. Also, they tend to be very fast reads, but you get a lot out of them. Can't wait to read your reaction.

  9. I've heard such raves about graphic novels and to be honest I've never even looked at one. From what I have in my head it seems like the pictures might be a distractor of the story--although I know the illustrations are an integral part of a graphic novel (big Duh!). OR, my other preconceived notion is that the writing won't be quite as rich. From what I've read in people's reviews, I know this can't be true. I think I might be hitting the bookstore with my sister later today so I'll have to check a few out and see. [yikes, I guess I'm one of those people who really annoys Rhinoa--sorry Rhinoa--I'm gonna get over it!! Promise.]

  10. I requested this movie from my local library, not realizing it was based on a graphic novel. I'll have to check this one out.

  11. I hadn't heard of this book before, but it looks very interesting. I will have to check it out.

  12. Having read Maus, I had a feeling I would like Persepolis and I was not disappointed - except by the fact that I didn't realize when I bought it that there was a sequel. Had I known that, I would have bought it at the same time!

    Have you read Maus?

  13. Trish ~ The cartoonish illustrations and the bare minimum amount of words are meant to enhance each other - and they do! So what you have in your mind's eye is accurate, but blending the two makes for a uniquely, wonderful experience. I was skeptical at first, but now I am 100% sold on graphic novels. Just like with other genres, I'm sure there are numerous graphic novels that I wouldn't want to read, but the ones I had read have been great.

  14. I picked up the complete Persepolis yesterday--so I'll let you know how it goes. :) I read the first chapter or so in the store while waiting on my sister and so far so good. Probably won't get to it for a few weeks, though. I am intrigued, though!

  15. Charley ~ I want to see the movie, too. Let me know what you think of it. :)

    Erin ~ Don't forget about Persepolis 2. You may want to get the collection book that contains both.

    Almost American ~ Yep, I read Maus. While I *enjoyed* Maus 1, I thought Maus 2 was superb.


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