Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

51maszxex8l-_sx317_bo1204203200_Information: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi was published in 2000 by Pantheon. ISBN: 037571457X

Plot Summary: In this graphic novel, Marjane tells her own story of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. She begins with her own childhood dreams of becoming a prophet. Marjane’s family are of distant Iranian Azeri ancestry and are descendants of Nasser al-Din Shah, so her dreams of being a prophet were inlined with her family history. But as the Islamic Revolution continued and the war between Iran and Iraq began, many homes and lives were destroyed. Marjane’s graphic novel follows her move to Austria and the difficult transition she had to make there.

Critical Evaluation: This strictly black and white graphic novel is rich with the history and political nature of Iran. Marjane gives the world a first hand account of how living during some of the most drastic changes in a country can shape someone’s childhood. Her graphic novel gives hope, but also an intimate understanding of Iran that cannot be gained anywhere else.

Reader’s Annotation: Persepolis is Marjane’s graphic novel of how she survived the turbulent Islamic Revolution in Iran. By describing her childhood, Marjane also reveals much about the rich history of Iran.

Author’s Information: Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, animated film director, and children’s book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq War. She experienced an Iraqi air raid and Scud missile attacks on Tehran. According to Persepolis, one Scud hit the house next to hers, killing her friend and entire family.

Satrapi’s family are of distant Iranian Azeri ancestry and are descendants of Nasser al-Din Shah, Shah of Persia from 1848 until 1896. Satrapi said that “But you have to know the kings of the Qajar dynasty, they had hundreds of wives. They made thousands of kids. If you multiply these kids by generation you have, I don’t know, 10-15,000 princes [and princesses]. There’s nothing extremely special about that.” She added that due to this detail, most Iranian families would be, in the words of Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian, “blue blooded.”

In 1983, at the age of 14 Satrapi was sent to Vienna, Austria by her parents in order to flee the Iranian regime. There she attended the Lycée Français de Vienne. According to her autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, she stayed in Vienna through her high school years, staying in friends’ homes, but spent three months living on the streets. After an almost deadly bout of pneumonia, she returned to Iran. She studied Visual Communication, eventually obtaining a Master’s Degree from Islamic Azad University in Tehran.

During this time, Satrapi went to numerous illegal parties hosted by her friends, where she met a man named Reza, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War. She married him at the age of 21, but divorced roughly three years later. Satrapi then moved to Strasbourg, France (Goodreads).

Genre: Nonfiction, Graphic Novel, Autobiography

Curriculum Ties: (Florida State Curriculum Standards): Understanding Key Literary Ideas

Book Talk Ideas:

  • At one point, Marjane’s own street is bombed. Have you ever come home to a major crisis or disaster like she did? How did it change you? 
  • Even when she is very young, Marjane is outspoken at all times. How does this help her and hurt her in the new Iran? What decision does it lead her parents to make?

Reading Level/ Age Interest: Grades 9-12 and Ages 15-18

Challenge Issues: Violence, Language

Challenge Defense File:

Selection Policy

The System will select and maintain a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, audio visual and electronically accessed materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Sarasota County. The System will strive to offer wide ranging collections that meet the various ages, interests, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds of all members of the community and will provide collections through which an individual may explore all points of view and issues of interest. In making selections, the library staff will do so based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. Furthermore, staff will be responsive to public demand for materials of contemporary significance and interest, while balancing this with the need to collect and preserve materials of permanent value. While library staff makes material selections based upon the tenet of one system, one collection, selectors recognize the distinct characteristics and needs of the populace that each library services. Community profiles are used to guide selectors in efforts to develop special collections and to meet the unique patron needs within each library.

The ultimate responsibility for selection materials rests with the General Manager of Libraries and the Management Team, who in turn delegates selection responsibilities to the Collection Development Librarians (Sarasota County Policy).  

Rationale

Satrapi, M. (2000). Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. New York, New York: Pantheon. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood reveals the personal impact of the Islamic Revolution and Iran-Iraq war. The graphic novel shows the real devastation war can have on children and how it forces them to grow up early. But it also shows where there is perseverance, there is a way to survive.

Other recommendations like this book include: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey by G.B. Tran, and Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned by Judd Winick.

Active Listening Skills

  • Remain calm
  • Listen thoughtfully and carefully to any arguments for the collection
  • Engage in a discussion that considers every concern, even if you do not agree

Awards

  • Harvey Awards for Best US Edition of Foreign Material (2004)
  • ALA Alex Award (2004)

Reconsideration Form

Reviews

  • Reviews by Young Adults: N/A

Selection Tools:

Why I chose this book: I chose this book because of its profound and firsthand view on the history of Iran. So often views of other countries are clouded by false media stories and agendas.

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My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

9781419702167_s3Information: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf was published in 2012 by Harry N. Abrams. ISBN: 1419702173

Plot Summary: My Friend Dahmer is a graphic novel that tells the high school life of Jeffrey Dahmer before he became a serial killer, from the point of view of someone who went to school with him. Derf recalls his few memories of Dahmer and what he learned of him after high school to piece together how someone he knew could have become a serial killer. Derf describes memories of family, friends, teachers, and the townspeople he remembers having contact with Dahmer. He examines how he was treated and how Dahmer treated others, trying to figure out if there were really any warning signs for Dahmer’s future behavior.

Critical Evaluation: My Friend Dahmer is a black and white graphic novel that visualizes the few memories Derf had with Jeffrey Dahmer. Surprisingly, the dark cartoon like picture help ease the harsh topic, but does not take away from the seriousness of the subject. Instead Derf explores the psychological aspects of what makes kids become the adults that they are.

Reader’s Annotation: My Friend Dahmer is a graphic novel where Derf recalls his few memories with Jeffrey Dahmer, trying to piece together how someone could become a serial killer.

Author’s Information: The writer-artist, who works out of an unheated, attic studio in his Cleveland home, grew up in a rural, small town in Ohio, an experience that was the inspiration for his graphic novels TRASHED, PUNK ROCK & TRAILER PARKS and the international bestseller, MY FRIEND DAHMER.

An art school dropout, Derf worked on a garbage truck before deciding to give cartooning a try. He attended Ohio State University on a journalism scholarship, where he drew political cartoons for the school paper for three years and caused such controversy school officials put a 1-year limit on all future cartoonists. After graduation, he landed a similar position on a paper in South Florida but was fired after two years for, as the editor put it, “general tastelessness.” He moved to Cleveland and THE CITY comic strip debuted in the now-defunct Cleveland Edition in 1990. A year later, he began selling it to other alternative papers. The strip appeared in over 140 publications during it’s 20-plus years, including The Village Voice, Chicago Reader and The Los Angeles Reader. THE CITY was retired in 2013 so Derf could concentrate on books (About Derf).

Genre: Nonfiction, Graphic Novel

Curriculum Ties: (Florida State Curriculum Standards): Understanding Key Literary Ideas

Book Talk Ideas:

  • Derf wonders if there was anything he could have done to help Dahmer. Was there? Or was Dahmer’s fate unpreventable?
  • Was there anyone responsible for Dahmer’s outcome? Or is everyone just responsible for themselves?

Reading Level/ Age Interest: Grades 9-12 and Ages 15-18

Challenge Issues: Violence, Language, Homosexuality

Challenge Defense File:

Selection Policy

The System will select and maintain a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, audio visual and electronically accessed materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Sarasota County. The System will strive to offer wide ranging collections that meet the various ages, interests, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds of all members of the community and will provide collections through which an individual may explore all points of view and issues of interest. In making selections, the library staff will do so based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. Furthermore, staff will be responsive to public demand for materials of contemporary significance and interest, while balancing this with the need to collect and preserve materials of permanent value. While library staff makes material selections based upon the tenet of one system, one collection, selectors recognize the distinct characteristics and needs of the populace that each library services. Community profiles are used to guide selectors in efforts to develop special collections and to meet the unique patron needs within each library.

The ultimate responsibility for selection materials rests with the General Manager of Libraries and the Management Team, who in turn delegates selection responsibilities to the Collection Development Librarians (Sarasota County Policy).  

Rationale

Backderf, D. (2012). My Friend Dahmer. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams. This book is part of the collection for its discussion on bullying and isolation of high school students. It is a valuable lesson to learn that not everything is a joke and that everyone deserves to have help when needed.

Other recommendations like this book include: The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, and Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap

Active Listening Skills

  • Remain calm
  • Listen thoughtfully and carefully to any arguments for the collection
  • Engage in a discussion that considers every concern, even if you do not agree

Awards

  • 2013 ALA/YALSA Alex Award
  • 2014 Revelation Award at Angoulême
  • 2015 ALA/YALSA Alex Award (Excellence in Narrative Nonfiction)

Reconsideration Form

Reviews

  • Reviews by Young Adults: N/A

Selection Tools:

Why I chose this book:

I chose this book for the unique way it delivers its message as a graphic novel. I think a lot of people go through traumatic things through high school and need ways of working out the memories as an adult. My Friend Dahmer is one of the best examples of how this can be done in a healthy and creative way.

He Named Me Malala


Information
: He Named Me Malala is a dvd documentary that came out in 2015 from director Davis Guggenheim. It was based on the autobiography of Malala Yousafzsai, I Am Malala.

Plot Summary: He Named Me Malala is thhe-named-me-malala_1444151780e documentary on how Malala Yousafzsai was raised in Pakistan, during a turbulent time of harsh laws against women and terrorism. When Malala was just a child, all the women of her country were told they were not allowed to go to school or even learn to read. But, as an educator, Malala’s father instilled in her the importance of reading and an education. Malala and several other girls were attacked while riding a bus to school. Malala survived a gunshot to the head. Now has been forbidden to return to her home country, but none of the threats have stopped her as she continues to speak out for girls right to education.

Critical Evaluation: He Named Me Malala is a beautiful documentary that allows viewers to visually see her childhood challenges and dreams. It is easy to see what inspires Malala and her family to continue their fight for their home country and for all girls around the world to get the education they deserve. With a mixture of animation, interviews, and film, He Named Me Malala is a powerful reminder of the devastation other countries go through to just get their basic needs met.

Reader’s Annotation: After being told she could no longer attend school, Malala took a stand against a violent group trying to tear apart her country. After being shot on her school bus, the documentary shows how Malala continues to stand up for girls’ right to an education.

Author’s Information: Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan. She is a human rights activist who advocates for the rights of women and girls and worldwide access to education. She survived an assassination attempt in 2012 and continued her activism. She is the co-founder of the Malala Fund, an organization to empower girls through education in developing countries. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 (IMDB).

Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Documentary

Curriculum Ties: (Florida State Curriculum Standards): Understanding Key Literary Ideas

Book Talk Ideas:

  • In what other ways has Malala impacted the world besides education for young girls?
  • What important role did both of Malala’s parents play in her life?

Reading Level/ Age Interest: Grades 9-12 and Ages 15-18

Challenge Issues: Violence

Challenge Defense File:

Selection Policy

The System will select and maintain a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, audio visual and electronically accessed materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Sarasota County. The System will strive to offer wide ranging collections that meet the various ages, interests, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds of all members of the community and will provide collections through which an individual may explore all points of view and issues of interest. In making selections, the library staff will do so based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. Furthermore, staff will be responsive to public demand for materials of contemporary significance and interest, while balancing this with the need to collect and preserve materials of permanent value. While library staff makes material selections based upon the tenet of one system, one collection, selectors recognize the distinct characteristics and needs of the populace that each library services. Community profiles are used to guide selectors in efforts to develop special collections and to meet the unique patron needs within each library.

The ultimate responsibility for selection materials rests with the General Manager of Libraries and the Management Team, who in turn delegates selection responsibilities to the Collection Development Librarians (Sarasota County Policy).  

Rationale

This documentary is part of the collection because of its profound look at the way the world sees education for young girls and how Malala is a representative of that change. Education is essential to every child’s growth and this film proves that.

Other recommendations like this material include: Every Last Child (2014), Waiting for Superman (2010), and The Hunting Ground (2015).

Active Listening Skills

  • Remain calm
  • Listen thoughtfully and carefully to any arguments for the collection
  • Engage in a discussion that considers every concern, even if you do not agree

Awards

  • Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation (Emmys 2016)
  • Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming Nominee (Emmys 2016)
  • Outstanding Production Design for Variety, Nonfiction, Event or Award Special Nominee (Emmys 2016)

Reconsideration Form

Reviews

Selection Tools:

Why I chose this material: I chose this documentary for its powerful view of education and how it is not to be taken for granted. The film shows what it’s like for girls in Pakistan, who want an education, and how every child around the world deserves one.

Easy A

onesheetInformation: Easy A was a movie released in 2010 by Sony Pictures and director Will Gluck.

Plot Summary: After spending a boring weekend at home, Olive decides to tell her friend a wild and untrue story about how she lost her virginity. After her story is overheard and spread throughout the school, Olive gains a reputation as someone who will just sleep with anyone. Olive doesn’t see the harm in letting a few guys agree that they slept with her, just so they can gain some popularity. But soon, rumors about Olive’s life are out of control and making a real impact on her social life. Olive has to decide if this new life is worth it or if her boring old life is enough.

Critical Evaluation: Easy A is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It centers around the importance of a reputation and how a damaging a lie can be, even with the best intentions. Easy A is a satire full of comedy and laughs with such a heavy subject.

Reader’s Annotation: After wild rumors about Olive’s life escalade, she has to decide how she is going to get her old life back, or if she even wants it.

Author’s Information: N/A

Genre: Comedy, Young Adult Fiction

Curriculum Ties: (Florida State Curriculum Standards): N/A

Book Talk Ideas: N/A

Reading Level/ Age Interest: Grades 9-12 and Ages 15-18

Challenge Issues: Sexual References, Language, Crude Humor

Challenge Defense File:

Selection Policy

The System will select and maintain a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, audio visual and electronically accessed materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Sarasota County. The System will strive to offer wide ranging collections that meet the various ages, interests, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds of all members of the community and will provide collections through which an individual may explore all points of view and issues of interest. In making selections, the library staff will do so based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. Furthermore, staff will be responsive to public demand for materials of contemporary significance and interest, while balancing this with the need to collect and preserve materials of permanent value. While library staff makes material selections based upon the tenet of one system, one collection, selectors recognize the distinct characteristics and needs of the populace that each library services. Community profiles are used to guide selectors in efforts to develop special collections and to meet the unique patron needs within each library.

The ultimate responsibility for selection materials rests with the General Manager of Libraries and the Management Team, who in turn delegates selection responsibilities to the Collection Development Librarians (Sarasota County Policy).  

Rationale

This is part of the collection because it is a contemporary view of how rumors and lies can impact the lives of teens.

Other recommendations like this include: John Tucker Must Die, She’s the Man, and 17 Again

Active Listening Skills

  • Remain calm
  • Listen thoughtfully and carefully to any arguments for the collection
  • Engage in a discussion that considers every concern, even if you do not agree

Awards: N/A

Reconsideration Form

Reviews

  • Negative Reviews: N/A

Selection Tools:

Why I chose this movie: I chose this movie because it is a great satire of The Scarlet Letter. It is clever and witty. It has a great message to discourage rumors and lying.