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Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis; the story of a childhood.

SATRAPI, Marjane. Persepolis; the story of a childhood. Random House, Pantheon. 153p. illus. c2003. 0-375-71457-X. $11.95. JSA *

Marjane Satrapi was nine years old when the Islamic Revolution reintroduced a religious state in Iran. Her life changed dramatically under the new regime. It became obligatory for her to wear the veil, her previously co-ed school was divided into separate schools for boys and girls, and fear began to rule her world whenever she was outside of her home. The only child of outspoken revolutionaries, Marjane found it nearly impossible to comply with the demands that were made by the new government. Her resultant disobedient and eventual violent behavior put her family in danger, and she was sent to live in Europe at the age of 14.

Persepolis is an absolutely breathtaking memoir. The b/w illustrations are simple but they eloquently convey Marjane's perceptions and memories of her childhood in Iran. Satrapi's writing style is straightforward, and the story is told in a way that is easily accessible. Although terrorism and war form the basis of Marjane's childhood experience, we learn through her story that the actions of a few extremists do not reflect the attitude of an entire nation. This is presented in a nontraditional format (similar to Maus, by Art Spiegelman); however, its curricular advantages should not be overlooked. It gives the people of Iran a face and a voice through their spokeswoman, Mar Jane Satrapi, and the humanization of a people who often appear far away and different is a benefit not to be ignored. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.)

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.

Heather Lisowski, YA Libn., Castle Rock, CO
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Lisowski, Heather
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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