Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is our penultimate book in the ComicMix Challenged Challenge — and probably our favorite book of the bunch. This is a first hand account of Marjane’s childhood in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran. This graphic novel not only takes the roots of very serious current events issue and breaks it down so kids like us can understand it, but it is a total page-turner. Sure, it’s violent — but we are talking about war, and as far as wars go, this isn’t really very violent at all. This is a lot less violent than what we would see on the news.
Ironically, this book was most recently challenged by a community college student and her parents (Helicopter your adult kid much, Mom & Dad? Geez!) for it’s violence because she was expecting Batman and Robin in her graphic novel lit class. This brings up the subject of why it’s okay for fictional superhero comics to be violent, but not those about real life? We are so confused.
This book was also called out for language. But what gets us mad is that most of the bad language comes from what people said in catcalling (well, more like verbally abusing) Marjane’s mom for not wearing her veil and later for conservative women name-calling Marjane and others. This is how it went down with those words. The words are what makes it cruel and scary. These are not words the average middle schooler has never heard before and unfortunately lots of women here are called these bad names too. Can we talk about those actions first, then worry about the language? If it is so upsetting, then fix the problem, don’t ban the description of it.
There is so much to say, which we do in the video. If you haven’t read Persepolis, please do.
Next week, we discuss our final book, Maus.