Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

Pantheon, 2003

My Rating: A

My Synopsis: This is the story of the author’s childhood in Iran. As the story opens it is 1980 and Marjane is a ten-years-old student learning about the history of her country. Like most students her age she believes what is in the textbooks and what her teachers tell her. But, as events in the country unfold before her, Marjane begins to see that there are many sides to every issue.

The revolution had occurred in Iran the previous year. That revolution was later called the Islamic Revolution. In the author’s distinctive black and white drawings, she shows the changes that occurred in her country from both the revolution and the war with Iraq.

The changes are those a ten-year-old would observe, especially if this is an intelligent, observant ten-year-old. First we see Marjane as she is unhappy with the change in clothing and her education. Then the changes become more complex and serious for Marjane. She sees how members in her family and then her neighborhood are affected, sometimes tragically.

My Evaluation: Prior to the story the author does a quick two-page written history of Iran spanning the past 4000 years. That alone was highly educational but it set the tone and gave the reader some perspective for the story of Marjane and her family. From that introduction to the end of the story I was totally transported to Iran. I both laughed and cried at the events surrounding this child’s life. Above all else, it was quite an education.

This book was followed by Persepolis 2 that I have on request from the library. As soon as I read it and learn the rest of the story, I’ll share it with you. In the meantime, check your local library and see if this superb graphic novel is available. This author’s books are top-notch. I previously read Embroideries by this author and found it excellent. Give her a try. You won’t be sorry.

This entry was posted in 100+ Book Challenge, A Book, Book Challenges and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood

  1. Cerrin says:

    This is how I like to read history. I like to have my history in context. I would definitly be interested in reading this book.

  2. stacybuckeye says:

    I’ve heard nothing but raves about this one. Glad it didn’t disappoint.

  3. I’ve read the Complete Persepolis and thought it was fantastic, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy the second half too. Wonderful review.

  4. Staci says:

    Her story is fascinating. I loved the part where she wanted Michael Jackson stuff and a blue jean jacket. That was absolutely what was happening here in the U.S. during the 80’s. I learned so much from this one too!!!

  5. I saw a preview for the (animated) movie version of this. I guess it won all sorts of prizes.

  6. Yes! She really does transport the read to Iran in the 80s, both with the words and graphics. Such a great way to learn/refresh/understand the history. I’ve yet to read PERSEPOLIS 2, but it’s on my summer reading list …

  7. Did you say two pages spanning 4000 years? That alone makes me want to read this book! This might be the one to introduce me to graphic novels — It’s on my list for when we’re back to Library country.

  8. JoAnn says:

    We ARE on the same wavelength this week, lol! My review of Persepolis went up yesterday and I got Persepolis 2 from the library this afternoon 🙂

  9. Beth F says:

    This is such a powerful book and I can’t wait to hear what you think after finishing the next one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *