“Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed graphic novel, Persepolis, is her memoir of growing up in Iran during the tumultuous 1970s and ’80s. The book illustrates Satrapi’s experience coming of age under an oppressive regime known for the censorship of its people — which makes what happened in Chicago last week all the more ironic. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) ordered that Persepolis be removed from the 7th grade curriculum and pulled from 7th grade classrooms because of “graphic language and images” that were considered inappropriate for middle school students. CPS officials denied reports they were banning the book, saying they had determined Persepolis was appropriate for high school juniors, seniors and students in advanced placement classes, but not for younger students without certain guidelines. Several protests against the decision still took place and fans bought up many of the copies available at local bookstores.”
Why is this graphic novel creating such a stir? Why this book, after spending several years on multiple curricula across the nation, and why now?
We’ll be raffling off several copies of Persepolis so you can decide for yourself what you think!
Questions for Consideration
Have you read the Persepolis books? Why is there so much controversy behind Persepolis? What makes a book appropriate or inappropriate for school-aged youth? What kind of ideas about democracy make Persepolis a novel that is important for young people to read? In a city with an epidemic of gun violence, should depictions of torture/violence in literature be sanitized for a student audience or left uncensored?
Want to learn more?
- Controversy Over “Persepolis” (video)
- Chicago bans ‘Persepolis’ graphic novel from seventh-grade classrooms
- Message from CEO Regarding Persepolis
- CTU Statement regarding the Chicago Public Schools Sudden Ban of the Graphic Novel “Persepolis”
- Anger After Chicago School District Removes ‘Persepolis’
- ‘Persepolis’ removal from some Chicago classrooms prompts protests
- CPS tells schools to disregard order to pull graphic novel
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