Of all the banned books I’ve read over the years, THIS one might be the one that I really can’t figure out a reason for banning. There have been some selections that my children aren’t quite old enough to read or fully understand, but they are still tiny humans. In a couple of years I’ll gladly let them peruse my bookshelves and read whatever all of the nutters tell them not to. It was thinking of those nutters that left me shaking my head at the choice of banning Persepolis. I mean, there’s no sex, no drugs, no foul language – it’s simply a memoir of a girl who lived through the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Generally when the whackjobs take a break from their cultlike book burnings they are all about sharing anything that points out how horrible the Middle East is. I guess at some point they just decided to go all Oprah with respect to book bans . . . .
I, for one, am absolutely delighted that Banned Books Week led me to discover Persepolis. What a brilliant (and so very important) little book. Marjane Satrapi was able to detail the history of the Revolution and its lasting effects on not only her family but Iran as a whole with humor . . .
a lot of humor . . .
and compassion . . .
and the heartbreak of a nation combined with the reality of her own life . . .
It showed that no matter what might be broadcast on the evening news that people are people and even those of us who are separated by half a world have more similarities than differences. It also tackled how important it is to talk to your children about big issues . . .
and to open their mind even further by using the thing the banners continue to try (but fail) to take away . . . .
My friend Matthew was the first to express his love for Persepolis when he saw it on my “Currently Reading” list and he unleashed his rebellious side and read a banned book this week too. I hope my kids are half as awesome as he is when they grow up. And to any other “kids” out there reading this – just say damn the man . . .