We have now read the first two chapters of Persepolis in class.
Persepolis is an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi about growing up in Iran in the 1980s. In the introduction she says that many people imagine that all Iranians are crazy fundamentalist terrorists, and her goal is to show people that that's not true.
The main reasons I chose Persepolis are:
1. It's good.
2. It's by a female cartoonist, and so far we've mainly read male cartoonists.
3. It's by a cartoonist from another country, and so far we've mainly read American cartoonists.
4. I want to expose the students to an unfamiliar culture.
5. I've taught it before.
6. The public library has lots of copies.
Reason #6 is probably the most important one. If I want to check out a class set of a graphic novel from the public library, my two choices are basically Maus or Persepolis. Persepolis wins out over Maus for the reasons listed above and also, crucially, because I get depressed enough in my daily life without teaching a book about the holocaust.
But if you haven't read Maus, you probably should. It's, like, real famous and stuff.