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Archive for the ‘Film Adaptation’ Category

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
ISBN: 9780141439518
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Date of Publication: 2002 (Originally Published in 1813)

Reader’s Annotation:
Elizabeth Bennet struggles with balancing the needs of her family when a new neighbor moves near the Bennet’s family home.

Plot Summary:
Elizabeth Bennet is the second-oldest daughter of the Bennet household. Her older sister is named Jane and she has three younger sisters; Mary, Catherine “Kitty” and Lydia. Jane and Elizabeth are the more mature sisters, while Kitty and Lydia enjoy their immaturity. Mary is the quiet one, preferring to study instead.

Mr. Bennet, the father of the girls, has a dry-wit and enjoys irritating his wife. Mrs. Bennet is an excitable woman whose only focus is successfully marrying her daughters off to single eligible men. She often pushes potential relationships at the expense of her daughters’ humility, creating more trouble than success. Her reasons for her actions do lie in necessity. Mr. Bennet has no male heirs and the house will go to his nephew, Mr. Collins, when he dies. The girls will be left with nothing.

As the story begins, news of the Bennet’s new neighbor have reached the household. Mrs. Bennet is excited in that Mr. Bingley is wealthy and single. When the Bennet household meets Mr. Bingley, he becomes instantly smitten with Jane, and she with him. During this first encounter, the Bennet family meets a friend of Mr. Bingly, a wealthier young man by the name of Mr. Darcy. A quiet, proud man, Mr. Darcy insults Elizabeth in their first meeting, leading her to have a harsh opinion of his character. At the same time, a regiment of soldiers have settled in the area. Elizabeth befriends one of the soldiers who has a past connection with Mr. Darcy.

From these different meetings, miscommunication and misunderstanding begin to emerge and all parties involved find themselves to be in a fine mess of their own doing. But who is right and who is wrong? And what does it mean for the Bennet sisters?

Critical Evaluation:
Jane Austen’s classic about misunderstandings continues to be an influence on modern literature and modern popular culture. Many romantic comedies continue to use the format, most famously Bridget Jones Diary which was an adaption of Austen’s material. Austen’s ability to observe and comment on the absurdity of class situations and the needs of society provide for witty dialogue that readers will enjoy.

The story remains interesting in that it highlights how unsure the concepts of love can be for those experience the feelings for the first time. As the characters come from a time in which physical contact in improper situations can create scandal, the power of a mere handshake can create disjointed feelings within each party. Combine this confusion with the issues of social class (only being able to marry within your economic ranking) and wealth (seeking a marriage partner that will lead to a lifetime of welfare comfort), it’s no wonder that Darcy and Elizabeth were left in a confusing state for the majority of the novel.

The issue of marriage is an interesting one for modern readers in that it again mirrors our modern times. How much pressure is there for young girls to marry, even in this more feminist driven society. Female self-worth is deemed by beauty and the success of a relationship. The question of “Do you have a boyfriend” are asked to single girls and they are looked upon as hopeless if they fail to marry. While this has slowly changed throughout the decades since Austen’s time, there is still an emphasis on the value of a woman based on her ability to marry and reproduce. The important lesson of Austen’s novel is that Elizabeth still chooses to be with who she wants to be with. She has a choice and it leads her to happiness. And that’s an important lesson to remember, no matter what era you live in.

Information about the Author:
From Jane Austen’s Wikipedia Page, born in Hampshire, England in 1775, Austen left very little information about herself due to her desire for privacy after her death in 1817. Her sister Cassandra fulfilled her sister’s wishes and burned a majority of Austen’s letters.

From what has been ascertained about Austen’s life is that Austen was born in a large family to a father who was a rector. Austen began to write at an early age and eventually published her first full novel in 1911. Austen wrote six books, with some work unfinished. She died at the age of 41 due to illness that had lingered in her body for over a year.

Genre:
Romance, Classics

Curriculum Ties:
English Literature

Booktalking Ideas:
Has your mom ever done something to embarrass you?
How important is a first impression?
Reading Level/Interest Age:
14 and up

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
I’ve recently have become addicted to a YouTube series produced by Hank Green, John Green’s brother. The series is called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s a video blog about Lizzie Bennet and how she copes with her parents, her sisters Jane and Lydia, and the strange boy she’s just meet, William Darcy.

The series is a modern adaptation of a classic using a format rarely used for this type of storytelling. The series is compelling and fun. Fans of the show are looking towards the original material to compare and discovering the joy that is Jane Austen’s words.

YouTube: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Tumblr: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Reference:
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Jane Austen. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen

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Jane-by-April-Lindner-Book-Cover

Jane
By April Lindner
ISBN: 9780316084192
Publisher: Poppy, an imprint of Hachette Book Group
Date of Publication: 2010

Reader’s Annotation:
Forced to find work after her parent’s death, Jane Moore becomes a nanny for the daughter of Nico Rathburn, world famous rock star.

Plot Summary:
When a tragic car accident kills Jane Moore’s parents, she’s left with nothing. With no money to pay for college, Jane begins to look for work. Her luck improves when she’s hired as a nanny for a young girl named Madeline. Her father is the famous rock star Nico Rathburn.

When Jane arrives at the Rathburn mansion, Thornfield Park, she is unprepared for the beauty and size of her new home. As she learns to adapt to her new life and surroundings, Jane begins to hope that one day she can go back and finish her degree. This desire changes when Nico returns from his latest tour, sending Jane into a fit of unexplained emotions. As Jane and Nico become closer, strange sounds begin to linger in the mansion; strange things that happen in the dead of the night. And soon Jane discovers that secrets have a way of rarely staying hidden.

Critical Evaluation:
April Lindner’s modern adaption of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a treat to read, especially for those readers who are fans of costume dramas. While Jane Moore might not have the harsh background that Jane Eyre experienced in her youth, there are still similarities that still lead the modern Jane to Thornfield with equal parts sadness and excitement. Modern Jane is described as plain like original Jane but still posses the previous incarnation’s desire to be from their forced situations.

Nico Rathburn is a lovely substitute for Mr. Rochester. The use of rock star mythology fits with Rochester’s own questionable background in that it allows the character to be mysterious and distant while still pulling us readers, unknowingly, into his fiery personality. The other cast of characters have been tweaked to fit the modern age, but the original spirit still remains.

The story is entertaining and well-written. Fans of the book, intrigued by the plot, might be better served seeking the original version. The original version still packs more of a punch mostly due to the gender inequality of Bronte’s time. While modern Jane still is hindered by her low self-confidence, her strength in finding her voice isn’t as strong as Original Jane’s journey. The impact of Jane and Nico’s reunion does feel like a checkpoint of the Bronte plot, though Linder still provides a great ending for those who might not be familiar with the original material. Linder’s adaption is a great gateway novel for readers to explore the classics.

Jane Eyre

Information about the Author:
From April Lindner’s Webpage, Linder is a professor of English at St. Joseph’s University. Lindner originally intended to major in art at the University of New Hampshire. She met her husband at said University. They currently live in Philadelphia area.

Lindner is also a poet and has had a collection published. She recently returned to the world of the Bronte sisters with a modern adaption of Wuthering Heights called Catherine. Lindner is currently working on a adaption of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, called Lucy.

April Lindner on Twitter

Genre:
Romance, Modern Adaptation

Curriculum Ties:
English Literature (Adaptation of Classics)

Booktalking Ideas:
What would it be like to work with someone famous?
Have you ever wanted to escape from a relationship?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews gives a suggested age range of 15-18.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would include language and sexual situations.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
Having been a fan of the original book, I was wary of this new version. I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. The book is a great way to introduce a wonderful classic to those readers who might be reluctant to read classic literature.

References:
Kirkus Reviews. (2010). Jane by April Lindner. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/april-lindner/jane-lindner/
Linder, A. (n.d.). About Me. Retrieved from http://www.aprillindner.com/about

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Lego_Star_Wars_The_Video_Game_(GC)_(NA)

Star Wars Lego: The Video Game
Created by Traveller’s Tale
Released: 2005
Rating: E for Everyone

Annotation:
Play within the adventures of the Star Wars Prequels, in Lego format.

Summary:
Based on the Star Wars film franchise, Star Wars Lego places fans into the world of Lucasfilm but in Lego form. Play within the story of the prequels or create your own team of characters and free play between story lines. Players are encouraged to find special items that build vehicle replicas. Collect all vehicle pieces and discover the hidden level.

Critical Evaluation:
Star Wars Lego was the second franchise to use Lego as a video gaming format, the first being Harry Potter for PC. The play is simple enough between levels, with each level a different part of the prequel storyline. Each level features key characters used in the film. Some levels feature vechile interaction, allowing players to focus on something other than character play.

The game ends too quickly for those more advanced players. The sequel to the game, which features the original trilogy, created longer game play. The original game is still fun and does provide a challenge for those interested in puzzles.

Information about the Developer:
From the company’s webpage, created in 2005 Traveller’s Tale Games has set out to be the leader in providing quality games for young players. The company was acquired by Warner Brothers Entertainment in 2007. Traveller’s Tale has now expanded into animation with a show currently broadcasted on Nick Jr.

The company has expanded their products with other Lego games such as Lego Batman, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, and, most recently, Lego Lord of the Rings.

Genre:
Games, Science Fiction

Curriculum Ties:
Game Design

Booktalking Ideas:
Which Star Wars prequel was your favorite?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
The game is rated E which means it will appeal to players of all ages.

Challenging Issues:
Potential Issues would include slight violence with science fiction weapons.

Why did I include this game in the title selections?
While the GameCube format has been phased out of mainstream play, I still enjoy my GameCube Console. One of my favorite games to relax to is this particular game. It’s fun but isn’t taxing. While modern teens might finish the game quickly, it’s still a fun game to play and worth the time and effort.

Reference:
Traveller’s Tale. (n.d.). History. Retrieved from http://www.ttgames.com/history/

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Hunger_gamesThe Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins
ISBN: 9780439023528
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Date of Publication: 2008

Reader’s Annotation:
When Prim Everdeen is chosen to participate in the 74th Hunger Games, her older sister Katniss volunteers and takes her place.

Plot Summary:
Katniss Everdeen and her family live in District 12, one of the districts that make up Panem. The country is ruled by the great city of the Capitol. Because of an upraising over seventy-five years ago, the Capitol now demands that a boy and a girl from the twelve districts are to be selected for the Hunger Games, a battle in which contestants from ages twelve to eighteen fight to be the lone survivor on live television. The games were created so that all citizens would know that their lives were controlled by the Capitol and that no age is safe from punishment. When Prim, Katniss’s younger sister is selected, Katniss takes her place instead.

The boy selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a baker’s son who once helped Katniss when her family was starving. As Katniss and Peeta arrive at the Capitol, they face fierce competition from the other districts, especially from District 1 and 2 who train their children to prepare for the games. Katniss is against incredible odds but Katniss was raised to survive, finding food for her family by becoming accomplished with a bow and arrow. When the games begin, Katniss uses all of her knowledge to live and must do everything in her power to see the dawn of the next day.

Critical Evaluation:
Suzanne Collins’s book on a destructive dystopian world was a compelling read. Katniss’s hatred for the Capitol and the situation that her family has been placed in, creates a different female protagonist that doesn’t rely on a romantic scenario. The elements are there for such a storyline but that’s mostly in the background. Humanity continues to be stripped away from Katniss before she even enters the game. It’s compounded by her participation. It’s not an easy concept for anyone to explore but Collins does it nicely, allowing the reader to be eased into the harsh situations.

Survival is the game, but what happens in the end? Is that struggle to survive at any cost worth what you lose; peace of mind? Collins’s examination of power and corruption lead to bigger questions of the state of our own government. What situation would we be in if our nation was threatened? What would we do just to survive in a no-win situation. There are never easy answers to these thoughts, though Collins does attempt to provide pieces for further examination.

This is the first book in a trilogy.

Information about the Author:
Suzanne Collins was born in Hartford Connecticut and is a graduate from Indiana University. Collins double majored in Drama and Telecommunication. Her writing career began with her work on children’s programming. She turned to prose and published the children’s series Underland Chronicles, starting in 2003.

Collins continues to write for television, branching into film starting with the film adaptions of The Hunger Games series. She lives with her husband and family in Connecticut.

Suzanne Collins on IMDB

Genre:
Science Fiction, Dystopia

Curriculum Ties:
Alternative History, Survival Situations

Booktalking Ideas:
What would you do for your family if it meant life or death?
What is dystopian fiction?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews lists this book for ages 11-18. Considering the nature of the material, I would recommend a higher age range of 14-18. It also depends on the maturity level of the reader.

Challenging Issues:


Suzanne Collins is listed as one of the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st Century.
The book has been challenged and banned due to its use of violence.

The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
This has been one of my favorite books since I first read it a few years ago. I thought of using a different dystopian young adult novel, but I haven’t been impressed with some of the recent genre publications. The Hunger Games holds up after repeated readings and remains engaging, especially in light of the recent film adaptation.

Reference:
IMDB. (n.d.). Suzanne Collins. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1056741/

Kirkus Reviews. (2010). The Hunger Games. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/suzanne-collins/the-hunger-games/

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Beastly
By Alex Flinn
ISBN: 9780061998669
Publisher: HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Date of Publication: 2009
Reader’s Annotation:
Kyle Kingsbury has two years to break the curse that has made him into a beast. The cure? To fall in love and to be loved in return.

Plot Summary:
Kyle Kingsbury has it all. He’s handsome, smart, rich, and is the most popular boy at Tuttle Private School. His father is a famous news anchor and provides Kyle with anything he needs. One day, Kyle notices a strange girl in his English class. She’s dressed in strange, dark gothic clothing and is vocal in her dislike of Kyle’s selfish behavior. On a whim, Kyle asks this girl, Kendra, to the school’s dance, plotting a way to humiliate Kendra in front of the entire school. Kendra says yes, though she remains wary of Kyle’s intentions.

As planned, Kyle ditches Kendra at the dance, mocking her in front of the attendees. Kendra’s reaction frightens Kyle in that she offers no revenge but a warning. When Kyle arrives back home after the dance, he discovers Kendra is waiting for him. She is actually a witch and curses Kyle to become a disgusting beast; a creature who matches Kyle’s ugly soul. Kyle now has two years to find love and to be loved in return, for that is his only cure for the curse. As time slowly melts away, Kyle finds himself learning what it really means to give your heart to someone, that love is how we protect and care for another, and love is not merely a feeling but an action that changes us forever.

Critical Evaluation:
Alex Flinn’s modern take on the Beauty and the Beast story is a delight. It is a quick read and slightly predictable, but still entertaining. Flinn presents Kyle as a genuinely selfish boy, but we can’t help but sympathize with his character in light of his father’s neglect. It is clear that Kyle’s behavior and opinions stem from his father’s influence. There are glimpses of hope for his behavior, but when Kyle is changed into the beast, the reader can’t help but be glad for this inevitable transformation.

The character of Beauty, Lindy, is portrayed as a strong-willed young woman who has been forced to survive on her own. While fairytale mentality often showcase young women longing for a knight in shinning armor to rescue them, Lindy is neither weak or stupid. Her intelligence is celebrated in the book and is a trait that Kyle uses in order to woo her heart.

The ending of the book, which I will not spoil, is very much on par of the original fairy tale. Lessons are learned and everyone involved become better people. But it’s an important lesson in that in shows that people CAN change and that our preconceived notions of our friends or strangers can be altered with time. While the book is not one based on the premise of bullying, it does highlight how being different should be celebrated. And that it is our differences that make us great and beautiful.

Information about the author:
From Alex (Alexandra) Flinn’s Webpage, Flinn was raised in Miami, Florida, where she lives today. After witnessing the after effects of dating violence during an internship with the State Attorney’s Office, Flinn was inspired to write her first book, Breathing Underwater. From the success of her first book, Flinn continued to write realistic fiction and has found continued success in her fairy tale adaptations.

Alex Flinn’s Webpage is a great resource for reading guide for teens and educators.

Alex Flinn on Facebook

Genre:
Fantasy, Romance

Curriculum Ties:
Fairy Tales, Self-Image and Self-Worth

Booktalking Ideas:
How important is a first impression?
Who are we when no one is looking?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews provides an age range of 19-20. Flinn’s prose is geared towards a younger age range and would be ideal for ages 14 and Up.

Challenging Issues:


There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would be drug abuse.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
When I was looking over my selections for this assignment, I realized that I was lacking the fantasy genre. I found this at my local library branch and decided to take a chance as the story of Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales. Retelling of fairy tales seems to be a trend in popular culture and this version of Beauty and the Beast was nice addition to the myth of that tale.

Reference:
Flinn, A. (n.d.). About Alex. Retrieved from http://www.alexflinn.com/html/bio.html

Kirkus Review. (2010). Beastly by Alex Flinn. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/alex-flinn/beastly/

Bonus Features!

Lindy’s Story

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The Outsiders
By S.E. Hinton
ISBN: 9780143039857
Publisher: Penguin Books (First Published with Viking Press)
Date of Publication: 1967

Reader’s Annotation:
Ponyboy Curtis, a Greaser, finds himself in trouble after an attack from a Soc.

Plot Summary:
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, there are two sides, two types of people; the Socs who are the rich kids and the Greasers who struggle to make ends meet. Ponyboy Curtis is a one of the greasers. With his parents dead due to a tragic car accident, Ponyboy’s older brothers, Sodapop and Darry, work hard to support the family while pushing Ponyboy to finish school. Ponyboy sometimes resents that he’s forced to focus on school, never understanding the sacrifices his brothers have made to support his eduction.

Ponyboy’s best friend is Johnny, a boy who has suffered too much violence in his young life. Together, Ponyboy and Johnny make up the younger part of their Greaser group, alongside their reckless friend Dallas, Two-Bit and Steve. One night Ponyboy meets Cherry Valance, a doc who helps Ponyboy to break down the ideal barriers of the Greasers versus Soc mentality. That same night, Ponyboy and Johnny face-off with Cherry’s boyfriend, Bob. What happens from that encounter changes everything for Ponyboy and he must face the consequences of that night and the actions that followed. In the end, Ponyboy discovers what it means to have a label and that a family is what we have when we stand by the ones we love.

Critical Evaluation:
S.E. Hinton’s tale of different social classes have stood the test of time mostly because Hinton wrote from personal experience. Hinton felt that her generation wasn’t being portrayed honestly in Young Adult fiction and set out to tell the truth about her life.

This is a a story about social struggle and how being a teenager doesn’t change that struggle but sometimes makes it worse. Ponyboy knows that his life isn’t ideal and as a teenager, his voice is constantly ignored by those who have his “best interest” at heart. But like millions of teenagers across the globe, Ponyboy feels misunderstood and begins to find his voice in the midst of all the confusion.

Ponyboy’s relations to the social class scheme is an important lesson for readers in that it shows the world is not fair and never will be. What’s important is that a connection is formed with friends and family that will last a lifetime. That support is important in that it shows it’s not easy to go through life alone. An example of this would be in the action of Dallas, who suffers for being a loner, despite his varied personal connections.

The story still resonates with Young Adult readers in that the concepts of alienation and social class remain prevalent, even more so in this ultra-connected society.

The A.V. Club on The Outsiders

Information about the Author:
From S.E. Hinton’s Webpage, Hinton first published The Outsiders as a response to lackluster teen novels that had been published in the 1950s and 1960s. Being a teenager herself, Hinton wanted to present a story in which a reader would understand the real issues that faced teenagers.

After the publication of The Outsiders, Hinton found that she was experienced writer’s blog and didn’t write anything new for three years. Luckily, her future husband encouraged writing bits at a time until she eventually finished the book That Was Then, This is Now. Hinton continued to write Young Adult literature, growing in strength as a writer. She has also written the adult novel, Hawkes Harbor.

S.E. Hinton’s Webpage

Genre:
Realistic Fiction, Family Relationships

Curriculum Ties:
Drama, Classic American Literature

Booktalking Ideas:
What would you do for your family?
What would you do for your friends, if they were threatened?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
As the book was written when Hinton was in her teens, the book has an intended audience of such. Recommended age range would be 15 and up.

Challenging Issues:
The Outsiders is a frequently challenged and banned book. Complaints against the book cite gang violence and obscenities as some of the reasons. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged again in the future.

Why did I include this book in the titles selection?
This book pushed the boundaries of what teens read in the 1960s. The story still resonates with teen and adult readers. While there are some faults with the narration of the story, the themes of alienation and family/friend connections are issues that teens continue to face. This is a book about teens, written by a teen for teens.
Reference:
Hinton, S.E. (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved from http://www.sehinton.com/bio.html

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The Complete Persepolis
By Marjane Satrapi
ISBN: 9780375714832
Publisher: Pantheon, a division of Random House
Date of Publication: 2003/2004 (Originally published in the United States in two volumes)
Reader’s Annotation:
Young Marjane Satrapi’s family adapts to the changing politics of Iran in the 1970s and the 1980s.

Plot Summary:
It is the early 1980s and Iran has entered the Cultural Revolution. Women are veiled or must wear a head covering in public. American Capitalism has been denounced and the nation turns its eyes onto Islamic Fundamentalism. Dissidents are arrested, inprisioned or executed.

In the midst of all this political and religious upheaval, a girl by the name of Marjane Satrapi is witness to the changes in her country, and then in her family. Marjane is an only child with an active imagination and a curious mind. Her family’s history is tied to the country’s history and these changes are felt intimately. As the years go by, young Marjane must reconcile her choice of freedom and her love of her country and family. Spanning decades and two continents, Persepolis is the story of how a young girl becomes a young women and how a country struggles to find it’s voice in change and conflict.

Critical Evaluation:
Drawing on her personal history, Marjane Satrapi weaves an artistic masterpiece. The art is bright and illuminating, even in black and white shadowing. In the parts describing the history of Iran, there is a magical, mythical quality, despite the horrific nature of the country’s history. Beyond Satrapi’s art, the story that Marjane presents feels honest and true. Satrapi’s family is a supportive bunch of individuals who want nothing but the best for young Marjane. Their conversations on politics and religion are meant to educate Marjane, though it leads to dire consequences later in her life. The path of change is not easy and Satrapi is honest in her assessment of her history and the power of Iranian politics.

Many memoirs expected some form of sympathy from their readers, grasping for pity as a means to feel supported. Satrapi expects her readers to be open-minded to her history and her country’s history. She doesn’t expect pity for her tale but convey what it meant to live in Iran and how the changes of the Cultural Revolution changed her family’s life. An example of this could be found in Satrapi’s conversations with God. When God does not answer, Satrapi begins to realize that the price of her decisions is her own and no one else’s. This concept is highlighted later when Satrapi is sent abroad to study. Satrapi’s tale could be a parallel history of the new Iran. As Satrapi begins to find her voice, so to does Iran in regards to its policies and actions. Mistakes are made but how we handle the mistakes define who we are as a person or as a nation.

The Complete Persepolis is both a beautiful art piece and a moving story. It is a great example of how art can influence a story and vice versa.

punk is not ded

 

Information about the Author:
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran and was raised in Tehran. Satrapi studied Decorative Arts in Austria and eventually moved to Paris where she lives today. Satrapi has become an internationally recognized artist in part due to her work in comics but in the film adaptation of Persepolis. Satrapi has adapted her book Chicken with Plums to film and is working on third film that will be released in the Winter of next year. Her art work has appeared in various print media across the globe. (Barclay Agency)

Genre:
Memoir, Non-Fiction

Curriculum Ties:
Iran History, Modern Islamic History, Art, Personal Stories

Booktalking Ideas:
What is the role of religion in politics?
What would it be like to leave your family to live in a different country?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Persepolis is a crossover title. This title would be perfect for ages 15 and up.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book in America. The book has been banned and challenged in Satrapi’s home country of Iran and the neighboring country of Lebanon on the basis of religious reasons. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would be religion, violence, language, and sexual situations.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
As a fan of Satrapi’s art, I can’t help but be excited to talk about her books and films to anyone willing to try something new. Satrapi’s memoir focuses primarily on her youth and what it means to find an identity in a climate of political and religious change. Young readers who feel alienated from their peers and their family will find a kinship to Satrapi’s tale.

Reference:
Adnkronos International. (2008). Iran: Oscar-nominated film branded ‘anti-revolutionary’ by authorities. Adnkronos International. Retrieved from http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/CultureAndMedia/?id=1.0.1914777928

Barclay Agency. (n.d.). Marjane Satrapi. Retrieved from http://barclayagency.com/satrapi.html

France 24. (2008). Lebanon lifts Persepolis ban. Retrieved from http://www.france24.com/en/20080328-lebanon-lifts-persepolis-ban-film-lebanon

Bonus Features!

Mini Film Review:

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
By Stephen Chbosky
ISBN: 9780671027346
Publisher: MTV Books/Pocket Books
Date of Publication: 1999

Reader’s Annotation:
As Charlie begins his first year in high school, he must navigate between what it means to be a friend and what it means to be yourself.

Plot Summary:
On the day before the start of his freshmen year in high school, Charlie begins to write a letter to an anonymous recipient. Throughout the year, Charlie continues to write letters about all the things he experiences.

For Charlie is a shy boy. His favorite aunt died in a tragic car accident when he was young and his good friend killed himself last year. An artistic soul, Charlie longs to make a friend but finds himself to be more of an observer on the sidelines.

But something magical happens to Charlie. He makes not only one friend but two which leads him into a whole new world he never imagined. Together with his new friends, Patrick and Sam, Charlie begins to emerge from being a mere observer to a person with purpose and direction.

Combining family drama with the chaotic world of high school, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the tale of a young man struggling to find his voice and to find love with friendship and other possibilities.

Critical Evaluation:
Tackling issues such as depression, suicide, abuse (sexual and substance), homosexuality, teen sexuality, and homophobia, this teen classic continues to have an impact on its audience. It’s clear from Chbosky’s writing that he feels that it is important to maintain an honest discussion of these highlighted topics. Chbosky doesn’t shy away from these issues and does use them in a away that they don’t feel like plot devices but a natural part of Charlie’s growing maturity.

The interactions with Patrick and Sam were amusing at the beginning in that it seems that the duo are merely humoring Charlie, but as the year goes on, it’s clear that Charlie has begun to have an impact on their lives as well. While Charlie is meant to be an observer, a wallflower, he does miss key elements due to his innocence. One can’t help but wonder if Charlie’s parents have been overprotective of him, shielding him from situations that other kids find normal or if Charlie’s depression has clouded his sight.

The book does showcase a tie to the writings of J.D. Salinger, specifically with The Catcher in the Rye. While the character of Holden Caufield might be more known for his alienated behavior, he shares a sense of loneliness in Charlie. The letter writing format of the story doesn’t detract from the storyline and is an entertaining format to read.

Information about the Author:
Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A graduate of University of Southern California, Chbosky has worked in film and television. His first book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, has been recently adapted into a film, which Chbosky also directed.

Stephen Chbosky on Twitter

Genre:
Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Ties:
Abuse, Homosexuality, and Alienation

Booktalking Ideas:
Why are some memories are fresh and why are some forgotten?
Have you ever felt alone in a crowd?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Ages 16 and up.

Challenging Issues:
According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a highly challenged or banned in 2009. (OIF, 2010). Those who have challenged the book have cited issues with the book’s discussion of sexuality (masturbation and homosexuality), the use of drugs and alcohol, and language.

The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
I read this book when it first came out in 1999. I was instantly enamored with the material and felt a deep, lasting connection to Charlie and his life. When I attended a screening for the recent film adaptation, it was exciting to see a large group of teens scattered throughout the theatre. What was even more excited was to overhear the teens discuss the difference between the book and the film. For a book to continue to resonate with teens, after over ten years since its publication, means that this is an important book to recommend to teens, and possibility to older readers as well.

Reference:
Office for Intellectual Freedom. (2010). Spotlight on censorship – The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  OIF Blog. Retrieved from http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=1525

Simon and Schuster. (2012). Stephen Chbosky/Official Publisher Page. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved from http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-Chbosky/1843916

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Bonus Feature!

Mini Film Adaptation Review!

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