Three-quarters of the way through reading the graphic novel Persepolis: The Story of Childhood by Marjane Satrapi for an upcoming book talk project, I watched the lecture for my young adult lit class which was published yesterday morning. Much to my dislike and subsequent dismay, I took note that all materials selected for the course need to have been published within last 5 years. With the exception, of course, those materials selected for the classics project. Persepolis was published in 2002. Fail, fail, fail!
Thankfully, while browsing at BN yesterday evening, I stumbled upon Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap which was published in January of 2012. It looked really interesting which is why I purchased it for my private collection. I was especially intrigued by the fact that the book gave the perspective of an Indian-American high school girl coming of age.
While I would’ve loved this graphic novel if it had been published when I was back in high school; however, as an adult I am now flinching at the idea of promoting it for young adults via a book talk for a class project. Why? Lots of references to sex and drugs…not to mention a heap of naughty words including the infamous ‘f-word.’ I’ll admit that while working in the male-dominated criminal justice field, I could cuss along with the best of them and had even taken to being creative with my vocabulary (note: it gave me cred with the boys — they didn’t view me as ‘too girly’). I’ve since cleaned up my mouth…for the most part. However, in the role of a librarian, I can already imagine the complaints teachers and parents might have over this particular selection… On the flip side, Booklist gave the work a starred review and Kirkus said, “A charming, hip, illustrated coming-of-age tale.”
|A young JC…|
Setting aside the use of explicit language, I’m already half-way through this book and am very impressed by how Kashyap shows Tina coping with life’s various challenges (e.g. losing her best friend) in a realistic fashion that is sure to hit home with today’s teens. In reflection, I think that this book would’ve been one of my favorites and definitely a comfort read for me back in the day. Confession: I think it’s already one of my new favorites.
Citing the wise Ranganathan via the Five Laws of Library Science,
“Every reader his [or her] book and every reader its book.”
Conclusion: I am going forth and using this [insert string of expletives] book for this project! (Hahaha.) Stay tuned for the book talk…