Youth Services Book Review gives Poppies of Iraq a 5/5!

“Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim” / Youth Services Book Review / Stephanie Tournas / August 7, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Memoir

What did you like about the book? Findakly and Trondheim, married and both cartoonists, team up on this absorbing memoir about Findakly's childhood in Iraq, 1959-1973. Personal recollections about her Orthodox Christian family alternate with historical tidbits about life under Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime. Unframed panels with free-floating paragraphs of dialogue showcase family events and historical events with short, big-headed sausage-like people, giving them a homey feel and portraying the regime as bumbling and slightly ridiculous, despite the havoc in people's lives. Colors are bright and luminous, in contrast with added black and white photographs of Findakly's childhood, which add depth and believability. I couldn't put this down!

To whom would you recommend this book?  Comparisons to Satrapi's Persepolis are inevitable, despite the cartoons' stylist differences. Teen readers who enjoyed Spiegelman's Mausor Yang's Boxers and Saints series may also enjoy this.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? I would shelve this in adult non-fiction graphics, although some libraries may choose to put it in teen graphic novels.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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