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Table Talk: 'Persepolis' Removed From Classrooms In Chicago

03/22/2013 04:59 pm ET

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed graphic novel, Persepolis, is her memoir of growing up in Iran during the tumultuous 1970s and '80s. The book illustrates Satrapi’s experience coming of age under an oppressive regime known for the censorship of its people -- which makes what happened in Chicago last week all the more ironic. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) ordered that Persepolis be removed from the 7th grade curriculum and pulled from 7th grade classrooms because of “graphic language and images” that were considered inappropriate for middle school students. CPS officials denied reports they were banning the book, saying they had determined Persepolis was appropriate for high school juniors, seniors and students in advanced placement classes, but not for younger students without certain guidelines. Several protests against the decision still took place and fans bought up many of the copies available at local bookstores.

Questions for discussion:

  • Have you read the Persepolis books?
  • What makes a book appropriate or inappropriate for school-aged kids?
  • Is it ever OK to ban books?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

Also on HuffPost, via Positively Positive:

50 Children's Books with a Positive Message, Chosen By Julie Handler
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