November 20, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Özge Samanci | SLJ Review

See Our Best Books of 2015

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarSamanci, Özge. Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey. illus. by Özge Samanci. 200p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson Bks. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374316983. Samanci, Özge. Dare to Disappoint Growing Up in Turkey

Gr 6 Up –Samanci’s graphic novel memoir is a humorous and moving portrayal of coming-of-age in Turkey in the turbulent 1980s. The story makes the political personal in ways that are perfectly accessible to young teens. Samanci’s narrative is peppered with engaging details of her childhood experiences, including her relationships with her parents, uncle, and sister; the grueling educational system; and the difficult reality of growing up female in a politically and religiously polarized society. Throughout it all, Samanci struggles with her conflicting desires for success, happiness, and, above all, the approval of her critical father. The style of cartoon illustration combined with mixed media is used to great effect. In several places, the author employs rubber stamps to create pictures of people and concepts that were important to her when she was a child. The muted color scheme and stark backgrounds evoke the political and cultural tone of Turkish society. While there is some violence, it is used sparingly and is presented as an integral part of the narrative. VERDICT In the growing body of graphic novel memoirs, this one is a standout.–Maggi Rohde, Ann Arbor Public Schools, MI

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2016 issue.

A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.