Dare to Disappoint
YA graphic novel
The literature that captures us the most deeply often skillfully
blends universality of feeling with specificity of time and place.
The reader is hooked by empathy and drawn into exploration and
discovery. This is the case for Ozge Samanci's Dare to Disappoint.
Ozge and her big sister, Pelin, grew up with high expectations.
They were to study medicine or engineering at a prestigious university
so they could get good jobs with high pay. Their dad, who would boast
of not getting pleasure out of anything, focussed on discipline, hard
work, and order. Ozge longed for his approval. But somehow she could
never quite compete with Pelin. And the fields she was being pushed
toward did not align well with her talents or interests.
As you may have guessed from the main characters' names, the
book is not set in America. They grew up in Turkey in very
politically turbulant times. Even for the very young there was huge
pressure for obedience to the state. Government employees who didn't
engage in less than ethical practices, like Ozge's teacher parents,
barely earned enough to support their families.
Graphic novel is the perfect format for this coming of age
tale. The pictures carry nuances that really expand the power of the
written and help to add an element of humor to what could be an
entirely grim narative.
On a personal note, the UMaine students organizational fair was
awesome. There were tables circling the whole mall--something for
everyone. Eager students made the rounds, studying all the
offerings. I tabled with my Real Food Challenge gang. We got some
real interest. Even the weather (the one element CASE has no control
over) was a perfect mix of sun and breeze.
A great big shout goes out to all who enabled this event to happen.
Sent from my iPod