Wake Now In The Fire, is a new graphic novel by Jarrett Dapier and AJ Dungo based on Dapier's investigative reporting into school bans of another graphic novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The story follows a group of Chicago high school students who take on the censors when Persepolis is banned from their school system.
Jarrett Dapier was the library science scholar whose Freedom of Information Act Request revealed the truth about Chicago Public School administrators' effort to ban Persepolis from classrooms and libraries in 2013. The following year, when Dapier was a student at the University of Illinois' Graduate School of Library & Information Science, he unearthed emails between CPS officials regarding the removal of Persepolis from schools. At the time, the CPS stated that the furore over the ban was from miscommunication, but Dapier proved it was a deliberate act demanded by CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. The year after that, Dapier went public to the Chicago Reader and ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.
The American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Round Table made Dapier is the recipient of the inaugural 2016 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award. and stated in a press release that "Jarrett's actions were key to exposing the improper actions of the school system, and the reporting based on his research brought national attention to continued attempts by schools to improperly remove books from classrooms and library shelves. Jarrett Dapier is awarded the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for defending the principles of intellectual freedom by continuing to research this incident after it was no longer newsworthy and for exposing wrongdoing which could have resulted in a violation of the constitutional rights of the students in Chicago Public Schools."
Persepolis is an autobiographical comic book series, telling the life story of Marjane Satrapi in Iran and Austria, set against the Islamic Revolution. Despite winning many awards and gaining critical plaudits, as well as a movie adaptation, the book has been repeatedly challenged in banned from libraries and schools. And now Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books has bought world rights to the graphic novel about the banning of a graphic novel. Wake Now in the Fire will be published in the autumn of 2023. Jarrett Dapier's agent Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal.