Thursday, March 8, 2012

Resistance and Defiance by Carla Jablonski & Leland Purvis

Resistance (Resistance Series #1) and Defiance (Resistance Series #2)
By Carla Jablonski & Leland Purvis
Published by First Second, 2010/2011
128/128 pages (paperback)

Resistance: Fighting on a secret front of World War II. Paul and Marie’s bucolic French country town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII, but the siblings still live in the shadow of war. Their father is a Prisoner of War, kept hostage by the Germans. When their friend Henri’s parents disappear and Henri goes into hiding because of his Jewish ancestry, Paul and Marie realize they must take a stand. But how can they convince the French Resistance that even children can help in their fight against injustice?

Defiance: When Nazis invade, what can kids do to fight them? World War II has taken its toll on the French countryside. German soldiers patrol the towns, searching for any challenge to their rule. The Tessier siblings, Paul, Marie, and Sophie, keep their noses clean and their faces blank as the French military police tighten their grip on their small country town. But all three are secretly doing their part for the Resistance: the men and women working hard to undermine the Germans and win back France’s freedom . . . even if it ends up costing them their lives.

World War II is a captivating era in history because there are so many elements and people that make up the culture and climate of that time. Most people learn that France surrendered to Germany early on and only became free once the Allies kicked the Axis powers out in 1944 & 1945. But that isn’t the whole story. While there were plenty of French who supported the Germans and the puppet French government the Germans set up, there were still plenty of French who wanted to be free and rule themselves. These French men, women, and children made up the resistance movement that found ways to spy on Germans, hide Jews and others wanted by Germans, get supplies to those in need, and many other things. In fact, some of the resistance work helped the Allies during their attacks on Germans in France.

Resistance and Defiance (and soon be be Victory) are graphic novels that tell the story of 12 year old Paul and his family. This family, like many other French families, are affected when the Germans take over. Their father has been taken as a political prisoner, they don’t have enough food to eat, and they don’t know who to trust. They learn about the resistance movement and have to decide whom to trust and just how far they will go to resist the Nazis in Germany.

This is a great book, and a quick read since it is a graphic novel. The main characters are young people so it is relatable and shows just how important youth can be, even in times of war. The books show the war from many different viewpoints and gives us a glimpse of how frustrating and frightening it would have been to live in France during WWII. I am really looking forward to the conclusion of the series. I know how the war turned out, but I want to know what happens with the characters I have grown fond of.

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