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?
Resistance is the first voulme of a triology written by acclaimed teen author Carla Jablonski and illustrated by Leland Purvis.
About the Author
Carla Jablonski is a novelist, performer, and playwright. Her fiction has been translated into ten languages, and her plays have been performed in New York, Philadelphia, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Her most recent books Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes were selected for the New York Public Libraries "Books for the Teen Age" list.
Leland Purvis is a self-taught comics artist and writer. His major works include the anthology VOX, a creator-owned series called PUBO, and a graphic-novel biography of physicist Niels Bohr, Suspended In Language, written by Jim Ottaviani. Recent works include graphic novels in the Turning Points series from Simon & Schuster. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, a cat, and a turtle.
Reading Group Guide
Questions for Discussion
1. Resistance is a graphic novel, a story told in words and pictures. How do you think this story would be told differently if it was a novel, with only words? How would it be different if it was a movie, with just pictures?
2. Paul and Marie spend a lot of the time in this book arguing with each otheras siblings tend to do. How would you describe their relationship? Why do you think they treat each other the way they do?
3. There are frequently pieces of Paul's art interspersed with the story. Why do you think the author and illustrator chose this storytelling device? What does the art say about Paul, and the way he interprets the world?
4. When their town is first invaded, Paul, Marie, and Henri all feel differently about it, but all three of them end up working to help the Resistance. To whom do you think you would feel similarly in this situation? Would you act similarly?
5. Henri and his parents are persecuted by the German soldiers because they are Jewish. Why do you think the German soldiers believed Jewish people should be victimized?
6. Paul and Marie originally think Jacques is an idle layabout, then suspect that he's helping the Germans. Learning he's a member of the French Resistance is a total reversal of their original opinion. Have you ever been similarly mistaken about someone? How did you feel when you realized your initial judgment was incorrect?
7. Resistance is set in France, and the beliefs, opinions, and experiences of Paul, Marie, and Henri are all very much shaped by the country they live in. Does their perspective on the war differ from what you know about World War II? How is their story different from what an American child would have experienced?
8. The members of the French Resistance defied the new laws of their country to commit sabotage against the German army. Do you think their decision to act against their new government was the right one? Are there situations in your life where you find rules or laws constraining or wrong and think you should act against them?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.The book starts with a one-page non-fiction narrative that places our story in history. We are told how France was invaded, occupied, surrendered and the results of this. The graphic story focuses on a French family living in Vichy, the 'free' part of France, a mother, two daughters and a son, the father is off fighting in the war and no word has been heard since France's surrender. One by one we learn how certain members of this family and village are part of the French resistance and when one of them learns that the children are hiding a Jew in their wine caves he enlists their help thinking children will make perfect resistance members as they will not be suspect.The book is quite dark emotionally. We see images that hint at the horrors going on and some brutal events do happen but it is the looks of outrage and fear on the children's faces that truly brings the emotions to the reader. The story involves the round-up of Jews in their village and the children's mission as resistance fighters. It is exciting and full of fear at the same time. The book does a good job of bringing the reality of living in an occupied country to the reader. There are a few instances when the plot is a little too unbelievable, someone just happens to turn up in the nick of time at the place where they were looking, that sort of thing. But otherwise, a compelling story which takes an interesting stand in it's two-page non-fiction conclusion where it explains the French Resistance and whether participating or not participating should ever be reason for judging someone.
Paul and Marie Tessier live in a small village in southern France during World War II. While not officially occupied by Germany, Germans are all around them. They worry for their Jewish friend Henri. Then Henri's parents go missing while he is away from home, and Paul and Marie find themselves hiding their friend while becoming a small part of the French Resistance. Resistance, Book 1 by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis is the first in a series of three graphic novels for young adults. It does an excellent job portraying the confusion, fear and uncertainty that were all part of everyday life at the time. Even young children saw friends turn on each other, and they had a hard time knowing who they could confide in. Members of the Resistance took great risks upon themselves and their families to do what they considered to be right. Strict secrecy meant sometimes even family members didn't know they were each involved. So many books about World War II are written for adults; Resistance, Book 1 should be a great book to introduce this historical event to young adults. The images enrich the story beautifully and help keep the action moving along. The author's note at the back gives a brief description of the Resistance in France that should help fuel discussions. Issues include looking at war-time realities, deciding how much you are willing to risk to help your friends, and determining what you will do to resist something you consider wrong. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 13 and up.