Resistance Trilogy, book 1
Finished: Dec. 11, 2010
First Published: Apr. 27, 2010
Publisher: First Second
Genre: YA, graphic novel, historical fiction
World War II began on September 1, 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and Russia.
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my local library.
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.