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.