Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Defiance: Resistance Book Two

Defiance: Resistance Book Two

Carla Jablonski
Illustrator:  Leland Purvis , Hilary Sycamore 
Historical Fiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 12 and up
First Second, 2011   ISBN: 1596432926

Paul, his sisters, and his mother are doing the best that they can to survive in occupied France. Paul is working for the Resistance as a courier at great risk to himself and everyone associated with him. Despite the danger, Paul is determined to do what he can to help the cause. After all, his father is a prisoner of war in a camp somewhere in Germany.

With every passing day the situation in France is getting worse, and after the Germans take the family’s wine so that they can use it to power their cars, Paul gets angrier than ever. The wine that they have made from their grapes is the only thing they have to sell so that can earn a little money.

As Paul watches, the French Military police round up men and boys for the Germans, so that the Germans can send them to work in German factories. Soon there will be no one left to work in the vineyard, and Paul’s family will have no way to care for the vines and harvest the grapes.

Paul learns that there is a group of Resistance fighters who call themselves the Maquis. These men and women are determined to fight the Germans, using force if necessary. The problem is that someone needs to find out what the Germans know about the Maquis. Wanting to help the cause, Paul’s big sister Marie offers to help. She is pretty and can be very charming, and she can encourage the German soldiers to talk freely about what they know.

Then Paul almost gets caught putting up an anti-German poster. Afraid that he has been identified by the military police, Paul takes refuge in the hills, where the Marquis are hiding themselves.

This is the second book in the Resistance graphic novel series, and it gives readers a chilling picture of what it was like to be in France during the German occupation. Neighbors informed on neighbors, and often there were rifts within families because some were willing to collaborate with the Germans while others were dedicated to fighting against them. People had to lie so much that there came a time when it was hard to know what was the truth and what was fiction.

As they follow the adventures of Paul and his family, readers will come to appreciate how terrible the war was on a very personal level, and how much people suffered as they tried to do what they thought was best.