The title, Victory, speaks volumes, not only for the history it represents, but for the informative, inspiring books created by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis. Once again, the duo present wrenching, dangerous events with urgency, insight, and plenty of humanity; their completed trilogy offers even stubborn young readers a worthy, engaging alternative to learning difficult history.
The Tessier children prove to be braver than they themselves might ever have imagined. Middle child Paul, the most headstrong of all, at the very least continues to aggravate the Nazis with his subversive art, and at his most defiant risks his life again and again until he finds himself on the violent streets of Paris, directly in the line of tank fire. Sylvie, in spite of being labeled a Nazi sympathizer, continues to collect enemy secrets any way she can. And, young Marie, who worries she can’t remember her missing father, manages to keep safe the biggest secret of all, right in the family’s wine cave. Among family, friends, and even enemies, no one can be quite honest about what they really believe, or even reveal who they really are.
While the final “Author’s Note” warns that, in spite of the liberation of Paris from Nazi control, the war would continue for almost another year followed by extensive chaos and struggle to rebuild the country, an “Epilogue” balances the devastating history with a hopeful future for the Tessier family. The children are clearly the heroes here, as they are the intended audience; the message is crystal clear – fighting for justice requires no age limits.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult