The story of the brave Tessier children, begun in last year’s Resistance, continues here with the focus on the middle child, teenager Paul and his courageous tenacity. The year is 1943, and the German occupation of France is an everyday nightmare. “[T]o ensure their continued control, the Germans create a new and vicious police force: the Milice (French Military Police),” staffed with eager French volunteers ready to inform even on their neighbors. They’re also grabbing local citizens and shipping them to Germany for “compulsory labor” to continue the war effort. No one is safe.
In spite of German control, the Tessier children find “new forms of resistance.” Older daughter Sylvie quickly learns that her feminine charms don’t go unnoticed by the young, lonely German soldiers. Youngest child Marie is starting to understand that she can do more than just wait for Papa to come home. Paul continues to put up his anti-German sketches, distribute secret pamphlets, and run errands as necessary. And when the time comes to make a life-threatening decision, Paul doesn’t hesitate to help the Resistance fighters …
Together, these swift-moving graphic volumes of a planned trilogy present an excellent introduction to a lesser known chapter of World War II history. Choosing children to tell the story for children, Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis strike just the right balance between pressing urgency and impending danger to both entertain and inform. The final installment will definitely be a title to watch for closely.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult