Michelle Kovacs's Reviews > Resistance

Resistance by Carla Jablonski
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

really liked it

I'm a huge history-WWII-Holocaust buff, so when I saw this at a Scholastic Warehouse sale, I knew I had to have it. However, I'm not big on graphic novels because I've never been into comic books, so this was a first for me. Overall, I thought this would be perfect for some of the kids that I had last year in 6th grade when I taught about WWII and the Holocaust.

Resistance is a graphic novel about a brother and a sister (and their family) who took over a hotel in the 'free' part of France after the Germans 'occupied' the other portion of France. Paul (about middle-school age) and his sister, Marie (around 7-8 years old), don't really understand what is happening in their country as they see Germans coming in and out with their uniforms, taking things, harassing citizens, and taking others captive. Paul is always sketching what he sees in his sketch book, and Marie is always asking Paul to 'quiz' her on things like geography. Paul's best friend, Henri, is Jewish. His parents have 'vanished.'

Both Paul and Marie overhear their mother talking about the resistance with her friends and want to get involved. Their mother, Sylvie, insists they do not. As the kids go off to see a friend, they arrive back to the hotel to see German soldiers tossing items into the yard/street. The Germans have taken it over. They wonder where Henri is, so they go in search to find him. They are smart enough to figure out that since Henri is Jewish, he should not go back there. Paul and Marie decide to 'hide' Henri, but are questioned by a gentleman who secretly sees what they are doing.

Paul figures out that the man is part of the resistance movement and asks to join. The nameless gentleman gives them a 'job' to do as a test to see if they are good enough at sneaking around to join the resistance. Paul and Marie go on this mission and uncover a 'code' that was left by other resistance fighters. "Monkey Face and Banana Breath escaped and are now in Paris with freedom" was the secret message. What does it mean?

Henri thinks he knows! The resistance gentleman suggest they take Henri out of hiding to move him to another location to better ensure his safety. They dye his hair and take a train to Paris, scared the entire way, with the awful things they see along the way...deportation trains, German soldiers, guns, Jewish people standing in lines, etc. Do they make it to Paris safely? And what did that message mean?

This was a quick and easy read. Definitely great for reluctant readers who may like comic books or those who are into history and WWII.

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message 1: by Michelle (last edited Aug 07, 2011 09:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle Kovacs Graphic Novel choice
ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens

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