Monday, June 28, 2010

Graphic Novel Monday: Resistance: Book 1, by Carla Jablonski & Leland Purvis

Resistance: Book 1, by Carla Jablonski & Leland Purvis. Published 2010 by First Second. Graphica. Fiction.

Resistance: Book 1, is the first in a projected series of three graphic novels by author Carla Jablonski and illustrator Leland Purvis about the invasion of France by the Nazis during World War 2, and the brave men and women who fought back. This book centers on a small village in the free zone, where young Paul Tessier and his sister Marie work with the Resistance to save his friend Henri Levy, a Jewish boy whose family has disappeared.

Their journey takes them all the way to the sewers of Paris and the Jewish resistance hiding there, but along the way the kids face some daunting challenges. Paul and Marie's father is a prisoner of war, and their town is suffering under the privations and stress of the invasion. There are Resistance members among the villagers who can help them, but it's not easy to know whom to trust, and danger is everywhere. And neither the violence nor the trauma of war is spared as Jablonski and Purvis tell their breathtaking tale.

I would describe the visual style of the book as varied and cinematic. Paul is a budding artist and "his" sketches are used side by side as a contrast to the more polished narrative art, to show the raw emotion he feels at different moments in this tense and suspenseful story. Greens and yellows dominate the color scheme, lending a somewhat dated look appropriate to the historical setting. Visuals range from establishing shots and crowd scenes to closeups and action sequences, all rendered with drama and panache.

I think Resistance is a terrific book and would make a great read for middle school readers and above interested in learning about World War 2 and more specifically how it was experienced in France. It includes some very good messages about taking risks and standing up for what you believe in, and doing what's right even when it's not easy. The Author's Note at the end also includes good historical background and topics for discussion or reflection. I'm really looking forward to the next books in the series.

Come back next Monday for an interview with author Carla Jablonski.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.


bermudaonion said...

World War II and set in France both grab my attention. Sounds like a good one!

jewwishes said...

This sounds wonderful in its historic context.

avisannschild said...

Ooh, I so want to read this! I'm looking forward to reading the interview with the author.

Trisha said...

My list of graphic novels to be read just keeps getting longer and longer. Thanks for the suggestion!

Aarti said...

This sounds fabulous! How interesting that I have another book called Resistance on my shelf, but it's non-fiction about a woman who worked on the French Resistance during the war. This sounds exactly like the sort of GN I'd enjoy- thanks for the review!

....Petty Witter said...

Sounds like an 'enjoyable' way to learn about such an awful period in our history, thanks for the recommendation.

Zibilee said...

I bet my daughter would love these books. I have read a lot about the German occupation, but I don't think she has, and this would be a great way to get her feet wet to the topic. Thanks, Marie, for the great review!

John A. Walsh said...

I'm late on seeing this review, but I've been WAITING for this graphic novel since I first saw a preview of the cover! Great review; adds to my desire to sink my teeth into this one!

diaryofaneccentric said...

I'm adding this to my to-read list! I bet you knew I would. ;) I just love the cover.

I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.