It is 1943 and the Terrier siblings — Paul, his younger sister Marie and his older sister Sylvie — live in Vichy occupied France. Their father is a prisoner of war and the occupying Germans and the French military police enforcing the rules are a source of angst for all. In Defiance the children all secretly get involved in fighting the occupiers in different ways. The war and occupation take a personal toll on the Terriers’ lives. The story, told in graphic novel form, addresses difficult topics including questions of children’s control in the face of their powerlessness to the military and other authorities. The Terrier children question if they can trust the authorities as well as neighbors, friends and even their relatives where opinions differ and lives are at stake. As the second in the three-volume Resistanceseries, this graphic novel stands well alone. Jews don’t really have a central role in the book. The local Jews have already been deported. With an extensive historical and author’s note as well as the violence and fear of World War II, this book is best for mature readers who can keep track of complicated story lines. Ages 11 and up.
Dina Weinstein is a Richmond, Virginia-based writer.