French subscription literature

The dolanguages resources are a systematic approach to teaching literature through the target language in class.  They consist of * full page by page vocabulary* detailed gapped summary (8 pages average)* searching questions* contextualised grammar for enrichment and analysis* essay preparation tools with sample plan and essay* links to the best external resources.  They will save you much preparation time and enhance the learning experience.

All the French content on the site is available to subscribers to the French package at £30.   You can purchase your subscription for French only here, or you could opt for all languages at £45. Your login details will be set up manually and sent to your email address.

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14. Un sac de billes

un sac de billes


Reasons to study the work

The fact that Joffo manages to make this book so human and so funny is what makes it stand out from the crowd:  there are plentiful books and films out there about the occupation but Un sac de billes has lessons to impart beyond encouraging people to be on the look out for persecution.

The novel is fairly long compared to other titles on the list but our resources including the full page by page vocabulary list and the complete summary mean that you don't necessarily have to cover every word in class.   

The interest of the work

Joseph Joffo decided to write this engaging story of  his wartime experiences as his children were growing up inorder to make them aware of the dangers they could conceivably face at some time in the future.  Looking over the shoulder of his young self, Jo, and brother Maurice the author combines engaging, amusing sequences of dialogue between the boys demonstrating their innoncent view of occurences with comment from the point of view of the wiser adult.

We share with Jo and Maurice the period in history between the imposition of the yellow star and the liberation.  Through the boys' experience we learn how a range of colourful people feel about the defeat of France, from the old royalist the comte de V. who drives them to the station in his carriage to a rabid right winger monsieur Mancelier who unwittingly shelters Jo.  What really shines through the whole account of the period is the primal urge for survival within the family;   the Joffo family has graduated from Russian persecution to being hunted down by French collaborationists and Nazis.

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un sac de billes