Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt

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A sensitive and possibly reassuring take on a psychological vulnerability that is all too common and not easily defended.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — Hélène weighs 216; she smells like BO. Her loving mother is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has one consolation, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Hélène identifies strongly with Jane’s tribulations, and when she is lost in the pages of this wonderful book, she is able to ignore her tormentors. But when Hélène is humiliated on a class trip in front of her entire grade, she needs more than a fictional character to allow her to see herself as a person deserving of laughter and friendship.

Leaving the outcasts’ tent one night, Hélène encounters a fox, a beautiful creature with whom she shares a moment of connection. But when Suzanne Lipsky frightens the fox away, insisting that it must be rabid, Hélène’s despair becomes even more pronounced: now she believes that only a diseased and dangerous creature would ever voluntarily approach her. But then a new girl joins the outcasts’ circle, Géraldine, who does not even appear to notice that she is in danger of becoming an outcast herself. And before long Hélène realizes that the less time she spends worrying about what the other girls say is wrong with her, the more able she is to believe that there is nothing wrong at all.

This emotionally honest and visually stunning graphic novel reveals the casual brutality of which children are capable, but also assures readers that redemption can be found through connecting with another, whether the other is a friend, a fictional character or even, amazingly, a fox.
 

About Fanny Britt

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Fanny Britt is a playwright, author and translator. She has a dozen plays to her credit. She has also translated over fifteen contemporary plays and several other works of literature. She writes children's books and has published, among others, the Félicien series with La Courte Échelle. Jane, the Fox and Me is her first graphic novel. She lives in Montreal with her family.Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator, who has garnered an impressive number of awards and international recognition. She has illustrated several books, including Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin (Governor General's Award) and My Letter to the World and Other Poems (Governor General's Award Finalist, IRA Children's Choices), and she has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Walker Books Ltd. 104 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Children's Books.
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Critic reviews for Jane, the Fox, and Me
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 17 2013

A sensitive and possibly reassuring take on a psychological vulnerability that is all too common and not easily defended.

Read Full Review of Jane, the Fox, and Me | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 15 2013

The pain that cruel schoolmates inflict on solitary, book-loving girls is familiar territory...More than a few readers will recognize themselves in Hélène and find comfort.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Taffy Brodesser-akner on Aug 23 2013

There isn’t anything revolutionary about this quiet book, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou. But there doesn’t really need to be. The magic of a story like this is that it’s a hand stretching from Hélène’s school to ours to let us know we’re not alone. Loneliness is a language that doesn’t need translation.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Mar 30 2014

Strictly speaking, Jane, the Fox & Me is intended for younger readers...this is a graphic novel so well drawn and beautifully told, I'm certain it will speak to adults, too – especially if you've only to think of your school days for your stomach to flip over.

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