Jane, the Fox, and Me

By Fanny Britt; Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator); Christine Morelli (Translator); Susan Ouriou (Translator)
(Groundwood Books, Hardcover, 9781554983605, 104pp.)

Publication Date: September 2013

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Description

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 the Author

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.




Praise For Jane, the Fox, and Me

A New York Times Best Illustrated Book
Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration in French
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing

"Loneliness is a language that doesn’t need translation....It’s a language understood by anyone who has endured the interminable wait for a Géraldine of her own." — The New York Times

"Readers will be delighted to see Helene’s world change as she grows up, learning to ignore the mean girls and realizing that, like Jane, she is worthy of friendship and love." — School Library Journal, Starred Review

"Hélène’s emotional tangle is given poignant expression through Arsenault’s pitch-perfect mixed-media art . . . [Her] story is sweetly comforting and compelling." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review


A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

"Loneliness is a language that doesn’t need translation....It’s a language understood by anyone who has endured the interminable wait for a Géraldine of her own." — The New York Times

"Readers will be delighted to see Helene’s world change as she grows up, learning to ignore the mean girls and realizing that, like Jane, she is worthy of friendship and love." — School Library Journal, Starred Review

"Hélène’s emotional tangle is given poignant expression through Arsenault’s pitch-perfect mixed-media art . . . [Her] story is sweetly comforting and compelling." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review "There was no possibility of hiding anywhere today.
Not in the halls at school or out in the schoolyard or even in the far stairway, the one leading to art class that smells like sour milk.
They're everywhere, just like their insults scribbled on the walls."
— from the book

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