Jane, the Fox and Me
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Written by Fanny Britt
Translated by Susan Ouriou
- JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels
- JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
- JUVENILE FICTION
Publication Date October 10, 2013
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book
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 Brontë'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 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.
Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for French Language Children's Illustration 2013
Winner of the Libris Award for Young Readers Book of the Year 2014
Selected for the New York Times Best Illustrated Books 2013
Selected for the Globe and Mail Best Books 2013
Selected for the New York Public Library Books for Reading and Sharing 2013
Selected for the YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2014
Selected for the Selected for inclusion in Best American Comics 2014
Selected for the Ontario Library Association Best Bets 2014
Short-listed for the Amelia Frances Howard‐Gibbon Award 2014
Short-listed for the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids 2014
Short-listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Young Adult / Middle Reader Award 2014
Selected for the Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year 2014
Short-listed for the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2014
Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator who has won an impressive number of awards and has achieved international recognition. She has illustrated Migrant by Maxine Trottier, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, winner of the Governor General’s Award; Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin by Marie-Danielle Croteau, winner of the Governor General’s Award; and My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She has also illustrated Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol and Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, forthcoming from Groundwood. Isabelle has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running. She lives with her family in Montreal.
Fanny Britt is a Quebec playwright, author and translator. She has written a dozen plays (among them Honey Pie, Hôtel Pacifique and Bienveillance) and translated more than fifteen. She has also written and translated several other works of literature. Jane, the Fox and Me is her first graphic novel.
Susan Ouriou has translated children's, young adult and adult literature from Spanish and French into English and is a novelist herself. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
"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
"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
"Britt’s poetic prose captures Hélène’s heartbreaking isolation . . . [A] brutally beautiful story." Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW
"More than a few readers will recognize themselves in Hélène and find comfort." Publishers Weekly
"A sensitive and possibly reassuring take on a psychological vulnerability that is all too common and not easily defended." Kirkus Review
"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." New York Times
"The theme is universal; girls, especially those who have been at the receiving end of negative comments, will relate to Hélène." Library Media Connections