Jane, the Fox and Me

Jane, the Fox and Me

Written by: Britt, Fanny
Illustrated by: Arsenault, Isabelle
Translated by: Ouriou, Susan
Translated by: Morelli, Christelle
ages 10 to 14 / grades 5 to 8

A graphic novel about bullying, body image and the transformative power of fiction.

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. 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

A graphic novel about bullying, body image and the transformative power of fiction.

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. 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 1, 2013
Specifications 104 pages | 8.5 in x 11.25 in
Supporting Resources
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Teacher's Guide
Written By

FANNY BRITT is a playwright, novelist and translator. She collaborated with Isabelle Arsenault on two previous graphic novels: Jane, the Fox and Me, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration (French) and the Joe Shuster Award for Best Writer and for Best Artist, and Louis Undercover. Her other award-winning works include the play Bienvaillance and her first novel, Les maisons (published in English as Hunting Houses). Fanny lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her husband and two sons.

Illustrated by

ISABELLE ARSENAULT is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator. Her award-winning books include Jane, the Fox and Me and Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt, Spork and Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky (BolognaRagazzi Award) and Colette’s Lost Pet, which marked her debut as an author. She has won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature three times, and three of her picture books have been named as New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. Isabelle lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her family.

Audience ages 10 to 14 / grades 5 to 8
Reading Levels Lexile GN800L
Key Text Features speech bubbles
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6

Commended, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, 2013

Winner, Governor General's Literary Award for French Language Children's Illustration, 2013

Commended, Globe and Mail Best Books, 2013

Commended, New York Public Library Books for Reading and Sharing, 2013

Commended, YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens, 2014

Commended, Selected for inclusion in Best American Comics, 2014

Commended, Ontario Library Association Best Bets, 2014

Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, 2014

Winner — Governor General's Literary Award for French Language Children's Illustration

"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

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