Book #189: Jane, the Fox and Me

Jane the fox and me -- coverHere’s a beautiful, somber graphic novel from 2012 from Quebec playwright and author, Fanny Britt. This is a coming-of-age about the pain of being an adolescent girl and the horrendous cruelty of middle-school peers. I hate to write a long, diluted discussion of a story that is universally recognizable, both in these lovely illustrations and the remarkable writing, but I will take a moment to make a few observations.

The author uses the story-within-a-story technique to some degree. The narrator, Helene, skips back and forth from her own depressing circumstances to those of Jane Eyre, who also, as we know, suffered her share of troubles. There is also a breathtaking moment at the climax of the story when Helene, alone in her “outcast” bunk during an insufferable school trip, meets a shy fox in the darkness. Your heart nearly stops during this unforgettable sequence.

The book offers hope at the end. There is a new friendship with Genevieve. The family doctor assures her she isn’t fat but in fact just growing, even though Helene is loathe to believe it.

I made the (probably inappropriate) decision to read this book to my son. There were some concepts that were too abstract for him to fathom, and I hate the idea of introducing what the media and society at large has decided young women should look like. Body image for girls is not yet on his horizon and will likely never be an issue for him.

Still, our boy is no stranger to peer unkindness, and I felt that this book is a great stone along the pathway to learning empathy. It pained me to see his own pained expression as he witnessed Helene’s suffering, and I again wondered if perhaps I should have waited a bit before sharing this book with him. But it’s such a beautiful and rare piece.  I couldn’t wait.  ABZ

Jane the fox and me -- bathroom

 

Jane the fox and me -- jane eyre

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Jane the fox and me -- full spread fox

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Jane the fox and me -- fox

 

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Comments

  1. Hello Amy, just stumbled onto your website browsing for pictures of Jane the Fox and me. love your humor your website and your statement! I have made un umbelievable amount of attempts to start a blog and well you are a true inspiration.

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