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Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

I've been taking a class this summer, so I haven't had much time for reading anything other than class readings.  However, I did recently read the graphic novel Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault.  I was shelving books in the juvenile fiction section, and I came across this book; it looked intriguing so I checked it out.  Originally written in French and published in French speaking Canada, it's been translated into English by Christelle Morelli.

Jane, The Fox & Me is both a charming and heartbreaking story about a friendless girl who is being bullied by a group of girls who used to be her friends.  What precipitated the bullying isn't elaborated upon... and really, I want to know why these girls turned on their friend, Helene.  The former friends bully Helene about her weight and call her fat, which Helene is not.  What is even more upsetting is that Helene has so internalized their barbed comments that she believes she is fat.  Helene is a reader, and she finds solace in the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, particularly identifying with Jane.  Then Helene's class goes on an overnight trip to a wilderness camp, which Helene dreads like the dickens, and after a particularly humiliating encounter with the bullies, Helene is befriended by another girl.

This is lovely story, and it has lovely illustrations.  It's a slim novel and since it's also a graphic novel, it reads very quickly.  Don't forget to really study the illustrations--the visual imagery of every graphic novel is just as important as the words on the page.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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