Jane, the fox & me

Summary:

Montreal, 1980s. The young Hélène is marginalized by her schoolmates, and she is subjected to mockery and insults. She finds solace in reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. She identifies herself with the protagonist by debasing herself, convinced that she is “a sausage,” a “pork puppy” or “a fork cushion.” And the worst is yet to come. A week on a trip with 40 schoolmates, ready to bully her. But two encounters will change her life for the better. The first with a beautiful red fox with stunning eyes. The second is with a girl who becomes her friend, brightening her daily life, because “the world suddenly fills up with Géraldine’s words.” [Source: Ricochet, article by Anne Clerc]

Comment:

Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt offer us an intimate, refined and moving tale. The two Quebec artists manage to render the difficulties of adolescence and the sense of loneliness of the young Hélène, who suddenly becomes the scapegoat of her schoolmates. Two distinct atmospheres alternate: the grey childhood along the streets of Montreal, in the middle of winter, and the fantasies of Hélène. When the young storyteller mentions Jane Eyre, the black and white parts give way to colourful illustrations. In those pages, the illustrator immerses readers in a Victorian atmosphere dominated by the orange colour. This warm colour is used repeatedly until the fox appears. An animal that represents danger or diversity, but also the “wild spirit” of Hélène, who must accept to be a feisty animal, overcoming the doubts that thwart her. No happy ending, but an open ending, reflecting an adolescence in the making and profoundly uncertain. [Source: Ricochet, article by Anne Clerc]

Edited by: Centro MeTRa (Italy)

Author(s): Britt, Fanny

Illustrator(s): Arsenault, Isabelle

Translator(s): Morelli, Christine; Ouriou, Susan

Publisher: Groundwood

Year: 2013

Pages: 104

ISBN: 9781554983605

Age Range: 6 - 10

Language: EN

Original Language: FR

Keywords: Bullying, Education, Empowerment, School

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