Jane, The Fox & Me
Fri, 05/11/2018 - 9:31am by Lucy S
Hélène, the protagonist in Fanny Britt’s Jane, The Fox & Me, is the subject of bathroom graffiti, taunts and rejection from a group of mean girls at her middle school. She escapes from this bullying into the world of books, most specifically Jane Eyre. Hélène learns from Jane, who seems to her to be “clever, slender and wise” that everyone must always have a strategy for any situation. And so, Hélène employs small strategies of her own to cope with the horrors of two weeks at camp with her enemies, strategies to make her look occupied and to assuage her loneliness. Britt does an outstanding job capturing what it feels like to be the center of unwanted attention, that moment “as everyone turns to look at me. The world - even the the air itself - jerks to a stand still.” Even a magical encounter with the titular fox cannot keep Hélène’s self-esteem from continuing to plummet. Finally, it is not Jane, nor the fox, that help Hélène regain this lost self-esteem, but instead, the introduction of a true friend. Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault have created a beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated story of a girl learning her worth.