The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Jane, the Fox & Me
Publisher: Walker Books
Hélène spends her school days trying to hide from the girls who were once her friends, who now whisper behind her back, and write insults about her on the bathroom wall. She seeks consolation in the pages of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, 'the best book I've ever read', identifying with Jane's hardships. When she has to undertake a class trip with her entire grade and finds herself relegated to the outcasts' tent, there is even more humiliation ahead of her: but Jane, an unexpected encounter with a fox, and a new girl, Géraldine, all play their part in helping to point her in a new, more hopeful direction.
This thought-provoking graphic novel by Fanny Britt, exquisitely illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, is a real visual delight. Each page spread is gorgeously designed, with the scratchy, melancholy black and white lines of Hélène's world exploding into bright blocks of colour as she becomes immersed in Jane's story. A sensitive and moving testament to the power of reading, as well as a tale of a young girl overcoming loneliness and bullying, this beautiful book will resonate with children and yet is sophisticated enough to appeal to older teenagers and adults.