Jane, the fox & me
by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault
published by Groundwood Books in 2012
My Highest Recommendation goes to this wonderful Graphic Novel- which positively addresses the sensitive topic of body insecurities and social anxiety in teenage girls. The authors humorously recount the stomach churning experience of having to buy a swimming costume- most women and girls will be familiar with the uncomfortable and disheartening process.
Kudos also to the fabulous portrayal of motherly love and devotion- the main character’s well meaning mother- not only takes her awkward teenager clothes shopping but also stays up long nights slaving over sewing projects and provides home cooked and wholesome meals for her entire brood.
Perhaps my favorite part of this unusual book is the assertion and reminder that books can provide a much needed escape for teens experiencing difficulties. This charming graphic novel intersperses scenes from Jane Eyre- with her romantic and proper English life alongside contemporary friezes of life in a typical high school- with kids crowding a school hallway – with pushing and shoving and nasty name calling…It’s such an interesting juxtaposition…. The result? The enchanting exchange between Helene and Geraldine(her long awaited and new found special friend)
I’m going to lend Geraldine my copy of Jane Eyre when she comes over during the holidays.
I told her. You’ll see, the story ends well.