This week is anti-bullying week, so I’m sharing a few of my favourite books that have bullying as a theme. Today is Jane, the Fox and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (this edition translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou).
Jane, the Fox and Me is a beautiful graphic novel about a young girl called Helene, who is being mercilessly bullied at school by the girls she used to call her friends. Beginning with the heart-wrenching words ‘There was nowhere to hide today’, Britt and Arsenault capture brilliantly the isolation that bullying can cause. Helene feels utterly alone, an outcast. The impact on her self esteem is made clear in a wincingly humiliating trip to buy a swimming suit. Her only solace is to escape into Jane Eyre (when she is imagining herself in Jane’s world the panels change from sepia to rich colour). Through Jane, herself a woman who survived poor treatment, Helene finds comfort, and as she finally makes a friend, her world becomes full of hope and colour.
Jane, the Fox and Me is a beautiful and ultimately uplifting read and a reminder of the impact both of small cruelties and small kindnesses on young people.