Jane, the fox & me

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault, Christine Morelli and Susan Ouriou

There was no possibility of hiding anywhere today. (p9)

The tale of Jane, the fox & me, begins at school.  Helene’s school.  Drawn in pencil sketches of black, white and grey quickly gives the reader the sense that all is not well for Helene.  Immediately there’s a sense of sadness and it is quickly discovered that Helene has been outcast from a group of girls that were once her friends.  Now, it’s a day to day struggle to survive.  The bullying is relentless and cruel, hitting on one of the most sensitive nerves in all young woman.  Body image.

Today they wrote on the stall door in the second floor washroom, Helene weighs 216…and below…she smells like BO! (p12)

As Helene’s story unfolds she is dealt a horrible hand and learns that her class is taking a fieldtrip to a Nature Camp.  A field trip that includes four nights and forty students.   Everyone is going.  To make matters worse, there will be swimming at the nature camp and Helene needs a new bathing suit. 

Once at the Nature Camp, Helene is grouped together with the “Outcasts”.  There are three of them in total and they have been assigned to share a tent.  Hopeful that she might connect with one of the two girls proves to be fruitless when each girl neglects to communicate with anyone at camp.  The days are long and the bullying continues.   It escalates at one point leaving Helene alone in the woods where she discovers a fox.  The fox is just as intrigued by Helene as she is by him and just as he gets close enough to touch, one of the outcast roommates goes ballistic. 

What kind of idiot are you ?  Don’t you know that a fox that comes that close must have rabies?  It’s sick, dangerous.  I’ll have you know I just saved your life. (p80)

Helen is left feeling utterly and completely castaway and alone.

Is all hope truly lost? 

Is there anyone out there that wants to be Helene’s friend?

Is there any hope for Helene to once again see how beautiful she truly is despite the heavily weighted words of her peers? 

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