My choice to read Jane, the Fox, and Me was influenced by my participation in the Read Harder Challenge. Tasks 19 and 20 are to read a work originally published in another language and a graphic novel, graphic memoir, or collection of comics of any kind. I had some other books picked out for these tasks, and I have every intention of reading them, but when bonnie and the Chancellor’s reviews of this book back in January I knew that this was something I wanted to check out.
I have a tough time with short form fiction. In their way, short stories (no matter the author it seems) and comics have never really been able to hold my attention. I am also usually distracted by the amount of visual stimuli on the page. Thankfully for me, this beautiful hardcover edition of the translation of Jane, the Fox, and Me features large images, often taking up the entire page. This gave my brain a break and let me sink into the intricate but simple artwork accompanying the meaningful text.
In trying to figure out how to encapsulate the story of Helene I think I’ll let Goodreads give you the gist. “This emotionally honest and visually stunning graphic novel reveals the casual brutality of which children are capable, but also assures readers that redemption can be found through connecting with another, whether the other is a friend, a fictional character or even, amazingly, a fox.” I was bullied a bit as a child and young adult. I had a stutter, and I have always been on the heavy side. There were plenty of people who would use those things to cast me out, or have some fun at the expense of my last name. Thankfully for me I had friends, other likely outcasts, who stuck by me and whom I stuck by and we are lucky enough to call each other friend some 18-24 years later. We are incredibly close and it’s the shared view of the world, the power of literature, and being in the trenches that has done that for us. Jane, the Fox, and Me takes a magnifying glass to those early days when we were finding ourselves and finding each other. This is a book that should not be missed. I hope you read this work and it means something to you, and that it makes you think of your friends who have picked you up along the way.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.