A New York Times Best Illustrated Book
Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were
once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies -
Hélène weighs 216; she smells like BO. Her loving mother
is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has one
consolation, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Hélène
identifies strongly with Jane's tribulations, and when she is lost
in the pages of this wonderful book, she is able to ignore her
tormentors. But when Hélène is humiliated on a class trip in front
of her entire grade, she needs more than a fictional character to
see herself as a person deserving of laughter and friendship.
Leaving the outcasts' tent one night, Hélène encounters a fox, a
beautiful creature with whom she shares a moment of connection. But
when Suzanne Lipsky frightens the fox away, insisting that it must
be rabid, Hélène's despair becomes even more pronounced: now she
believes that only a diseased and dangerous creature would ever
voluntarily approach her. But then a new girl joins the outcasts'
circle, Géraldine, who does not even appear to notice that she is
in danger of becoming an outcast herself. And before long Hélène
realizes that the less time she spends worrying about what the
other girls say is wrong with her, the more able she is to believe
that there is nothing wrong at all.
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.