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This book was suggested by a fellow middle school librarian on a thread regarding books dealing with middle school bullying. And while the book itself is lovely, it is so abstract – or, in middle school terms, “why is this so weird?” – that I’m not sure it will have an impact unless an adult is reading along and really pushing the message. Main character Helene is an artsy, quiet, book nerd, insecure in her body and struggling socially. Her bullies are the typical thin, trendy socialites, targeting her for all the ways that she is different. The beautiful illustrations tell a one-sided story, and we never learn much about Helene’s bullies. She never stands up to them, but instead finds a friend that accepts her for who she is. I generally suggest books about bullying that give insight into either bully or victim behavior, something that will open the eyes of the reader and make them pay more attention to the role that they play in their social circle. Jane and the Fox and Me didn’t have that effect for me. Love the thread of Jane Eyre moving through the story, and wish that we saw more of that fox. Lovely and quirky, this book can be meaningful in the right circumstances.
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