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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > November 2017 > The spy that knew too much

The spy that knew too much

A heartbreaking and bold story by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault tackles first love and a parent’s alcoholism



Louis Undercover

Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, ill; Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou, trans.

Groundwood Books, Ages 10–14

FANNY BRITT and Isabelle Arsenault follow up their Governor General’s Literary Award–winning Jane, the Fox and Me with a second graphic novel collaboration of equal acuity. The titular protagonist of Louis Uncover is a perceptive 11-year-old trying to make sense of the complicated fragility of his world: “Nothing anywhere in my life is simple.” Narrating with melancholic savoir-faire, this weary observer matter-of-factly states, “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that if my dad cries, it’s first and foremost because of the wine.” A reluctant spy, he notices other parental frailties he’s not supposed to see. Louis keeps a protective eye on his sweetly blithe younger brother, Truffle, spends hours with his steadfast friend, Boris, and is riveted by Billie, a confident classmate whom he secretly admires from afar, unable to summon the courage to speak to her.

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