Freak: A Novel (Paperback)
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For Miriam Fisher, a budding poet who reads the Oxford English Dictionary for fun, seventh grade is a year etched in her memory "clear as pain." That's the year her older sister, Deborah, once her best buddy and fellow "alien," bloomed like a beautiful flower and joined the high school in-crowd. That's the year high school senior Artie Rosenberg, the "hottest guy in the drama club" and, Miriam thinks, her soul mate, comes to live with Miriam's family. And that's the year the popular "watermelon girls" turn up the heat in their cruel harassment of Miriam—ripping her life wide open in shocking, unexpected ways. Teased and taunted in school, Miriam is pushed toward breaking, until, in a gripping climax, she finds the inner strength to prove she's a force to be reckoned with.
This riveting first novel introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine, an outsider who dares to confront the rigid conformity of junior high, and in the process manages not only to save herself but to inspire and transform others.
About the Author
Marcella Pixley is a middle school language arts teacher and a writer. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first book, Freak, received four starred reviews and was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. She lives in Westford, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons.
“* Poet Pixley's gripping story of middle-school bullying may call to mind Spinelli's Stargirl Anderson's Speak. . . . Thorny, determined, brilliant, mature yet surprisingly naive, Miriam is unforgettable. ” —Booklist, starred review
“* An expertly--and lovingly--narrated story about girls and bullying . . . Stunning.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“* Observant and tough, Miriam's voice has a knife edge that tears past the surface. ” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Middle school girls will read this book and realize how many girls are just like them.” —VOYA
“Wow! Freak is heartbreakingly funny, heartbreakingly spot-on, and heartbreaking. If you've ever been on the outside--and you have--Miriam Fisher is your new best friend.” —Chris Crutcher, author of The Sledding Hill
“Pixley writes with well-crafted intensity of a girl in an agony of perplexed exclusion. . . . Readers will be intrigued by her eventual ability to make a new way for herself.” —The Bulletin of Center for Children's Books, starred review
“Skillful use of first-person narrative and figurative language make the novel very readable for persons ages twelve and up.” —IRA