OVERRIDE

Freak

Marcella Pixley

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Freak
1REMEMBERYou do it anyway, even if it hurts, reach back into the attic, through the smallest opening, and you look around in there. I can remember some things so clearly, I could trick myself, imagine that I was falling all over again. The sound of wings, of feathered voices, whispering.Sometimes when you try to make sense of things, they're foggy, and you have to reach way back to pull up the shadows. Even then sometimes they're too dark to really see. Other things are clear as pain, so recent that remembering takes over, and all you can do is sit back and let the memories come. When
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REVIEWS

Praise for Freak

"Poet Pixley’s gripping story of middle-school bullying may call to mind Spinelli’s Stargirl (2000) Anderson’s Speak (1999) . . . Thorny, determined, brilliant, mature yet surprisingly naive, Miriam is unforgettable.”—Starred, Booklist
 
“An expertly—and lovingly—narrated story about girls and bullying . . . Stunning.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews
 
"Observant and tough, Miriam's voice has a knife edge that tears past the surface"
—Starred, Publisher's Weekly
 
“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." — Starred, Bulletin of Center for Children's Books
 
"Skillful use of first-person narrative and figurative language make the novel very readable for persons ages twelve and up." —IRA

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Marcella Pixley

  • MARCELLA PIXLEY teaches eighth-grade language arts. Her poetry has been published in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Westford, Massachusetts.
  • Marcella Pixley Jill Goldman Photography
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Available Formats and Book Details

Freak

Marcella Pixley

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)
  • Trade Paperback

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  • Hardcover

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  • e-Book

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