Without Tess

Marcella Pixley

Square Fish

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Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf  in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

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Marcella Pixley

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Book Excerpts

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FUNERAL LILIES
 
 
Every Wednesday I bring the battered Pegasus Journal into the high school guidance office. I sit in the rocking chair and lean back so it feels as if the world is holding its breath. I’ve grown to like this room. I like the painted masks, each one with its own hollow eyes. I like the wooden animals on the bookshelf: the camel, the stork, the wolf raising her face to the moon; but my favorite of all is the wooden horse that hangs from strings above my head. Its mane and tail are made of real hair, and it has red glass mirrors for eyes.

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Reviews

Praise for Without Tess

"Without Tess is a psychological thriller, a book of profound truth. Alternating between past and future, between loss and hope, Lizzie’s story will grip you from beginning to end." —Francisco Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World

"Following up on themes raised in her well-received first novel, Freak, . . . Marcella Pixley continues to explore the complexities of sibling loyalty." —The New York Times

* "Pixley’s memory play is a difficult, sadly beautiful ode to a complex and heartbreaking issue." —Publishers Weekly Online, starred review

* "[A] lyrical, heartrending novel." —School Library Journal, starred review

"Pixley, who skillfully tackled another complicated sisterly relationship in Freak . . . takes a rather provocative step here: she sets up some alluring and imaginative magical conceits that will immediately catch the attention of fantasy readers just as they did Lizzie, and then mercilessly makes their appeal their danger." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Smooth, well-paced, and contemporary." —VOYA Online

"Pixley once again plumbs the emotional depths of a tough subject with sensitivity and insight into the complexities of human nature and sibling bonds." —Kirkus Reviews


In the Press

Without Tess - By Marcella Pixley - Book Review - NYTimes.com
What happens in a family when a girl’s imagination shades into psychosis.
- The New York Times

WITHOUT TESS by Marcella PixleyKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of WITHOUT TESS . Tess' drowning five years ago weighs heavily on sister Lizzie, who, at 15, struggles with her feelings of guilt and betrayal for not doing enough to save Tess from herself.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Marcella Pixley

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.

Marcella Pixley

Jill Goldman Photography
Marcella Pixley

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Available Formats and Book Details

Without Tess
Marcella Pixley

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
May 2014
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250044358
ISBN10: 1250044359
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Margaret Ferguson Books
October 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374361747
ISBN10: 0374361746
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 790LL

$16.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Margaret Ferguson Books
October 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429969826
ISBN10: 1429969822
Young Adult Fiction288 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 790LL

$7.12
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Square Fish

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