professornana (professornana) wrote,

FREAK-ing out

Took some time after breakfast with Don Gallo and CJ Bott to sit and visit. Chris Crutcher and Sara Hollbrook joined in. I think our conversation and my potty mouth drove off some folks having a prayer meeting nearby.

Headed off to the exhibits and managed to score some great books before the feeding frenzy began at noon. Saw the amazing Walter Mayes and was smothered in his bear hug. Met some new folks. Talked to wonderful publishers. Now I am back in the room with time to read!

It did not take long for me to run through this amazing fit novel by Marcella Pixley. It has received numerous starred reviews, so I know I am not alone in my amazed awe at how she has managed to capture perfectly the world of the emerging adolescent in this slim novel.

Miriam is in 7th grade hell. However, she has Clyde to confide in. Clyde is her journal, filled with her thoughts, her poems, her hopes and dreams. And now, her parents have told her that Artie is coming to live with them while his parents are off on safari. Miriam has loved Artie since she first met him years ago. Maybe he, too, will see Miriam for the wonderful person she is. Maybe she will find her love returned. However, high school senior Artie has his sights set on Miriam's older sister Deborah. Deborah used to be Miriam's friend and companion. Now, Miriam feels as if Deborah has changed from her sister and friend into some sort of alien creature. She is almost as bad as Julie, the queen of mean at her middle school.

Miriam is pushed to the edge, called FREAK, had her journal shredded. How can she continue to fight back against those who would destroy her and her self confidence? Pixley has created an amazing character here who finds her sense of self after being almost totally obliterated by circumstances beyond her own control. Many girls will find themselves in this story and see themselves, hopefully, redeemed and made stronger.

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