Chill, don’t Freak

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Yulia Podolny
Newton native Marcella Pixley, who currently teaches eighth grade English in a Carlisle middle school, knows very well the pressures of middle school bullying.
In fact, the main heroine in her first work of fiction, Freak, resembles Pixley in her own middle school years. According to Pixley, however, all students experience being different in one way or another. Pixley uses Freak to prove to her students they are not alone.
Pixley has also written various works of poetry, published in places such as the University of Nebraska’s Prairie Schooner.
Freak is about a seventh grade girl, who, much like Pixley in her middle school years, reads the dictionary for fun, and thus is alienated by her classmates’ reactions.
Although rejected several times by several different publishers, Freak now has one of the best publishers in New York and has received much praise.
Pixley has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, which honors notable work from younger and/or lesser-known writers.
Pixley’s success has not weakened her resolve to share her struggles in classes as well as in her writing.
Pixley comes to the Newton Free Library on Thursday November 29 at 7:00 pm to talk about her book, the consequences of bullying, and her experience of writing and publishing professionally.

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