Freak by Marcella Pixley


  Miriam has always been an outsider.  Having an eclectic artistic mother and hippy environmentalist, professor father, along with her "creative," artistic upbringing, always set Miriam apart from the others in her small town.  It used to be bearable when Miriam had her best friend, her sister Deborah, for support.  Everything changes for the worse when Deborah starts high school and begins caring about her appearance.  Suddenly, Deborah is popular, has tons of boyfriends to choose from, and even she now considers Miriam a freak.

When the hottest guy in high school, Artie, temporarily moves in with Miriam's family, Miriam has a hard time hiding the fact that she has a huge crush on him.  When the popular crowd at school finds out, they begin to tease and torture Miriam more than ever - making her life unbearable.  Miriam realizes she cannot go to her mother or her sister - she needs to take matters into her own hands, despite the consequences.

Freak portrays the cruel actions and words of school bullies and the lasting impact that haunts their victims in a painfully accurate light.  Not only is Miriam treated horribly by her peers, she is greatly misunderstood by her own family.  Though the ending offers some satisfaction when Miriam stands up for herself, the author does not pretend that all of Miriam's problems have suddenly vanished.  Though Miriam has learned to stand up herself, life will still be very difficult.

If you enjoy reading this book, try Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield.