Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

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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.


About Marcella Pixley

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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.
Published October 11, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 289 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Without Tess

Kirkus Reviews

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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.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Without Tess

The New York Times

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Under Tess’s spell, Lizzie sees gossamer wings sprout from her sister’s shoulders, and together they gallop happily until Lizzie can just about feel her own wings emerge.

Dec 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Without Tess

Common Sense Media

Pixley paints a compelling portrait of both the beauty of the magic fantasy world Tess and Lizzie share and the dark, out-of-control side that leaves 10-year-old Lizzie more and more bewildered as people ask "What's wrong with your sister?"

Oct 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Without Tess

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