My Especially Weird Week With Tess by Anna Woltz

Our Rating
Author: Anna Woltz

Category: Children's

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Oneworld

ISBN: 9780861542963

RRP: $14.99

My Especially Weird Week With Tess is a small book which doesn’t shy away from tackling big issues – death, loneliness, gender and family dynamics.

Sam is 11 and is holidaying with his family on the island of Texel, off the Netherlands coast. He either thinks too much or not at all and is considered weird by his peers – and most certainly by his brother, Jasper.

This exquisitely short novel begins with Jasper falling into a hole on the beach and breaking his ankle. Sam and his dad take Jasper to the medical centre, where Sam meets the scary receptionist’s daughter, Tess. She’s 12 and much taller than Sam, and she also identifies as weird.

This shared weirdness helps them to get over their initial awkwardness. Sam tells Tess about his family. Tess tells Sam that she doesn’t have a dad: her mum found out she was pregnant with her after splitting up with her boyfriend.

Tess needs Sam’s help to get a holiday house ready for a special guest. Sam can’t work out why Tess is so nervous around the arriving couple, until she lets Sam know that the man, Hugo, is her father. She found her mum’s scrapbook and discovered his name and contact details, then told him he’d won a week’s holiday on Texel. She needs to know if she wants him in her life. Things don’t go quite to plan.

Sam, meanwhile, is struggling with the concept of death, and of being left behind. Tess has an elderly neighbour who thinks that Sam is taking the wrong approach to loss. This helps Sam to understand that Tess is also making a mistake. He has to help her before it’s too late.

Reviewed by Bob Moore

Age Guide 8+



Anna Woltz, authorAnna Woltz (b. London, 29 December 1981) is a Dutch writer. She has written twenty-eight books for young readers. Some of her books are adventurous stories for ten-year-olds, others are challenging young adult novels. Her books have been translated into twenty-seven languages (English, German, French, Swedish, Italian, Slovenian, Czech, Slovak, Serbian, Albanian, Croatian, Turkish, Arabic, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese) and have won many prizes.

Woltz’s books are loved by both children and adults. Children enjoy the exciting, funny and sometimes crazy adventures and the lovable characters. Adults have praised Woltz for her beautiful language, psychological depth and fresh, humorous narrative voice.

Themes that are particularly close to Woltz’s heart are family relationships, growing up and the question all people have to face sooner or later: how am I going to do this – this amazing and complicated thing called life? Quite a few of her books are about young characters who discover their parents are no different from all other human beings: sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes they have no clue what to do. Part of growing up is about accepting this.

Visit Anna Woltz’s website


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