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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The "Terrible" Bullies is a social issues novella for young adults and middle-schoolers written by Riyani Patel. Tanya and her friends were excited about starting their school year; they were in the ninth grade now and were freshmen at Bridge Bank High. Everything seemed exciting and new, and the friends were glad to share news about their summer vacations and plans. The next day, however, Tanya noticed her old nemesis, Diamond, in the hall. She still remembered being bullied by Diamond and feeling hurt and upset by her treatment. That didn’t go away so easily. On the third day of school, Tanya received an even more unpleasant surprise: her cousin, Kiana Weeks, and several of her friends from Minneapolis had moved into town and were now in Tanya’s class. Kiana had been very cruel to Tanya when they were both small. How could she cope with Kiana being a classmate? Tanya was unhappy and disappointed with her parents for not warning her about this. They had hoped that maybe after all these years, Tanya and Kiana would be able to be friends. Kiana and her friends had already begun bullying their fellow students at Bridge Bank. Tanya and her friends had an idea of how to put a stop to it.
Riyani Patel’s social issues novella for young adults and middle-schoolers, The "Terrible" Bullies, is a motivational look at bullying and how students can get involved with parents, teachers, and principals in dealing with the issue. Patel’s characters learn from each other and discover that often bullies have been themselves bullied in the past. Her story is well-written, and the plot moves quite nicely. Patel’s characters are authentic; their stories resonate, and their attempts to break out of the cycle of bullying are inspiring. The "Terrible" Bullies is most highly recommended.