I can remember a few things about my grade school years. One of those things was a public insult about me by the most popular boy in class. I can forget lots of things at my age, but I still remember that particular insult.
I wouldn’t call my insult the result of bullying, but when one student exerts his or her superiority over another, the harm can be permanent Many adults remember the bullies in their lives.
I recently read a new book called “Freaks”. The story is about a group of young high school students who are harassed and made miserable by some older kids at their school. One of the book’s characters, Micah, had this to say:
“Those assholes beat us up and tear up our homework and throw our lunches in the mud. They roll our houses and chuck eggs at us. They spread lies about us online. They spend half their time dreaming up ways to torture us and the other half doing it…..”
The bullies are called “G3”. The kids they bully ultimately call themselves the name they had been called by the bullies, “Freaks”.
The four Freaks decide to form an exclusive club they call the Dark Wizard Society “our world; our rules.” They agree to meet in a shed on one of the member’s property where a “weird great-uncle” left a bunch of spiritual junk that might be useful. The Freaks find cloaks and costumes and immediately get dressed as Dark Wizards.
The Freaks also discover a book of magic spells. They excitedly read the spells and their world erupts violently and magically, “God Almighty, what did we do?”
What the spell did was to turn the teens into superheroes–each with a different super skill. The teens must first understand how to use their new powers for recwnfw and ultimately for confronting a much more serious threat to their world. Author Brett Riley gets to the point of the story quickly and keeps the action moving.
The book’s characters are high school students and the marketing refers to the book as being for “young adults.” However, this “old adult” enjoyed the story as well–even the science fiction aspects which typically are not my cup of tea.
Riley, incidentally, is a professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada. He has a PhD in contemporary American fiction, has published two previous novels and has won numerous awards for his screenplays. He lives in Henderson, NV. The second book of the Freaks Superhero book series will publish in August, it is called “Travelers: A Freaks Novel.” The third book, “Rubicons” is expected to publish in 2023. Something tells me that young readers who like this book will want to read the sequels as well.