Bad Influence by Tamsin Winter

Recommended by: Rachel Ayres @rachelayres1979

Form and Genre: Prose novel. Young adult.

Length: 384 pages

Summary: Amelia Bright is called maggot in school by the popular kids because of her pale skin and red hair, but she’s a brilliant baseball player and a great cellist.
Amelia is mortified to be voted bottom of a nasty ‘fit list’ shared on social media by the boys in her class and begins to make TikToks of her music in an attempt to rewrite her story and become more popular.
A new boy at basketball, Evan, seems to see her as something other than a maggot, but her newly created image begins to unravel when he unexpectedly turns up at her school too.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Great for year 8s (perhaps some of the issues a little too much for year 7.)

TW: Bullying, misuse of social media, anxiety, parental pressure, coercive relationships..

Notable reasons for recommending this book: I think this novel would compliment the teaching of the impact of social media, friendships, peer pressure and bullying extremely well; it’s affirmative without being unrealistic and Amelia is a strong female protagonist, thoughtfully rendered.


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