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So...why exactly is this page nuked and locked?
I guess because the book is described as very badly written, possibly inviting Complaining.
Anyway, I have sandboxed the page here if someone wants to restore it in its proper Namespace, here.
So, about the cover, you say:
"Who are these random kids? And why are there four boys in front and two girls, with two (presumably the bullies) in back? The actual story has three lead boys and three girls."
I don't know who actually put that there, but I have a pretty good idea. Anyway, I think that the one in the back in the purple is supposed to be a girl, even though s/he looks more like a boy. I think the kids are Blue striped shirt = Archie Green shirt = Billy or Hank Blue shirt = Billy or Hank Purple flowery shirt = Amanda The two in the back = Cindy and Janet That's what I interpreted it as.
Archie is described in-story as having auburn hair, Amanda as blonde.
I still think the kid with the purple shirt looks a LOT like a boy, but is somewhat gender-ambiguous looking. If that kid's a girl, then it shows that whoever made the cover art was indeed paying attention, since all the hair colors line up and everything.
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How well does it match the trope?