12 Must-Read Children’s Books About Bullying
If you want to start a conversation with a child about bullying, children’s books can be an easy introduction to a hard topic.
Sometimes reading a book can get a child thinking about a topic better than listening to an adult telling them about it (or lecturing).
As you read the book, ask your child what they think the characters are feeling. Ask them what they think the characters will do. Ask them what they think the characters should do.
Here are 12 books geared for young children, but can be valuable teaching all ages.
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Here is the all-too-familiar story of Monica. She and Katie have been friends since kindergarten. Monica loves being around her when she's nice. But there are times when Katie can be just plain mean. And Monica doesn't understand why.
Monica is a target of relational aggression, emotional bullying among friends who will use name-calling and manipulation to humiliate and exclude. But with a little help from a supportive adult—her mother—Monica learns to cope and thrive by facing her fears and reclaiming power from her bully.
Including a foreword by the founder of the The Ophelia Project, as well as helpful tips, discussion questions, and additional resources, My Secret Bully is a vital resource for children, parents, teachers, and counselors.
Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?
It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning a best enemy into a best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.
- The perfect book for kids learning how to make friends or deal with conflict
- Ideal as a read aloud book for families or elementary schools
- Created by Derek Munson who has directly shared his children’s stories with over 100,000 kids across the globe
A gentle story that teaches how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish, from esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton.
A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend…
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.
When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. Includes a discussion guide and resources for further reading.
Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round, but especially the first week of school. It gets children thinking about and bonding with their own names and the names of everyone else in the class, and it's the perfect vehicle for starting a discussion about treating classmates with tolerance, kindness, and compassion.
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?
Paula and Maggie have been friends forever. Paula thinks Maggie is the best—until mean girl Veronica says otherwise. Suddenly, Paula starts to notice that Maggie is big and clumsy, and her clothes are sort of snuggish. Rather than sticking up for Maggie, Paula ignores her old friend and plays with Veronica instead. Luckily, when Veronica turns on Paula, Maggie’s true colors shine through.
WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR AND THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD. This unforgettable book has a powerful anti-bullying message and striking art. It will resonate with readers long after they've put it down. Each kindness makes the world a little better.
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends. Piggie is devastated when a big guy takes her ball! Gerald is big, too…but is he big enough to help his best friend?
The kids at Pete’s new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”?
This book presents a model for how any child, even a shy one like Willow, can find their own way to deal with a bossy or bullying classmate. The empowering message here also helps promote individual self-awareness, self-esteem, courage, and good decision making.
Shy, quiet Willow silently wishes she could find a way to say no to her bossy classmate Kristabelle’s demands, but the words never seem to come when she needs them. That is, until Kristabelle starts using the powerful threat of un-inviting children from her “fantastic” birthday party to keep them in line, and Willow decides she’s finally had enough. Surprising everyone, even herself, Willow steps up and bravely does something shocking, and it changes the entire dynamic of the classroom.
NEWBERY HONOR CLASSIC, ILLUSTRATED BY A CALDECOTT MEDALIST. The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. This is a beautifully written tribute to the power of kindness, acceptance, and standing up for what's right.
Wanda Petronski is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. She claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t. When Wanda is pulled out of school one day, the class feels terrible, and classmate Maddie decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” A gentle tale about bullies, bystanders, and having the courage to speak up.
Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she is smart enough to get out. But no one dumps these girls, and now they’re out for revenge.