Bullying can be a tough topic to tackle. Here are a few books that help address bullying and can help start a conversation about how to handle bullies in any situation. Stay tuned for next month’s book list!
Best for: Grades Pre-K-2
Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? 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”?
Best for: Grades Pre-K-3
Bullies are a problem in school, and Max Sellars is the worst one yet. In addition to hassling Freddy, Max also challenges him for the open spot on the peewee hockey team. In a warm and funny ending, Max and Freddy make peace with one another, and — in a surprising twist — end up becoming teammates.
Best for: Grades Pre-K-3
With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.
Best for: Grades 2-4
In this autobiographical story, Little Trisha, overjoyed at the thought of learning how to read struggles when she finds that all the letters and numbers get jumbled up. Her classmates make matters worse by calling her dummy. Finally, in fifth grade, she is lucky enough to have a teacher who recognizes Trisha’s incredible artistic ability — and understands her problem, and takes the time to lead her to the magic of reading.
Best for: Grades 3-5
In this Newbery Honor Book, Wanda Petronski is a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she isn’t going to stand by and say nothing again.
Best for: Grades 3-7
A brilliant, emotionally charged novel about two boys. One is a slow learner, too large for his age, and the other is a tiny, disabled genius. The two pair up to create one formidable human force known as “Freak the Mighty”.
Best for: Grades 5-9
Ever since a deeply unfortunate incident earlier this year, Reggie’s been known as “Pukey” McKnight at his high-intensity Brooklyn middle school. He wants to turn his image around, but he has other things on his mind as well. The elections for school president are coming up, but with his notorious nickname and “nothing” social status, Reggie wouldn’t stand a chance, if he even had the courage to run. Then Reggie gets involved with a local homeless shelter. Haunted by two of the clients there — George, a once-proud man who shares his interest in comic books, and Charlie, a six-year-old kid — he begins to think about making a difference, both in the world and at school. Pukey for President? It can happen…if he starts believing.
Best for: Grades 7-9
A new life. An new school. A new bully. That’s what Darrell Mercer faces when he and his mother move from Philadelphia to California. After spending months living in fear, Darrell is faced with a big decision: He can keep running from this bully, or find a way to fight back.
Best for: Grades 9-12
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps — gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own.That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?