Bullying

There are many ways that children can appropriately deal with bullying. Some will turn their back and not let the taunts get to them, others will confront their bullies. In some cases, children may tell an adult and let them handle the situation. These children’s books about bullying provide a variety of solutions to the reality of bullying.

Children's Books that help kids be strong in the face of bullying and teach why bullying is wrong.

Top 5 Children’s Books About Bullying

stand tall, molly lou melon Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon: She is smaller and clumsier than her classmates, and she has quite a distinctive voice, but little Molly Lou Mellon doesn’t mind at all, thanks to the constant support and guidance from her grandmother. But when Molly moves to a new city and leaves her friends and grandmother behind, she finds her confidence put to the test. Less than a week after she moves, the school bully, Ronald Durkin, begins to tease and taunt Molly. She gathers her strength and instead of bowing to the pressure, she proves herself to the bully. In the end Ronald Durkin feels pretty silly – and Molly’s confidence is intact.
the little rose The Little Rose: The Little Rose lives amongst a bed of weeds, and her differences really stand out. The ugly weeds tease and taunt her without mercy. Initially the Little Rose lets their words affect her, but she soon realizes that just because she’s different, that doesn’t mean she isn’t beautiful. As this little rose begins to love and accept herself for who she really is, children learn an important lesson about self-confidence. The themes in this book include overcoming bullying behavior, increasing self-esteem, having tolerance for people who are different than you, and being your most authentic self.
brundibar Brundibar: Don’t let the fact that this book is based on a Czech opera scare you away. Children will delight in this heartwarming tell of the triumph of good versus evil. Aninku and Pepicek wake up one morning and realize their mother is sick. Their attempts to earn money to buy her milk are thwarted by the bullying grinder, Brundibar. With the help of three brilliant talking animals and hundreds of schoolkids, Aninku and Pepicek are able to defeat the bullying grinder, earn the money they need, and return home to help their mother. This book teaches children that if enough people stand together, a bully will stand down.
just kidding Just Kidding: Many children’s books about bullying focus on physical abuse, or very cut and dry harassment. This book takes a look at a phenomenon that’s more common than parents would like to think: bullying among friends. Vince and D.J. are long time friends, but Vince has the nasty habit of emotionally bullying D.J. and then saying, “Just kidding!” as though that takes away the sting of his words. D.J. wants to speak up, but he worries that he’ll be viewed as having a thin skin, or that people will think he doesn’t have a sense of humor. After getting help from his family and a special teacher, he’s able to finally do something about those two supposedly harmless words.
the juice box bully The Juice Box Bully: Written by a husband and wife team with a combined total of over 40 years in the classroom, The Juice Box Bully isn’t geared toward the bullyer or those being bullied – it focuses on people who stand, watch and do nothing: the bystanders. Pete is a new kid in town in this book – and he soon shows signs of being a bully. When the kids at his new school see the way he’s treating a few of the students, they stand together to let him know that his behavior is unacceptable. This book is remarkable in that it offers real solutions for kids who see bullying and feel powerless to do anything about it.

Honorable Mentions

my secret bully My Secret Bully: Many of the books on this list make a lighthearted attempt to deal with the complicated reality of bullying, but in My Secret Bully, the author is very serious. The story focuses on Monica and Katie, who have been close friend since kindergarten. When Monica beings to be excluded and teased by Katie, she feels depressed and isolated. Eventually, Monica talks to her mother, who offers her support without giving her empty promises or easy solutions. The book also includes a list of resources for both adults and children, and suggested discussion points for parents or teachers of children who’ve been bullied.
bullies are a pain in the brain Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain: This book may seem simple at first glance, but it soon becomes clear that the straightforward advice is quite helpful. It focuses on giving real life solutions, like telling your friends if someone is bullying you, running away if you feel you are in danger, and avoiding being alone, as bullies are much less likely to strike when there are more people around. This is a slim book with a very clear message, and while it doesn’t provide the comprehensive resources that many of the other books on this list do, it is an excellent starting point for parents or children who are trying to deal with the emotional impact of bullying.
the mouse, the monster and me The Mouse, the Monster and Me: One of the most difficult parts of helping children deal with bullying is figuring out when to encourage them to assert themselves, and when to encourage them to walk away from a potentially dangerous situation. This book focuses on answering that difficult question. The pacifist mice and aggressive monsters help children to see that there are pros and cons to both sides, and that it’s all about understanding your own responsibilities to the world, and the consequences of your actions. The book teaches children to develop their own personal rights, and to find the appropriate levels of assertiveness.
adventures at walnut grove Adventures at Walnut Grove: This tale about Sammy the squirrel and his friends won the Mom’s Choice Award, which recognizes quality in children’s books. When Sammy’s friends start calling him “raccoon eyes,” he isn’t sure what to do. While he knows that calling people names isn’t nice, he also doesn’t want to cause a fuss. Eventually he decides to turn the tables on his friends, and tease them right back. When the teasers become the teased, they quickly learn valuable lessons about treating other people the way they want to be treated, and the power of a few seemingly innocent words.
say something Say Something: Many people, adults and children alike, feel that there isn’t much they can do about bullying, and that one person can’t make much of a difference. Say Something teaches children that one person can in fact make a huge difference; in fact, one kid at a time can change an entire school’s attitude about bullying. This book focuses on a school where some of the children are known to push, tease, and bully other students. In some cases, this bullying is as simple as ignoring a school mate outright. A single event shows the girl in the story that by being a silent bystander, she is a part of the problem.
bully b.e.a.n.s. Bully B.E.A.N.S.: Another book that deals with bystanders, in this book children and adults will gain an understanding of why bullying happens – which helps them gain skills that can prevent it from happening. While it does touch on what to do when bullying occurs, there is a stronger focus on finding ways to change dynamics so it doesn’t happen in the first place. Written by a guidance counselor, this book manages to deal with a difficult situation while telling a fun, funny story. This book is longer than many on the list, which may make it difficult to read in a single sitting, but it also digs deeper into these issues.

Bullying isn’t fun for anyone. Not the bully, not the child being bullied and not the parent who has to deal with their child’s hurt feelings. These books provide concrete solutions to understand bullying and the best ways to prevent and react to it, and how and when to stand up to a bully.

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