Last month in Lakeland, FL, 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick, committed suicide after being cyberbullied for over a year by a group of 15 girls. As tragic and horrifying as that story is, even more tragic is this isn’t the first time a child has committed suicide as a result of being bullied. According to Pacer.org, one out of every 3 students is bullied – that is a startling statistic.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which makes this the perfect time to open dialogue with your children about the harsh realities of bullying. An excellent tool to begin a tough conversation, is a book. We’ve put together a list of 30 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids and an additional list of Anti-Bullying Books for Parents, Teachers and Educators. Don’t wait to talk to your kids about bullying.
Visit The Pacer Center’s Anti-Bullying site for more information and resources. The Pacer Center also has a website just for kids, Kids Against Bullying, where your child can pledge to be a kid against bullying, get more information on bullying and share their own stories. For more information on CyberBullying, visit the CyberBully Hotline website or call 1-800-420-1479.
Thank you to the teachers and educators who chimed in with their book picks.
30 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids
The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby – Fans of Bill Cosby will enjoy this book in the Little Bill series, where Bill encounters a bully. With the help of his father he learns actual strategies to handle the situation. Relatable, useful and entertaining all in one book.
Simon’s Hook by Karen Burnett – Simon is having a rather bad hair day and then some. When he gets picked on and teased he turns to his grandmother for comfort. She shares a fish story with him that helps heal is self-esteem and takes her advice when dealing with his friends.
One by Kathryn Otoshi – What may seem like a basic book on numbers and colors, is actually a lesson in bullying and acceptance. Children will enjoy the simple, yet beautiful illustrations and parents will enjoy the message.
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig – A look at bullying from a young boy’s perspective. After getting help from his father, brother and a teacher, D.J. learns how to take positive action when the teasing nature of his friendship with Vince gets to be too much. The book also contains discussion questions and a resource guide for parents and teachers.
My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig – Ludwig explores the issue of relational aggression – bullying among a group of friends that is meant to exclude, control and manipulate. The story of Monica and Katie is sadly all too familiar, but the coping skills given in the story may be just what you and your child need to read.
The Bee Bully by Angela Muse – I feel that a ‘catch more flies[bees] with honey’ joke might be appropriate, but either way, this grumpy bee isn’t being very nice. He soon learns that being kind is a much better way to make friends.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson – Just when he thought he had a perfect summer in the making, a bully moved in down the street. His dad has just the solution to deal with Jeremy Ross – Enemy Pie. He learns a valuable lesson in building relationships and handling conflict, all in one delicious story.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell – Molly Lou Melon is taught to be proud and confident of herself no matter what, but this confidence is tested when she moves to a new town. This story will strike a chord for anyone who has been the new kid at school.
Bye-Bye, Big Bad BullyBug! by Ed Emberley – Excellent picture book for preschoolers. Children will love turning the pages to see the Big Bad Bullybug getting bigger and bigger, until the baby bugs come up with a plan to deal with their fears.
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney – Fans of the Llama Llama series might just be able to relate to the problems Llama Llama is having with Gilroy Goat. Even the youngest of school kids experience bullies and this will help open the conversation with your child.
Tease Monster: A Book About Teasing vs. Bullying by Julia Cook – Tease Monster is from Julia Cook’s Building Relationships Series. The message children can learn from the book filled with colorful illustrations is just how hurtful words can be and to ask an adult for help when they feel like they are being bullied.
Bully: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Sheri Safran – A fabulous tool for helping young children understand the nature of bullies, the different types of bullying and the sometimes hurtful power of our words. With diary pages in the back to make notes on the readers own encounter with bullies this will be a valuable resource for your child.
Bullies Never Win by Margery Cuyler – Jessica wants Brenda to stop making fun of her but she isn’t sure how to handle the situation. Eventually Jessica finds her courage and with it, a new way to handle Brenda the Bully.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies by Howard Binkow – My children love the story of Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Snorton Twins. Howard dreads going to school because of the mean Snorton Twins who bully him every single day. But eventually his mantra “be brave, be bold, a teacher must be told,” gives him the courage to do the right thing and once and for all, confront the situation.
The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson – The perspective of this book takes the bullying debate one step further, it’s not just about what to do if you are being bullied, but what you should do if you see a fellow classmate or friend has become the victim of bullying.
Bully B.E.A.N.S. by Julia Cook – Another great bullying book geared towards the bullying bystander from author Julia Cook, a former teacher and guidance counselor.
Stop Picking on Me: A First Look At Bullying by Pat Thomas – The author is a psychotherapist and counselor who delivers the message about bullying in a simple, clear way that is easy for young readers to understand.
King of the Playground by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor – With the help of his father, Kevin learns ways to deal with Sammy, the king of the playground.
Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig – Not often do we find a book narrated by the bully, Confessions, offers insight into the mind of a bully and tools for the bullied to use when confronted with the hurtful behavior.
Stick Up For Yourself! Every Kid’s Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem by Gershen Kaufman Ph.D., Lev Raphael Ph.D., Pamela Espeland – An extremely useful guide for empowering children to stand up for themselves and others. With a focus on building relationships, a ‘feelings’ vocabulary and managing anger, this book will be a welcomed addition to your home or school library.
Speak Up and Get Along! Learn the Mighty Might, Thought Chop and More Tools to Make Friends, Stop Teasing, and Feel Good About Yourself by Scott Cooper – This book is a toolbox of 21 strategies aimed towards conflict resolution, self-esteem building and self-expression. The colorful illustrations and practice dialogues will be a very useful tool to children of any age.
Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Way by Patti Kelley Criswell – From the American Girl collection, this book uses quizzes, quotes and sample scenarios to help teach girls how to handle encounters with bullies.
Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain – A useful tool with straightforward information regarding bullies and how to handle a situation when you are the victim of bullying; complete with resources for parents and teachers.
Bully by Patricia Polacco – A fictional story about the all too real topic of cyberbullying.
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill – An excellent book about a bully for young readers, filled with colorful illustrations and a charming heroine who is able to disarm the reigning recess queen.
Leave Me Alone: A Tale of What Happens When You Stand Up to a Bully by Kes Gray – A sweet story about a sensitive young boy who’s being harassed by a bully and it’s making him very sad. He doesn’t think anyone can help, until his friends step up to defend him.
Lucy and the Bully by Clair Alexander – The story of Lucy the lamb and Tommy the bull is a common one, he torments her in art class and this makes her very upset. She gets even more upset after she tells her mother, who calls the teacher. The next day at school Lucy actually begins to feel sorry for Tommy and finds a way to connect with him.
The Berenstain Bears and The Bully by Stan Berenstain – The Berenstain Bear books are well known for teaching lessons with tales of the Bear family and this one tackles the subject of bullies. Sister Bear has a run-in with Tuffy and when Brother Bear goes to defend his sister, he is in for a bit of a surprise.
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles: Dealing with Fights, Being Left Out and the Whole Popularity Thing by Patti Kelley Criswell – From the American Girl Library, this Guide tackles many common friendship problems that girls begin to encounter in grade school. The book is filled with quotes, quizzes and advice to help your daughter learn to handle the delicate nature of friendships.
The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman – Lotty Racoon and other victims of Grant Grizzly’s bullying come together to form the Bully Blockers Club. With the help of their teacher and other students they come up with a set of rules and guidelines to help everyone feel welcome at school.
If you have an anti-bullying book that has helped you talk to your children, share it with us by commenting below.
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