bully

33 Helpful Children's Books about Bullying

my secret bully

My Secret Bully

This is one of the best picture books about bullying for girls. It's an in-depth story about a girl, Katie, whose former best friend, Monica, manipulates and bullies her after years of unconditional friendship. The situation is confusing for Katie because at times, when no one else is around, Monica returns to her old nice self. But then she reverses her behavior in the presence of others by teasing, excluding and name-calling. If you are searching for a book that does not sugarcoat the issue and offers some sound advice for handling this type of situation, look no further.

  

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bully 

Books to Help Children Deal With Bullies

Children can encounter mean behavior at very young ages, even starting as early as pushing and shoving on the playground at preschool. A lot of times this aggression  is a transient part of a child's social development and does not manifest into a permanent way of treating others. But sometimes, more serious, ongoing negativity is encountered. There are many different types of bullying, both verbal and physical, and this can grow in intensity with time. It can present in lots of ways, as demonstrated through behaviors like stealing, whispering, and teasing. The intention is to humiliate the victim, which in turn makes the oppressor feel empowered.

By the time children reach elementary school, bullying takes on many forms, both obvious and subtle. A child may be purposely tripped in the hallway, causing pain and humiliation. Or it could be a less noticeable shove or bump which causes distress to the victim nonetheless. There are lots of tips to  help children deal with bulliesReading children's books  for example, is a good way open a discussion with your kids about this topic, whether they are on the giving or receiving end.  

  

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Books for Toddlers Who Bully Others

Figuring out how to socialize takes a lot of trial and error for toddlers. The first time a young child is plopped into a group of other similar-sized tots, things might not go very smoothly. Aggressive behavior like biting is often part of the learning process. Toddlers who experiment with physical force can learn their lesson quickly when the other child retaliates. After a little bit of give a take, most little ones settle down and eventually figure out how to get along with others. Little ones often grab toys and other objects from others without asking and have a difficulty sharing. When this bad behavior persists, requiring adults to  intervene. If your child is the aggressor or the recipient, these books for toddlers will help.

  

shady baby

Shady Baby

A best-selling picture book about a sassy baby who takes the behavior of others seriously. She heads to the park for a day of play only to witness some kids behaving not-so-nicely toward others. Shady Baby stands up against the bullies, but what happens when her own feelings get hurt? Will the other babies have her back? This charming book for babies and preschoolers reminds us that it's never too soon to talk to our kids.

 

 


billy bully

Billy Bully

All the kids on the playground have fun until Billy Bully shows up. He always spoils everything. With each mean thing he does, a friend moves on to play with a different group. Eventually Billy Bully has no friends by his side. Having learned his lesson, this little fellow reverses course with acts of kindness until his circle of friends is restored. A fun counting book for little ones who will enjoy watching him transform into a kind friend.

 

 

 the pout pout fish and the bully bully shark

The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark

A group of friends is playing at the park when a bully shark interrupts all their fun. Mr. Fish is tired of being pushed around but wonders if he has the courage to stand up to the shark. A big lesson is packed into this short and sweet book about using your voice to stand up to others. Just the right tempo for the preschool crowd learning to navigate the playground.

 

 


little dinos don't bully 

Little Dinos Don't Bully

A sturdy board book with large, bold pictures will keep the attention of toddlers. Each page shows a dinosaur working to be kind, and self-correcting his behavior when he acts in a poor manner. Just right for toddlers who need to use their words instead of their hands to get what they want.

 

 

 llama llama and the bully goat

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Sometimes it's just best to tell an adult when a bully is getting out of hand. Llama loves going to school, but when Gilroy Goat starting making fun of him and lots of other students, he isn't sure what to do. Llama wants to tell his teacher about what is happening, but he's afraid that Gilroy will never want to be his friend again.  

 

 

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Kids Books about Bullying for Kindergarten and Up

Don't wait until your child encounters a mean kid to start reading to them about this important topic. Picture books for elementary children cover the spectrum of behavior that they are likely to encounter on the school bus, in the lunchroom, on the playground, and in the hallways. In fact, kids find ways to harass their victims in just about any setting, and almost always that showcase a spectrum of physical and verbal bullying behaviors. Here are some stories that will help open a conversation about this all-too-common problem.

 

  enemy pie

Enemy Pie

A little boy, Jeremy is eager begin a fun-filled summer, but all his plans are ruined when a mean kid moves in down the street. This new boy is outrageously mean and Jeremy is not sure how to handle it. His father steps in with a creative solution, one that does not involve discussion but a rather effective way for young children to resolve conflict that you may just want to try sometime.

 

 

 

spaghetti in a hot dog bun

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

When a kid is the victim, it's normal to respond spatting mean words right back. This story teaches children to be true to themselves and respond with kindness whenever possible. Lucy learns this lesson the hard way. Ralph constantly teases her incessantly because she's different- crazy hair, weird food preferences, and other traits that make her stand out. Then one day Ralph finds himself stuck on the jungle gym and needs help. Will Lucy lend a hand or give him a taste of his own medicine? This is a great scenario for little readers to ponder. Bonus discussion questions and lesson plans come with this helpful book.



 

the recess queen

The Recess Queen

Mean Jean is the reigning queen of the playground. She dominated all activities during recess and none of her classmates dared to cross her. Then one day a brave new girl takes a different approach by befriending Jean instead of bowing down in fear. Kids will learn that sometimes a little bit of kindness goes a long way, even when a person seems to deserve it least. Humorous illustrations and bouncy text soften the tone of a not-so-nice story about a mean, bossy protagonist.

 

 

 king of the playground

King of the Playground

The playground can be a breeding ground for bossy kids. In this story, a Sammy makes all the rules, threatens to do harm if the other kids disobey him, and ruins playtime for all the others. Kevin is tired of this behavior, so with some sage guidance from his father, stands up to the bully once and for all. A relatable book for any child who is looking for some tips on how to handle their own situation. 

 

 


marlene marlene queen of mean

Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean

 Marlene has firmly established herself as the queen. She takes cruelty to a whole new level on the playground and Freddy has had enough. He's the only kid who has the courage to confront Marlene, much to the relief of others, and put her in her place. In doing so, he even manages to break through Marlene's tough exterior and she learns a lesson in kindness. Written by actress Jane Lynch, in collaboration with a clinical psychologist, this story is one of the best.

 

 


the juice box bully

The Juice Box Bully

This anti-bullying book is highly recommended by teachers for use in the classroom and at home. The story urges all kids who witness bully behavior to take a stand, not just the victims. Pete, a new kid at school, behaves badly from day one, wreaking havoc in the classroom and threatening some of his classmates. When the entire classroom comes together in unity, reciting a "promise" not to tolerate bullies, Pete learns an important lesson about how to treat others.

 

 

the berenstain bears stand up to bullying 

The Berenstain Bears Stand Up to Bullying

The Berenstain Bears learn a very important lesson in this valuable book. They are sick and tired of Too-Tall Grizzley and his gang taunting and teasing them. So they take matters in their own hands and gave this group a taste of their own medicine. While this tactic seemed like a good idea at first, their plan backfires and they discover that treating others badly always has negative consequences for everyone involved.

 

 

 

 chester raccoon and the big bad bully

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully

Chester Raccoon has a loving mother who helps him handle difficult situations with a tender heart. In this story, Chester and his friends are having trouble with a bully at school. Rather than fixing the problem for him, Chester's mother tells him a valuable story. She shares a tale about a group of forest animals who lived among a pile of smooth stones, except for one single sharp rock that hurt their feet. Rather than toss the rock aside, the animals worked together to soften its edges. So Chester applies the moral of this story to his real life dilemma by inviting the bully to join in and play. A wonderful message about how to transform others through kindness, forgiveness, and inclusion.

 

 

 

lunch box bully

Lunch Box Bully

Lunchrooms always seem to bring out the worst in classmates. Big Bob torments Max every single day by taking his lunch. His friends offer up all kinds of advice, from ignoring Big Bob to reaching out with kindness. Nothing seems to work. When Max learns that Big Bob hates lemons, he packs an entire lunch with lemon-flavored items. A clever story about outwitting mean kid that contains bonus material to help guide parents. 

 

 

 stand tall molly lou melon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Everyone has encountered a kid like Ronald Durkin. He preys on others who are a little different and puts them to shame with his teasing and taunting. But when he targets Molly Lou Melon, the new girl in school, he is finally put in his place. This sprightly girl, who refuses to  be defined by her undesirable traits (i.e. bug eyes, unusually short stature, and frog voice), shows all her classmates her true strength, spirit and wit in this relatable book.

 

 

 

chrysanthemum  

Chrysanthemum

A happy-go-lucky little girl has her spirits dampened when schoolmates make fun of her name. She always loved her name, just like the flower, until some kids start teasing her. With the support of a kind teacher, Chrysanthemum learns to stand up for herself and her lovely name. An award-winning book favored by educators and school counselors.

 

 

 

purplicious

Purplicious

Staying true to yourself is the prevailing message in this colorful, best-selling picture book. Pinkalicious is back in this sequel about some bullies who favor black. They dress in black and make fun of our pink-loving protagonist for not conforming.  Young readers will learn that it's  important to stand by your convictions no matter what your peers have to say about you.

 


 

a big guy took my ball

A Big Guy Took My Ball!

Never judge a book by its cover. This statement rings true in this story about  Piggie and Elephant, best friends who have each other's back no matter what happens. One day, a bully takes Piggie's brand new ball.  Will (big) Elephant have the courage to confront (bigger) Whale and retrieve the ball for his friend? A story about friendship perfect for the preschool age crowd.

 

 

 the bully from the black lagoon

The Bully from the Black Lagoon

 There's a new meanie at school and his name says it all- Butch Pounder. What's even worse is that he is rumored to be from the Black Lagoon! Poor Hubie is certain he will end up in the nurse's office. After all, Butch beat his former football team to a pulp and ate the classroom pet. But what if there is no truth to these rumors? And what if all Butch really needs is a friend? Hubie learns an important lesson about not believing everything he hears.

 

 


insults aren't funny what do do about verbal bullying

Insults Aren't Funny: What To Do About Verbal Bullying

 In this story, Casey takes the position as goal keeper very seriously. But when lets a ball get past the little rabbit, Casey the squirrel starts calling out nasty names. Kids will learn how to handle verbal bullying in a safe and effective manner through the experiences of gender neutral animals.  



 

bully beans

Bully B.E.A.N.S.

Written by best-selling author Julia Cook, this book provides easy-to-understand actions that both victims and bystanders can take. The story is about a girl who demands that the smartest boy in school does her homework every single day. She threatens and reduces him to a puddle of tears. With the support of others, the boy learns how to use his own voice to confront the mean girl.  

 

 

 

willow finds a way

Willow Finds a Way

There's no doubt about it. Kristabelle is the class bully. She uses her words as weapons to control her classmates and get them to do things her way. Willow desperately wants to stand up to Kristabelle but she can never think of the right thing to say. She feels timid and afraid every time the bully is around. But then one day Kristabelle takes her mean behavior to a whole new level by disinviting kids to her birthday party. Finally Willow has had enough and finds the inner strength to do something about it.



 

 the berenstain bears and the bully

The Berenstain Bears and the Bully

Sister is the victim of teasing and aggression at school. When she comes home one day with injuries she suffered at the hands of Tuffy, Brother decides he needs to stand of for his sibling. But much to his surprise, Tuffy is a girl and Brother doesn't want to hit her retaliation. Will Sister be able to stand up for herself and put a stop to this bullying once and for all? This story's emphasis physical abuse will open up a conversation with your own children about the right and wrong way to handle it.



 

the bully blockers club

The Bully Blockers Club

 An excellent book for kids who will learn to handle difficult social situations without adult intervention. It's the story of Lotty Raccoon, a student excited about a fresh start with the upcoming school year. But all of her enthusiasm goes down the drain when Grant Grizzly begins to pick on her. No matter what she tries, Grant is relentless. Finally, Lotty's parents get involved by notifying the teacher, but this strategy backfires. The bully simply continues with his antics when there are no adults present. When Lotty observes Grant  hassling other classmates, she has an idea. A new club is formed and Grant is finally put in his place.

 

 


what if bunny's not a bully

What if Bunny's NOT a Bully?

Instead of looking at the aggressor as a villain, this important story turns narrative around and asks reader to consider trying to understand the behavior. Elephant has spread the word that Bunny is a big bully and warns everyone to stay away. Fortunately, Kitty doesn't just accept this statement as fact and decides to do some investigating. After asking a lot of questions and making a lot of observations, Kitty concludes that Bunny is misunderstood and deserves a second chance. An important book to add to your child's collection that will open up dialogue and perhaps lead to some empathy.

 

bully

 

Novels About Bullying for Tweens

The tween years, from ages 10 to 13, are difficult to say the least. Boys and girls are transitioning from young children into teenagers.  Physical changes sometimes seem to happen overnight and the emotional rollercoaster created by hormonal fluctuations is full of highs and lows. And for kids who have challenges socializing, like those on the autism spectrum, these years are even harder. This time period is difficult enough without the interference of a bully. But when someone decides to wreak havoc on your tween's self-esteem by making fun of the way they look, how they dress, who their friends are, and anything else, it can have devastating consequences. Novels for tweens about bullying can be a helpful resource and source of comfort for kids who need to know that they are not alone in their experiences.

 

restart

Restart

In this timeless, coming-of-age story, a popular football player who has a bad reputation, experiences a blow to the head causing amnesia. This injury, which erases his memory, gives him an opportunity to come back as a nicer, more compassionate version of himself. Chase learns who he used to be based on stories about how he treated people in the past. After a journey of introspection, he realizes he no longer wishes to be the same person. A remarkable, thought-provoking novel from the perspective of a former mean kid.

 

 

 

 jake drake bully buster

Jake Drake, Bully Buster

A short chapter book for the 7-10 age group featuring Jake Drake. He's a smart kid who is not new to being around mean classmates. Heck, Jake can remember such a person going all the way back to daycare. But when he finally reaches second grade and is assigned to work on a group project with the biggest bully at school, he learns a valuable lesson. In addition to standing up for himself, Jake figures out that the secret to changing a someone's behavior can be kindness.

 

 

 

posted

Posted

Middle school years can be some of the most challenging. Most kids struggle with their own identities, which is complicated by the social dynamics in this age group. At Branton Middle School, the principal banned the usage of cells phones. But this does not stop the students from communicating. Using post-it notes, messages of both kindness and cruelty fill the hallways. When a new girl comes to school, she challenges the popular clique and starts an epic post-it war.  

 

 

save me a seat

Save Me a Seat

An unlikely friendship forms between two boys who band together against a common enemy. The biggest kid  in school is terrorizing the classroom and hallway. Joe (a longtime local whose best friends have moved away) and Ravi (a boy who recently relocated from India to America) become fast friends despite very different backgrounds. Together they navigate some difficult situations and come out on top.



 

 starfish

Starfish

A highly recommended coming-of-age novel about a twelve year old who learns to be comfortable in her own skin. Ellie has been ridiculed since fifth grade for her weight. Filled with shame, she lives by a set of "fat girl rules", such as not eating in public and not making waves in the pool. Ellie eventually builds her self-esteem through the help of her supportive therapist, her father, and a new best friend. A novel-in-verse is a must-read for all kids struggling with their appearance during the formative pre-teen years.

 

 

 

the double life of danny day 

The Double Life of Danny Day

Tweens will love this original middle-grade novel about Danny Day, a boy who gets to live each day twice! The first time around is a dry run and doesn't count. The second time is the day that sticks, so what happens actually matters. When Danny moves to a new town, he puts his special powers to use as he learns to make new friends, defeat his enemies, and expose a video game cheating ring.

 

 

 

middle school the worst years of my life

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

The title of this humorous book says it all. A boy named Rafe has a plan for dealing with his school's ridiculous code of conduct- break every single rule! Clever illustrations pepper the pages of this story that covers all the hot topics kids deal with in middle school: bullies, crushes and learning all about one's identity. Bookworms and reluctant readers alike with enjoy this entertaining tween chapter book.

   

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