It’s more important than ever to teach students about the negative effects of bullying, early-on. With the help of our awesome teacher community, we compiled these anti-bullying books (organized from youngest to oldest) that address teasing, friendship, self-esteem and more.
1. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
True friends stick up for one another, even when it’s a little bit scary. Best for: Grades Preschool-2.
2. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Molly Lou is a unique individual, that’s for sure. But her grandmother has taught her well and when a bully picks on Molly, she know just what to do. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
3. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
A popular picture book, Chrysanthemum is a story about teasing, self-esteem and acceptance. It has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
4. A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems
Sometimes it’s terrifying to be the little guy on campus. Will Piggie and Gerald figure out a way to survive the playground bully? Best for: Grades Prek-3.
5. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith
Mean Jean is the recess queen, and it isn’t until a new girl becomes her friend that recess dynamics change for the better. This book is ideal for addressing bullying that can be resolved without adult intervention. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
6. The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
One of the best things kids can do to combat bullying is to stand up for one another, which is exactly what The Juice Box Bully is about. Students will learn how to have each other’s backs instead of doing nothing when they witness bully confrontation. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
7. Willow Finds a Way by Lana Button
When bully Kristabelle starts un-inviting kids to her birthday party, shy quiet Willow decides she’s had enough. Her simple act shocks everyone and changes the dynamic of the whole classroom. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
8. I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoet
This ‘pictures only’ storybook beautifully illustrates how one person’s kindness can inspire an entire community to stand up to bullying. Best for: Grades PreK-3.
9. You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders
A very helpful book for teaching children about empathy, feelings, kindness, compassion, tolerance and recognizing bullying behaviors. Best for: Grades K-3.
10. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
Readers will learn about the benefits of making new friends in this book. When Jeremy Ross tries to get rid of enemies, his dad comes to the rescue. The catch? The only way for Jeremy to succeed is to spend an entire day playing with the enemy. Soon, his best enemy turns into his best friend! Best for: Grades K-4.
11. My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but the older they get, the more confusing the friendship becomes. Monica can’t understand why Katie has started to exclude her and call her names. Best for: Grades 1-4.
12. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. It addresses a classmate who is ridiculed by bullies for wearing the same dress to school every day, while other students stand by and do nothing to help. Best for: Grades 1-5.
13. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
This book sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children and reminds readers how small acts of kindness can help other children to feel included. Best for: Grades 1-5.
14. Anger Tree by John Cary
A poignant chapter book that tells the story of a neighborhood bully who is transformed by a strong, unyielding maple. The lessons the boy learns along the way will inspire thoughtful conversations about anger, self-worth and self-control. Best for: Grades 1-6.
15. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
This book has a powerful anti-bullying message and follows the story of Chloe, who won’t let the new girl, Maya, play with her and her friends. Eventually Maya stops coming to school and Chloe realizes that a small act of kindness–like giving Maya friendship–could have gone a long way. Best for: Grades 2-5.
16. Bully by Patricia Polacco
Here’s a book that takes on cyberbullying and cliques. When students begin teasing classmates on Facebook, Lyla knows something needs to be done. This is a perfect read for our increasingly digitally-savvy students. Best for: Grades 2-5.
17. The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale
This book pulls from actual events as the author loosely recounts what it was like when he was bullied in sixth grade. It incorporates both sides of bullying and addresses this ongoing issue in the lives of middle-schoolers. Best for: Grades 2-7.
18. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This uplifting novel follows August Pullman to fifth grade, which is his first time entering a mainstream school. August was born with a facial deformity so he’ll have to convince his classmates that he is normal, just like them, despite his appearances. Best for: Grades 4-6.
19. Real Friends by Shannon Hale
What happens when your best friend since forever starts hanging out with the “popular” crowd? A story about how hard it is to find your real friends in life, but how the journey is worth it. Best for: Grades 4-7.
20. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Heroine Annabelle must find her courage to stand up to a cruel bully and lead by example in this poignant tale set in America’s World War era. Best for: Grades 5-7.
21. Dear Bully by Dawn Metcalf
This book is a must-read for teens. Today’s top young adult authors contributed 70 heartfelt stories about bullying in this collection–from being a bystander, to a victim, to a bully themselves. The book also includes resources and suggestions for further reading. Best for: Grades 8 and up.
22. Tease by Amanda Maciel
This story is about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. Now she’s under attack as her peers, the community and the media berate her for causing such a tragic event. Best for: Grades 9 and up.
23. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
16-year-old Alice decides to settle the score with classmates after she is diagnosed with leukemia. Knowing she only has a few months left to live, she figures if she gets even and hurts people for the things they’ve done in the past, it won’t matter in the future. To her surprise, she goes into remission and has to face the consequences of all she has said and done. Best for: Grades 9 and up.