At least 1 out of every 5 children will be the target of bullying [pacer.org] and the unfortunate truth is that--whether as a victim, bystander, or even as the bully themselves--nearly every child will be involved in bullying behavior at some point in their lives.
Bullying is defined “as intentional, repeated and power-imbalanced forms of emotional or physical abuse." [melissainstitute.org]. It can start as early as age 3 and often develops from “pre-bully” behaviors that have been allowed to continue unchecked. By modeling empathy and helping children learn skills for handling bullying behavior, caring adults can help turn the tide before it becomes a serious problem.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to focus and raise awareness on bullying and its harmful effects on children. Looking for a way to participate? Talking openly about bullying and its effects with the young children in your lives is just one way you can help prevent and process bullying trauma--and books are a great way to get conversation started.
These are just a sampling of the anti-bullying books we have available at the library. For more on this topic, visit our catalog or ask a librarian.
by Jordan Scott
When a boy who stutters feels shunned, isolated, and incapable of communicating the way he'd like, it takes a change of perspective to help him find his voice. Masterfully illustrated, the expressive paintings powerfully mirror the text's emotion, putting you in the boy’s shoes. Based on the author’s own experiences, this moving book is for any child who feels unable to fit in due to physical differences and helps foster empathy in those who don’t. // Easy // Grades K-4
by Kevin Henkes
Until Chrysanthemum started kindergarten, she believed her parents when they said her name was perfect. But at school, Chrysanthemum begins to suspect that her name is far less than perfect from her classmate’s incessant teasing. Heartbroken, Chrysanthemum's parents try to piece her self-esteem back together again. // Easy // Grades PreS-3
by Mo Willems
Piggie is upset because a whale took the ball she found. What will Gerald and Piggie do? Willems has a way of delivering funny, emotionally perceptive stories for just-emerging readers and this tale on sharing, assumptions, and feelings of injustice is no exception. // Easy // Grades: PreS-2
by Jayneen Sanders
Empathy--being able to understand how another person is feeling and recognizing their needs--is one of the most important skills a child can learn. This charming story follows Quinn through every-day situations as they model empathy towards others. Discussion questions are included as well as suggested activities to promote empathy and kindness. // Easy // Grades K-3
by Trudy Ludwig
This gentle story beautifully illustrates what it feels like to be excluded and how simple acts of positive peer pressure can make a world of difference. Including a discussion guide and resources for further reading, The Invisible Boy is a valuable resource addressing the needs of quieter children. // Easy // Grades 1-4
by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe won’t let the new girl, Maya, play with her and her friends. Bullied and excluded, Maya eventually stops coming to school. Told from Chloe’s perspective, we get an inside look on how easy it is to fall into negative peer pressure. Although this story does not have a happy ending, it contains a powerful anti-bullying message. // Easy // Grades 2-6
by Trudy Ludwig
Maya’s friend Bailey loves to tell jokes and spread rumors about the troubles in other children’s lives. But when Bailey hears Maya’s parents fighting and turns it into a rumor that they’re going to get divorced, Maya realizes how painful this “trouble talk” can be. Includes notes, resources, and discussion questions for caregivers to help empower and encourage their children towards healthier friendships. // Easy // Grades 2-5
by Sara Leach
Third-grader Lauren, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, is practicing the skill of 'going with the flow,' but finds that difficult when she learns that her best friend Irma has made another friend, Jonas. Straightforward text and frequent black-and-white illustrations make this an accessible chapter book for young readers and a great family read. // Junior // Grades 2-5
by Ame Dyckman
This book from the popular American Girl brand focuses on teaching girls how to identify bullying and how to stand up and speak out against it. The mix of quizzes, quotes from other girls, and age-appropriate advice can help tweens learn that there is no one right way to deal with bullying. // Nonfiction // Grades 3-7
For more parent resources about bullying visit: