Children As Peacemaker: Bullying Books Guide

Book List for bullying prevention.

 

Ages 2-12

1. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts

Hardly anyone noticed young Sally McCabe.

She was the smallest girl in the smallest grade.

But Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor’s ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard. And when she takes a chance and stands up to the bullies, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.

Age: 3-5 years old

OEP’s Read Aloud: #KidsAsPeacemakers #ReadAloud: The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade - YouTube

2. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what happens when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious about fitting in. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she decides to choose an American name from a glass jar. But while Unhei thinks of being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, nothing feels right. With the help of a new friend, Unhei will learn that the best name is her own. 

Theme: Immigration

OEP’s Read Aloud: #KidsAsPeacemakers #ReadAloud: The Name Jar - YouTube

Ages: 5-9 years old


3. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson 

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

OEP’s Read Aloud: #KidsAsPeacemakers #ReadAloud: The Day You Begin - YouTube

Age: 5-8 years old

4. I am Enough by Grace Byers

This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

OEP’s Read Aloud: #KidsAsPeaceMakers #ReadAloud: I Am Enough - YouTube

Age: 3-7 years old.

5. Simran Kaur World Traveler by Jacquelyn Grace Morris

It was a normal school day when Simran's life completely changed. Soon, she would be moving from Punjab, India to Ohio, USA. Her first few days of school are strange and scary as her classmates and she realizes that they don't dress the same, talk the same, or eat the same foods. As her family supports her, Simran learns to be proud of her differences and shares her culture with her classmates. 

OEP’s Read Aloud: Simran Kaur World Traveler English Read Aloud - YouTube

Age: 4-8 years old

6. From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom and Kai Yun Ching 

In the magical time between night and day, when both the sun and the moon are in the sky, a child is born in a little blue house on a hill. And Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can’t decide what to be: A boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star? At school, though, they must endure inquisitive looks and difficult questions from the other children, and they have trouble finding friends who will accept them for who they are. But they find comfort in the loving arms of their mother, who always offers them the same loving refrain: “whatever you dream of / i believe you can be / from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea.”

OEP’s Read Aloud: OEP Readaloud Challenge - From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea - YouTube

Age: 3-8 years Old

7. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, a friendship is born. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?

With simple rhyming text, subtle messages of kindness and compassion, and Tom Lichtenheld’s signature charm, this delightful story about making and helping friends will enchant readers young and old because it’s never too early—or too late—to stick up for your friends.

Age: 2-5 years old

8. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. "You're named after a flower!" teases Victoria. "Let's smell her," says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

Age: 3-6 years old

9. A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

In A Big Guy Took My Ball! Piggie is devastated when a big guy takes her ball! Gerald is big, too...but is he big enough to help his best friend?

Age: 3-6 years old

10. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart.

But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that. 

Age: 3-6 years old

11. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith

Mean Jean was Recess Queenand nobody said any different.Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced.If kids ever crossed her, she'd push 'em and smoosh 'emlollapaloosh 'em, hammer 'em, slammer 'emkitz and kajammer 'em.Until a new kid came to school!With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.

Age: 4-7 years old

12. The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete's new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about "The Promise". Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?

Age: 5-9 years old

13. Willow Finds a Way by Lana Button

Willow is thrilled the whole class -- including her! -- is invited to classmate Kristabelle's fantastic birthday party, until the bossy birthday girl starts crossing guests off the list when they dare cross her. There are many books on bullying, but Willow's story offers a unique look at how to handle the situation as a bystander.

Age: 3-7 years old.

14.  You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders

One of the most important social skills a child can learn is empathy. Being able to understand how another person is feeling and recognizing their needs helps people to connect to one another across race, culture and the diversity that is ever-present and so important to our world. This charming story uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learnt trait, and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care.

Also included are Discussion Questions for parents, caregivers and educators, and suggested activities to promote empathy and kindness.

Age: 3-9 years old

15. My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig

Here is the all-too-familiar story of Monica.  She and Katie have been friends since kindergarten.  Monica loves being around her when she's nice.  But there are times when Katie can be just plain mean.  And Monica doesn't understand why.

Monica is a target of relational aggression, emotional bullying among friends who will use name-calling and manipulation to humiliate and exclude.  But with a little help from a supportive adult—her mother—Monica learns to cope and thrive by facing her fears and reclaiming power from her bully.

Age: 6-9 years old

16. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

Age: 5-8 years old.

17. Bully by Patricia Polacco

Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she is smart enough to get out. But no one dumps these girls, and now they're out for revenge.

Patricia Polacco has taken up the cause against bullies ever since Thank You, Mr. Falker, and her passion shines through in this powerful story of a girl who stands up for a friend.

Themes: cyber-bullying.

Age: 8-11 years old.

18. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope.

Age: 9-11 years old

19. Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen's #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group―or out?

Age: 8-11 years old

12 years old and up

20. Dear Bully by Dawn Metcalf

Today's top authors for teens and young people come together to share their stories about bullying—as bystanders, as victims, and as the bullies themselves—in this moving and deeply personal collection.

Lauren Oliver, R. L. Stine, Ellen Hopkins, Carolyn Mackler, Kiersten White, Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, Lauren Kate, and many more contributed 70 heartfelt and empathetic stories from each corner of the schoolyard.

Age: 14-17 years old.

21. Tease by Amanda Maciel

Provocative, unforgettable, and inspired by real-life incidents, Amanda Maciel's highly acclaimed debut novel Tease is the story of a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

Age: 14-17 year old.

22. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope.

But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done.

Age: 14-17 years old


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