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Bully Books
For information about safety training, conflict resolution, and peer mediation, contact the National Center for Assault Prevention at 609-582-7000, or the National School Safety Center at 805-373-9977. For information on crime prevention, contact the National Crime Prevention Council.
To find books on self esteem and empowerment, go to: SPECIAL COLLECTION and YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
HELPFUL LINKS: Stop Bullying Now and The Ophelia Project - Creating a safe social and emotional culture for girls
5 Up Aliki A Play's the Thing [fitting in, bullying, teamwork, friendship]
10-12 Debora Allie The Meanest Girl [And then it hits me. I was mean. Me! I've never though of myself as a mean person before, only other people.]
11 up David Almond The Savage [Blue Baker is writing a story about blood and guts and adventures, because that's what life's really like. At least it is for Blue, since his dad died and Hopper, the town bully, started knocking him and the other kids around. But Blue's story has a life of its own — weird and wild and magic and dark — and when the savage pays a nighttime visit to Hopper, Blue starts to wonder where he ends and his creation begins.
4-8 Jody Bergsma Dragon [enemies can become friends, weaknesses become strengths, fear replaced through love, acceptance and respect]
4-8 Cari Best Shrinking Violet [social anxiety/shyness/being bullied/overcoming fear]
YA/Adult Jodee Blanco Please Stop Laughing at Me?: One Woman's Inspirational True Story [While other children were daydreaming about dances, first kisses, and college, Jodee Blanco was trying to figure out how to go from homeroom to study hall without being taunted or spit upon as she walked through the halls. This memoir chronicles how one child was shunned--and even physically abused--by her classmates from elementary school through high school. It is an unflinching look at what it means to be the outcast, how even the most loving parents can get it all wrong, why schools are often unable to prevent disaster, and how bullying has been misunderstood and mishandled by the mental health community.]
4-8 Barbara Bottner Bootsie Barker Bites
7-9 Jim Boulden Push and Shove
5-7 Lana Button Willow Finds a Way [birthday party, control, real friendships, bullying, manipulation, self-confidence]
4-7 Janie Bynum Pig Enough [bully/co-operation/fitting-in/acceptance/bravery/friendship]
4-8 Janell Cannon Crickwing [being different]
YA Elisa Lynn Carbone The Pack [school violence]
4-7 Nancy L. Carlson How to Lose All Your Friends [lie, cheat, be a bully, etc.]
Teacher Nancy A. Chicola and Eleanor B. English Creating Caring Communities with Books Kids Love
9-12 Sneed B. Collard Dog Sense [learning to cope with conflicts and challenges in an unfamiliar environment and to accept changes in life that are beyond control.]
Adult Barbara Coloroso The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence
4-8 Bill Cosby The Meanest Thing To Say [school yard bully]
4-8 Carmela and Steven D'Amico Ella the Elegant Elephant [First day in a new school]
4-8 Tomie dePaola Oliver Button Is a Sissy
Trouble in the Barkers' Class [new kids in class/conflict resolution/bully/]
10-14 Beth Evangelista Gifted [witty novel provides a different perspective on bullying and the battle of brains versus brawn]
5-10 Paul Fleischman [Lesson Plans] WESLANDIA [WESLANDIA honors the misfits—and the creators—among us. Wesley's garden produces a crop of huge, strange plants which provide him with clothing, shelter, food, and drink, thus helping him create his own civilization and changing his life.]
YA Alex Flinn Breaking Point [bully, fitting in, school violence, teen social life]
Adult Judy S. Freedman Easing the Teasing : Helping Your Child Cope with Name-Calling, Ridicule, and Verbal Bullying
YA Graham Gardner Inventing Elliot [unflinching novel takes you deep into the mind of a boy who is coming to understand the nature of absolute power and its inevitable casualties, and also finding a bit of his own strength along the way.]
8-11 Gervay, Susanne I Am Jack - Jack's life is good. He takes great photographs, he can beat his buddies at handball, and he enjoys the time he spends with his family. But when big George Hamel starts calling Jack "Butt Head," school starts becoming a little less good. And when every-one starts calling him "Butt Head," it gets outright dangerous. Jack knows he should talk to someone about what's going on, but he's worried about retaliation, and his single mom is busy enough as it is. Lucky for Jack he has one friend to stand by him, and then a teacher and his family, too. It isn't long before Jack is himself again to his classmates.
Adult Charlene C. Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese Cliques: Eight Steps to Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle
YA William Gerald Golding Lord of the Flies
9-12 Mary Downing Hahn Stepping on the Cracks
As Ever, Gordy (Sequel) Can stand alone.
6 Up Sensei Gary Hellman The Karate Way
6 Up
Kevin Henkes Chester's Way
Chrysanthemum [name teasing]
4-8 James Howe Pinky and Rex and the Bully
9-12 Sandra McLeod Humphrey Hot Issues, Cool Choices: Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Put-downs [Did you know that there are kids out there who don t even want to get out of bed in the morning because they know what going to school means for them? If you are one of the cool kids at school, this book is for you. But if you re not one of the cool kids, this book is especially for you.]
6-9 Mina Javaherbin Goal! - In a dusty township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a brand-new, federation-size soccer ball. They kick. They dribble. They run. They score. These clever boys are football champions! A crew of bullies tries to steal their ball. “When we play, / we forget to worry. / When we run, / we are not afraid.” Universal theme of empowerment.
14+ Hal Johnson Immortal Lycanthropes ["A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly." So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a disfigured thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in at his Pennsylvania school. When a fight with a bully leaves him unconscious and naked in the wreckage of the cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthrope—a were-mammal who can transform from human to animal. He also discovers that there are others like him, and many of them want Myron dead. “People will turn into animals,” says the razor-witted narrator of this tour-de-force, “and here come ancient secrets and rivers of blood.”]
14 up Barry Jonsberg Dreamrider [Michael Terny is at his seventh school in four years and he knows that whatever he does, he will be ridiculed and pushed around. Michael is the fat kid. But Michael is also a lucid dreamer–he can recognize when he is dreaming and make the dream unfold exactly as he wants. Here he is safe and completely in control.]
5 up Norton Juster The Odious Ogre [This is the story of a really rotten Ogre who is extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless. He terrorizes the entire countryside and all the surrounding towns, wreaking havoc, sowing confusion, and dining happily on the hapless citizens. Nothing can stop him. But then he takes a wrong turn and encounters a kind and friendly young lady who does her best to help him--with a surprising result.]
4-8 Ezra Jack Keats Goggles [Two boys must outsmart the neighborhood bullies before they can enjoy their new treasure, a pair of lensless motorcycle goggles.]
4-7 Steven Kellog Jungle Bullies [Why should a large animal get away with bullying a smaller one? That’s what happens when Elephant takes Hippo’s spot in the pond, which causes Hippo to pick on Lion, Lion to pick on Leopard, and Leopard to pick on Monkey. Monkey asks his mother for advice, and she comes up with just the right solution to solve the problem. Even bullies can learn to share.]
YA David Klass Home of the Braves [soccer/bullies]
7-9 Susz Kline Horrible Harry in Room 2B
YA Kathe Koja Buddha Boy [The kids at Edward Rucher High School call Jinsen “Buddha Boy” and condemn him as a freak. With his shaved head and perpetual smile, Jinsen certainly doesn’t help matters when he starts begging for lunch money in the cafeteria. So when Justin is paired with Jinsen for a class project, he plans to get done with it as soon as possible, and climb right back into his safe social niche. Then Justin discovers Jinsen’s incredible artistic talent and becomes curious about his beliefs. But being friends with Buddha Boy isn’t simple, and Justin is forced into a cruel contest with the jocks who just can’t seem to leave Jinsen, or his artwork, alone.]
reluctanct readers Paul Langan The Bluford Series [High Interest/5th-6th grade RL/reluctanct readers]
The Bully
The Gun [sequel]
Brothers in Arms [drive-by shooting/anger management]
The Fallen [sequel]
All 13 titles in this powerful series.
5-8 Alex Latimer Lion vs. Rabbit [Lion bullies all the other animals until finally they cant take it anymore. They post an ad, asking for help. One animal after another tries and fails to defeat Lion. Finally, a rabbit arrives. No one thinks that such a small animal will be brave enough or strong enough to defeat Lion. But perhaps this rabbit is smart enough?]
PreK Munro Leaf Story of Ferdinand
5-8 Patty Lovell Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon ["Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy"]
4-8 Helen Lester Hooway for Wodney Wat [All his classmates make fun of Rodney because he can't pronounce his name, but it is Rodney's speech impediment that drives away the class bully.]
Wodney Wat's Wobot (Camilla Capybara is back!)
5-9 Janice Levy Alley Ooops [painful and embarrassing aftermath of name-calling and bullying from th eperspective of the bully.
10 up Elvira Lindo Manolito Four-Eyes ["Don't try to be different." That's what Manolito's mother tells him. But Manolito can't help it - he doesn't have to try. He was named for his father's truck, after all! He doesn't even mind being called Four-Eyes, since all the cool kids have nicknames.... Whether he's fighting over the One-and-Only Susana with his best friend, Big Ears; trying not to fight with Ozzy the Bully; telling his entire life story to the school psychologist; sharing a room with his "whole lotta cool" grandpa; or discovering the true meaning of World Peace - ten-year-old Manolito is a real original. As he would say, in the worldwide world, there's nobody like him! Refreshingly funny.
Trudy Ludwig
[Includes Interviews]
My Secret Bully [bullying by a friend] [Appendix: Resources, links, Discussion questions]
Just Kidding [A joke that has a sharp edge to it can cut you to pieces. That’s what D.J. finds out from his encounters with Vince, a smart-aleck classmate whose biting humor is more hurtful than funny. With the help of his dad and teacher, D.J. learns how to stand up to put downs and make healthier friendship choices.] [In Spanish - Solo Bromeaba
Trouble Talk [Maya's friend Bailey loves to talk about everything and everyone. At first, Maya thinks Bailey is funny. But when Bailey's talk leads to harmful rumors and hurt feelings, Maya begins to think twice about their friendship. Acquaints readers with the damaging consequences of "trouble talk"--talking to others about someone else's troubles in order to establish connection and gain attention. Includes additional resources for kids, parents, and teachers, as well as advice from Trudy about how to combat trouble talk.]
Confessions of a Former Bully [After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she's told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend. Bothered at first, it doesn't take long before Katie realizes that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than the bullied, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression.]
Better Than You [Jake's bragging is really starting to get to his neighbor Tyler. Tyler can't show Jake a basketball move, a school assignment, or a new toy without Jake saying he can do better. Tyler starts to wonder: Is something wrong with him? Is he really such a loser? Is Jake really better than him at everything? Or is Jake the one with the problem? With the help of his uncle Kevin, Tyler begins to understand that Jake's bragging has nothing to do with Tyler's own abilities and that puffing yourself up leaves little room for friends.]
10-14 Chris Lynch Who The Man [adolescence to manhood/ gender stereotypes/self-discovery]
YA Peter Marino Dough Boy [A high school boy struggles with his weight, the acceptance of his classmates, and find the guts to make his own way. Painfully touching and funny]
12-16 Sue Mayfield Drowning Anna [attempted suicide/teen cruelty/bullying] Recommended for parents as well.
5-8 Becky McCain Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story About Bullying [excellent for reading aloud/feeling powerless/"tell without 'tattling'." ]
4-8 David McPhail NO! [The word "No" repeated three times is the only thing said in this otherwise wordless book that speaks volumes. A young boy sets out to deliver a letter and witnesses acts of war along his way, both on the personal level, and on a world-wide scale.]
4-8 Susan Meddaugh Martha Walks the Dog
11-13 Ben Mikaelsen Touching Spirit Bear [anger management/conflict/bad choices/being held accountable]
3-6 Lynn Montgomery BUTT UGLY [This book is for every creature who has ever felt a little shy, a little alone, or a little butt ugly.]
4-8 Phyllis Reynolds Naylor The King of the Playground
4-7 John Nickle The Ant Bully
4-8 Alexis O'Neill The Recess Queen [school yard bully/kindness and friendship]
Adult Dan Olweus Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do
YA Katherine Hall Page Club Med [being different, tolerating cruelty, and having "a disability that no one can see." (ADHD)
8-10 Barbara Park Dear God, Help! Love, Earl
4-8 Tracey Campbell Pearson Myrtle [When a mean neighbor moves in next door, Myrtle gets good advice from her Aunt Tizzy and some good ideas how to handle this bully.]
4-8 Jean E. Pendziwol The Tale of Sir Dragon: Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) [Setting out from Camp Camelot in search of a noble quest, a girl and her dragon friend cross swords with a bully of a knight. The bully says the dragon is too big, tall and green to play knights. Suddenly, playtime is spoiled. The girl stands up for the dragon, but the other bystanders let the bully do as he pleases. It's time for a petition to the king! After a roundtable discussion, the bully comes to accept that everyone has a right to play -- no matter how big, tall or green they are!]
3-6 Audrey Penn Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
YA Julie Anne Peters By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead [Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers" where she blogs about her life, revealing a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. At her private school she's known as the freak who doesn't talk. A boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. She's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, but Santana returns every day and an unusual relationship begins. Powerful, emotional read.
11 Up Rodman Philbrick Freak the Mighty
12 up Phillips, Suzanne BURN [A bullied freshman who ultimately does the unthinkable: he kills another student. As she did with Chloe Doe, Suzanne has found a way to make this seemingly dark story ultimately redemptive. But she also dares readers to look at the behavior that provokes violence as having the potential to be as dangerous as the violence itself.
YA Pixley, Marcella FREAKS [This riveting first novel introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine, an outsider who dares to confront the rigid conformity of junior high, and in the process manages not only to save herself but to inspire and transform others./Bullying]
4-8 Nikolai Popov Why? [powerful wordless picture book]
YA Carol Plum-Ucci The Body of Christopher Creed
12 up Prose, Francine Bullyville [what happens when school bullying goes too far/grief, rage and violence]
7-11 Natalie Kinsey-Warnock The Night the Bells Rang
6 Up Trevor Romain Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain
7-9 Julie Jersild Roth Knitting Nell [shy girl often left out/made fun of/knits for charity/teaches the other children after she gets an award]
YA Darlene Ryan RESPONSIBLE [a group of bullies threaten their way through the school. When the leader starts tormenting Erin—and she stands up to him—the harassment escalates until one member is forced to make a difficult decision and risk everything. (RL3.2, Reluctant Reader)
5 Up Tor Seidler Mean Margaret - Will Mean Margaret ever realize that there's more to life than being nasty to everybody?
4-8 David Shannon A Bad Case of Stripes [don't deny the person that you are!]
14 up Neil Shusterman UNWIND [In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Readers' ideas are challenged about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.]
9-12 Susan Richards Shreve Joshua T. Bates Takes Charge
Adult Rachel Simmons Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls [advice for girls, parents, teachers, and even school administrators, Odd Girl Out is a groundbreaking work that every woman will agree is long overdue.]
YA Alan Lawrence Sitomer The Hoopster [multicultural group of friends/racism/aspiring African-American writer/urban teens. Reluctant readers.] [Teacher's Guide]
9-12 Jerry Spinelli Maniac Magee [Classroom Guide]
Star Girl
4-8 Gary J. Stevens If I Called You A Hippopotamus! ["You're stupid!" "You're ugly!" "You stink!" Teasing and name calling is common among children and often it hurts feelings and damages self-esteem.]
9-12 Mary Stolz The Bully of Barkham Street
5-8 Sam Swope Araboolies of Liberty Street [he General and Mrs. Pinch rule Liberty Street, prohibiting all laughter and games. Joy and the other youngsters who live there are unhappy but there is nothing they can do about it. Then the Araboolies, who speak no English and who change skin color daily, move in. Life becomes chaotic, exciting, and fun offers the welcome message of tolerance.]
YA Janet Tashjian Fault Line [dating/abusive adolescent relationships
All Marlo Thomas Free to Be ... You and Me
5-8 Pat Thomas Stop Picking On Me! [identifying bullies/explores options to end bullying.]
Kids ages: 4-7
Rita Y. Toews The Bully: A Discussion And Activity Story [short story/ discussion and coloring book about bullying./Q&A/express feelings/practical ways to deal with bullies/ Adult section informative with resources.
9-12 Cynthia Voigt The Bad Girls
YA Weaver, Will DEFECT [Maybe it was bad karma. Maybe it was just bad luck. Whatever the reason, fifteen-year-old David was born defective. His bug eyes, pinched face, and hearing aids are obvious, but there is a secret David keeps from everyone, even his foster parents. Because of a thin layer of skin hidden under each arm, David can fly—well, glide is more like it. Terrified of doctors, wary of letting down his guard, David is determined to hide his secret at any cost. But then David meets Cheetah, a girl whose own defect doesn’t diminish her spirit, and suddenly his life begins to take wing.] [conformity/self-acceptance/differences/tolerance]
4-8 Rosemary Wells Hazel's Amazing Mother
8-12 Michael Winerip Adam Canfield, Watch Your Back! [When some high-school kids mug him for his snow shoveling money, middle-grader Adam Canfield, star reporter of The Slash, is embarrassed when the media shares his story and his co-editors plan a contest to "out" bullies in their school.]
9-12 Doug Wilhelm The Revealers
8-11 Jacqueline Wilson Bad Girls
4-8 Taro Yashima Crow Boy [understanding and accepting differences]
10-13 Yee, Lisa Warp Speed [Entering 7th grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski: Same old boring classes, same old boring life. The only thing he has to look forward to is the upcoming Star Trek convention. But when he inadvertently draws the attention of Digger Ronster, the biggest bully in school, his life has officially moved from boring to far too dramatic . . . from invisible to center stage.]
9-12 Paul Zindel Attack of the Killer Fishsticks

The power of a book...

Emails received from readers of Freak the Mighty:

"i like the book freak the mighty it shows that little kids are smart and that they may be small but they could be bigger at other stuff see i am small but i know alot but i am always push around by big kids but i don't care because thats not going to hurt at the long run see i have lots of friends they help me so i am happy about that.See before i read freak the mighty i would be sad every time the big kids would push me around but now i don't."
yours truly janice :) :)

"Freak The Mighty is a great book. I am a kind of small person but not as small as Freak.People talk about how small I am and it used to bother me but it doesn't any more. Freak The Mighty can teach kids alot of things , and because of this book I don't feel so small."
Bye india

A Brave And Startling Truth
by Maya Angelou

We, this people on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through causal space

Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns

To a destination where all signs tell us

It is possible and imperative that we discover

A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it

To the day of peacemaking

When we release our fingers

From fists of hostility

And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate

And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean

When battlefields and coliseum

No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters

Up with the bruised and bloody grass

To lie in identical plots in foreign lands

When the pennants are waving gaily

When the banners of the world tremble

Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it

When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders

And children dress their dolls in flags of truce

When land mines of death have been removed

And the aged may walk into evenings of peace

When religious ritual is not perfumed

By the incense of burning flesh

And childhood dreams are not kicked awake

By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it

Then we will confess that not the Pyramids

With their stones set in mysterious perfection

Not the Garden of Babylon

Hanging as eternal beauty

In our collective memory

Not the Grand Canyon

Kindled in delicious color

By Western sunsets

Not the Danube flowing in its blue soul into Europe

Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji

Stretching to the rising sun

Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,

Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores

These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it

We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe

Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade, the dagger

yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace

We, this people on this moat of matter

in whose mouths abide cantankerous words

Which challenge our existence

Yet out of those same mouths

Can come songs of such exquisite sweetness

That the heart falters in its labor

And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon

That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living

Yet those same hands can tough with such healing, irresistible tenderness

That the haughty neck is happy to bow

And the proud back is glad to bend

Out of such chaos, of such contradiction

We learn that we are neither devils or divines

When we come to it

We, this people, on this wayward, floating body

Created on this earth, of this earth

have the power to fashion for this earth

A climate where every man and every woman

Can live freely without sanctimonious piety

And without crippling fear

When we come to it

We must confess that we are the possible

We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world

That is when, and only when

We come to it.