In the world we live in today, some children exhibit bully tendencies. As a parent, I understand that there may be underlying issues in their lives that drive this behavior. However, it’s crucial to address and support the individuals affected by these peer interactions.
Books provide a remarkable avenue for teaching children how to handle challenging subjects. The combination of captivating illustrations and relatable stories can capture a child’s attention and help them see themselves within the narrative. Often, communicating with grown-ups about difficult topics can be intimidating. Sharing a book together, however, can open doors for meaningful conversations.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the empowerment to find and use their voices. Books play a pivotal role in this journey.
Every child encounters situations like these at some point. I wholeheartedly encourage exposing children to the following books, as they can serve as catalysts for discussion and ignite a spark within our children to find their own voices.
By promoting empathy, resilience, and self-confidence through these books, we can help our kids navigate the complex world of peer interactions and develop the skills they need to stand up against bullying and injustice.
Below are eleven books to navigate this subject. I’ve included links to the books being read aloud on YouTube. Please comment if you have other books to include in this list!
- “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell
Molly Lou Melon is a unique and confident girl who faces a bully at school with resilience and self-assurance.
- “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill
This book tells the story of a bully on the playground and how a new friend helps her change her ways.
- “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum is teased at school because of her unique name, and she learns to embrace her individuality with the help of her parents. Kids can pick the oddest things to pick on – something like picking on a name may seem small – but it sticks with you.
- “My Secret Bully” by Trudy Ludwig
This book explores the subtleties of relational aggression and offers guidance on recognizing and dealing with secret bullies. This story is about a “friend” who doesn’t act the way friends should.
- “The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others” by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
Through a simple story, this book encourages children to take a stand against bullying and promote a culture of kindness.
- “One” by Kathryn Otoshi
A beautifully illustrated book that teaches kids about the power of standing up and including others in a positive way.
- “Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are” by Maria Dismondy
This book explores the importance of being true to oneself and having the courage to stand up to bullies.
- “Say Something” by Peter H. Reynolds
While not directly about bullying, this book encourages children to find their voices and speak up for what they believe in. Peter H. Reynolds’ books are wonderful – they just simplify feelings.
- “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig
This book explores the feeling of invisibility and the power of kindness in helping a shy boy find his voice and make friends.
- “Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev
“With a gentle message of inclusion and helping others, this title reaches beyond a mere friendship story.”—School Library Journal
- “Weird” by Erin Frankel
This is actually a the first in a 3-part series, and the messages about reclaiming your identify and not letting others put out your light.
For more information on this topic: https://soeonline.american.edu/blog/how-to-prevent-bullying/