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Bullying: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about bullying?

Bullying and its effects are heartbreaking, and unfortunately present on playgrounds, classrooms, and homes across the world. Its victims are often silent, and as younger and younger children have access to online forums the bullying can take place somewhere it is very difficult for adults to find and intervene. Knowing how to recognizing bullying, developing the courage to stand up, either for yourself or someone else, and having tools for how to cope with bullies can make the world of difference for a child—stories can help. They allow you to enter a world and a situation as an observer, experience it objectively and form judgements and make decisions about what is right and what is wrong, what works and what doesn’t and what kind of person you want to be. Without further ado, here are some truly amazing books to help create awareness, provide solutions and teach empathy, some quite light introductions and some with more serious themes.

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Top 10 Books About Bullying

#1
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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

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#2
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Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

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#3
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The Rag Coat
Written & illustrated by Lauren A. Mills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

With paintings that capture all the beauty of Appalachia in authentic detail, this tender story about a resourceful mountain girl’s special coat will touchreaders with its affirming message of love and friendship.

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#4
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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell & illustrated by David Catrow
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love Molly Lou Melon! She is a fantastic girl who, despite some differences, listens to the advice her grandmother gives her to believe in herself, be proud of herself, and just be her great self. :) Even when a boy at school bullies her multiple times, she follows her grandmother's advice and shows the bully how remarkable she is, and they turn out to be friends.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do.

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.

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#5
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Thank You, Mr. Falker
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age.

Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.

This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child’s life.

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#6
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The Hundred Dresses
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.

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#7
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My Friend Maggie
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Hannah E. Harrison's illustrations are always so detailed and wonderfully colorful and expressive and this book is no exception. This books reminds us that participating in bullying may make you feel part of the in-crowd initially, but bullies are rarely nice for long, even to their "friends," and it's far better to be true to our true friends from the get-go. The message is fantastic, and I really appreciated the little example of forgiveness included as well.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Paula and Maggie are best friends until Paula starts playing with some new friends instead, but when her new playmates turn on her, it’s Maggie who rushes to Paula’s defense”

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#8
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Super Manny Stands Up!
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
"Manny stood up. And then he did the bravest, most courageous, kindest thing he ever could have done. He said: Stop It." Manny is a super hero after school every day, wearing a different color cape and conquering the fiercest monsters his imagination can devise, but it turns out his invisible cape he wears to school is the most powerful. The power and confidence practice and imagination can give you, and the reminder that once you stand up for someone, others will most likely follow and back you up is comforting, and who knows when you might make a new best friend. The illustrations in this book are modern and fun, and the message is spectacular.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Stephanie Graegin bring a lionhearted new hero to life in this tender, sparkling story about standing up for what’s right—and finding your inner superpowers. Every day after school, Manny saves the world from formidable foes. I AM FEARLESS! I AM STRONG! I AM BRAVE! I AM POWERFUL! I AM INVINCIBLE! Zombie bears, evil cloud monsters, and alien robots with laser beam eyes are no match for Super Manny. But when Manny encounters a real-life nemesis in the school cafeteria, will he be able to summon his superhero strength to save the day?

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#9
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Stick and Stone
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.

    In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.
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#10
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Oliver and the Seawigs
Written by Phillip Reave & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reave
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Get ready for moving islands! Mischievous monkeys! And a splashy adventure with illustrations on almost every page.

When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail to find them with some new friends. There’s a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are more exciting and strange than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad?

For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with silly humor, action, and larger-than-life fun.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Bullying and...

Books About Bullying and Empathy

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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$10.99
Used $2.44
Prices as of Feb 26
Add to list
Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$9.73
Used $0.35
Prices as of Feb 26
Add to list
The Hundred Dresses
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.39
Used $2.52
Prices as of Feb 26
Honorable Mentions
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  1. The Invisible Boy - The Book Snob Mom -

    The book is gorgeously and emotionally illustrated, letting the colors speak to the emotions of Brian —the invisible boy— in this story. A powerful reminder that bullying takes many forms and that one person and one act of kindness can truly make a difference, even if they're the only one.

  2. Each Kindness - WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR AND THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD! Each kindness makes the world a little better This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they’ve put it down. Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.

  3. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade - Sally McCabe is a very little girl, and nobody notices her, although she notices everything that goes on around her–but when she speaks out about the unkindness she sees, people start to pay attention.

  4. Jake and Lily - This is a story about me, Lily. And me, Jake. We’re twins and we’re exactly alike. Not exactly! Whatever. This is a book we wrote about the summer we turned eleven and Jake ditched me. Please. I just started hanging out with some guys in the neighborhood. Right. So anyway, this is a book about goobers and supergoobers bullies clubhouses true friends things getting built and wrecked and rebuilt and about figuring out who we are. We wrote this together (sort of) so you’ll get to see both sides of our story. But you’ll probably agree with my side. You always have to have the last word, don’t you? Yes!

Want to see books about empathy?

Books About Bullying and Self-acceptance

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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell & illustrated by David Catrow
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love Molly Lou Melon! She is a fantastic girl who, despite some differences, listens to the advice her grandmother gives her to believe in herself, be proud of herself, and just be her great self. :) Even when a boy at school bullies her multiple times, she follows her grandmother's advice and shows the bully how remarkable she is, and they turn out to be friends.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do.

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.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.69
Used $1.40
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The Curvy Tree
Written by Chris Colfer & illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The debut picture book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer Once upon a time, there was a little girl who didn’t quite fit in. When she runs away, she happens upon a curvy tree who helps her understand the importance of being different! This picture book stands alone, but also plays an important role in the Land of Stories series–making this a must-have book for fans and new readers alike!

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I Am Enough
Written by Grace Byers & illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards picture book winner!

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

This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

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

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. The Boy Who Grew Flowers - Rink is a very unusual boy who grows beautiful flowers all over his body whenever the moon is full. In town and at school, Rink and his family are treated as outcasts although no-one knows his strange botanical secret. But one day a new girl arrives at sc

  2. Iced Out - Wilfred Walrus and Neville Narwhal are the only kids in Miss Blubber’s class who are not seals. Life is tough being the odd ones out - lunchtimes and football matches and school photos all present challenges to the two outliers. And they don’t even like each other very much! When Betty Beluga joins the class, everything changes. Betty is smart and independent and amazing at football. As a friendship forms, Betty helps the two boys to recognise that being different isn’t always a bad thing! A warm, funny tale about friendship and fitting in that school-aged children are sure to identify with. Isabella Bunnell’s joyous watercolour illustrations are complimented by luxuriant packaging.

  3. Monster Like Me - There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?

Books About Bullying and Disabilities

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Thank You, Mr. Falker
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age.

Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.

This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child’s life.

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Hooway for Wodney Wat
Written by Helen Lester & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Poor Rodney Rat can’t pronounce his R’s and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney’s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day, R’s or no R’s.

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Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
WONDER IS NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JULIA ROBERTS AND JACOB TREMBLAY!

Over 8 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Truth as Told by Mason Buttle - From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

  2. Sidetracked - If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn’t even be in last place–he’d be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So, he spends most of his time avoiding school bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else. With a new friend and a new team, Joseph finds himself off the sidelines and in the race (quite literally) for the first time. Is he a good runner? Well, no, he’s terrible. But the funny thing about running is, once you’re in the race, anything can happen.

  3. A Blind Guide to Normal - Richie “Ryder” Raymond has a gift. He can find the punchline in any situation, even in his limited vision and prosthetic eye. During the past year at Addison School for the Blind, Ryder’s quick wit earned the respect and friendship of his classmates. Heading to mainstream, or “normal” school for eighth grade is going to be awesome. After all, what’s not to like? At Addison, Ryder was everyone’s favorite person. He could make anyone laugh, especially his best friend Alice. So long as he can be first to make all of the one-eyed jokes, Ryder is sure he’ll fit in just as quick at Papuaville Middle School, home of the Fighting Guinea Pigs. But Alice warns him fitting in might not be as easy as he thinks. Turns out, Alice was right. In just the first hour of “normal” school, Ryder is attacked by General MacCathur II (aka, Gramps’s cat), causes his bio teacher to pass out cold, makes an enemy out town hero Max, and falls for Jocelyn, the fierce girl next door who happens to be Max’s girlfriend. On top of that, Ryder struggles to hold onto his dignity in the face of students’ pity and Gramps’s non-stop practical jokes. Ryder quickly sees the only thing worse than explaining a joke is being the punchline. But with help from his stuck-in-the-70s Gramps and encouragement from Alice, Ryder finds the strength to not only fight back, but to make peace. This exciting sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville weaves humor, recovery and second chances into an unforgettable story, with characters who will hook you from page one.

  4. Pack of Dorks - Lucy knows that kissing Tom Lemmings behind the ball shed will make her a legend. But she doesn’t count on that quick clap of lips propelling her from coolest to lamest fourth grader overnight. Suddenly Lucy finds herself trapped in Dorkdom, where a diamond ring turns your finger green, where the boy you kiss hates you three days later, where your best friend laughs as you cry, where parents seem to stop liking you, and where baby sisters are born different. Now Lucy has a choice: she can be like her former best friend Becky, who would do anything to claim her seat at the cool table in the cafeteria, or Lucy can pull up a chair among the solo eaters—also known as the dorks. Still unsure, Lucy partners with super quiet Sam Righter on a research project about wolves. Lucy connects her own school hierarchy with what she learns about animal pack life—where some wolves pin down weaker ones just because they can, and others risk everything to fight their given place in the pack. Soon Lucy finds her third option: creating a pack of her own, even if it is simply a pack of dorks. Weaving tough issues, including bullying, loyalty, and disability, with a thread of snarky humor, family bonds, and fresh perspective, Pack of Dorks paints characters coming-of-age and coming-to-terms. Beth Vrabel’s stellar debut contemporary middle grade novel is sure to please fans of Jack Gantos, Elizabeth Atkinson, and Judy Blume. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Books About Bullying and Best Friends

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Stick and Stone
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.

    In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.
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The Infinity Year of Avalon James
Written by Dana Middleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Avalon James and Atticus Brightwell have a secret–one that they aren’t allowed to discuss with anyone. This secret is shared between two best friends. When you and your best friend turn ten years old magical things are said to happen. You both will receive some kind of magical power. It can be a power you can call on time and time again. Or it can be a power that comes once when you need it most. It’s your Infinity Year and the possibilities are endless.

The past year hasn’t been great with her family being torn apart and bullying at school, so Avalon is depending on her magical ability to appear soon and help. With the clock ticking and her eleventh birthday approaching, which would be the end of her powers, Avalon’s hopes are running high. Will she and Atticus get the powers they so desperately want and need?

Dana Middleton’s debut novel is a wonderfully enchanting story of the possibility of magic and the even more magical bond between two best friends.

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Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
Written & illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are best of friends and swim up, down, around, and through their ocean home.
Crabby is their neighbor. He is not their best friend.
But when Crabby gets in trouble, will Peanut Butter and Jellyfish come to the rescue?
You bet they will!
From award-winning picture book creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, this is a funny and touching story of friendships old and new, and about being brave enough to apologize.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Out of Place - When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide bullying campaign, she sets out to find a way to leave her home on Martha’s Vineyard for New York City, where her best friend lives. But Cove discovers that friends can appear in the unlikeliest places, and maybe home isn’t the worst place to be after all. Jennifer Blecher’s debut novel is a voice-driven story about bullying, friendship, and self-reliance that hits the sweet spot for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First. Twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein’s year has gone from bad to worse. First, her best friend, Nina, moved from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City. Then, without Nina around, Cove became the target of a bullying campaign at school. Escape seems impossible. But opportunities can appear when you least expect them. Cove’s visit to a secondhand clothing store leads her to a surprising chance to visit Nina, but only if she can win a coveted place in a kids-only design competition. Cove doesn’t know how to sew, but her friend at the retirement home, Anna, has promised to teach her. And things start really looking up when a new kid at school, Jack, begins appearing everywhere Cove goes. Then Cove makes a big mistake. One that could ruin every good thing that has happened to her this year. One that she doesn’t know how to undo. Jennifer Blecher’s accessible and beautifully written debut novel explores actions and consequences, loneliness, bullying, and finding your voice. This voice-driven friendship story is for fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger and Jodi Kendall’s The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City. Includes black-and-white spot art throughout.

  2. Boy Bites Bug - To defuse a situation between his best friend and a new student, Nolan eats a live stink bug, gaining popularity and a class project idea but, perhaps, losing a friend.

  3. Just Jaime - Another spot-on story of middle school drama and friendship from Terri Libenson, national bestselling author of Invisible Emmie and Positively Izzy. Friends. Frenemies. Middle school… The last day of seventh grade has Jaime and Maya wondering who their real friends are. Jaime knows something is off with her friend group. They’ve started to exclude her and make fun of the way she dresses and the things she likes. At least she can count on her BFF, Maya, to have her back . . . right? Maya feels more and more annoyed with Jaime, who seems babyish compared to the other girls in their popular group. It’s like she has nothing in common with Jai anymore. Are their days as BFFs numbered . . . ? Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer L. Holm.

  4. Miss Impossible - Babysitting? More like bully-sitting, when Malia, Dot, and Bree get a much older--and scarier--client than they expected. But looks can be deceiving in this LOL-worthy third book in the Best Babysitters Ever series, perfect for fans of Rachel Vail and Sarah Mlynowski.

Books About Bullying and Animals

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The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

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Llama Llama and the Bully Goat
Written & illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Llama Llama likes to sing. Gilroy laughs at everything. Llama sings out just the same. Gilroy says a not-nice name. Teacher has some things to say: calling names is not OK.

Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?

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Emma and Starfire
Written by Lauren Marie & illustrated by Jenna Leigh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Emma is a girl with one dream: to have a horse of her own. Her dream seems out of reach, and she only has an unwilling cow to ride. At school, Jane, who rides racehorses, bullies Emma about not being worthy enough to ride a horse. That night, Emma gazes at the sky and wonders why Jane is so mean. A white light streaks across the sky. The magical Duchess of the Stars appears and entrusts Emma with Starfire, a buckskin colt–the offspring of the Star Horses who rule the stars and the sun. With Starfire by her side, Emma gains the confidence to stand up to her bully.

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  1. My Fox Ate My Homework - My name is Jonah Johnson, and I’m in the 6th grade - but please call me Joe. My whole world just got turned upside down. It’s my first day at a new school and I’ve already got to deal with the bully. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a talking fox that keeps getting me into trouble at my new house in the country. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true! To top it all off, I’ve got to help save my mom’s house!

  2. The Slithery Shakedown - Now children ages 5-7 can join the trio of unlikely animal friends in a new Grow & Read Early Reader story with the Nocturnal Brigade.

  3. Lizzy the Lioness - Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help! Encourage your little ones with the true meaning of bravery through the beautiful story of Lizzy the Lioness by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere.

  4. The Rhino in Right Field - A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

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Books About Bullying and Peer Pressure

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My Friend Maggie
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Hannah E. Harrison's illustrations are always so detailed and wonderfully colorful and expressive and this book is no exception. This books reminds us that participating in bullying may make you feel part of the in-crowd initially, but bullies are rarely nice for long, even to their "friends," and it's far better to be true to our true friends from the get-go. The message is fantastic, and I really appreciated the little example of forgiveness included as well.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Paula and Maggie are best friends until Paula starts playing with some new friends instead, but when her new playmates turn on her, it’s Maggie who rushes to Paula’s defense”

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The Queen Bee and Me
Written by Gillian McDunn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of Caterpillar Summer comes the story of a young girl navigating her friendship with the middle school Queen Bee.

Meg has been best friends with Beatrix forever. Everyone at school wants to be like confident, decisive Beatrix, and Meg has always felt the same. But this year, Meg wants to take a science course instead of dance class. She’d rather do what makes her happy—not what Beatrix wants.

When a quirky girl named Hazel moves to town, Meg is partnered with her on a science project about bees. Meg learns a lot about being Queen Bee—in a hive and in middle school. As Beatrix is less than welcoming to Hazel, Meg feels her loyalty fraying. Choosing Hazel could mean ending her oldest friendship; a choice more difficult than Meg ever expected.

By turns heartbreaking and empowering, The Queen Bee and Me explores the challenging dynamics of middle-school friendship in a way readers of any age will appreciate.

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Dazzling Travis
Written by Hannah Carmona Dias & illustrated by Brenda Figueroa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Travis sets no limits to what he enjoys doing. Shopping and football, ballet and dress-up make Travis a one of a kind boy! But when some of the kids on the playground begin to pick on him, Travis truly dazzles. This empowering story encourages both boys and girls to challenge the social norm, revealing their true selves.

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  1. Frog Boots - There’s only one thing Dylan wants: frog boots! But what happens when this little boy discovers they’re meant for . . . girls? School shopping is no fun for Dylan—until he spots a pair of boots decorated with poison-dart frogs. They’re so cool that he even wears them to bed, where he discovers they glow in the dark! He can’t wait to wear them to class. But before he can show them off in circle time, a kid exclaims: “Ms. Kory, that boy’s wearing girl boots.” And, suddenly, when everyone’s laughing at him, the boots don’t seem so wonderful anymore. Will he ever want to wear them again? A timely story about embracing what you love, staying true to yourself, and defying stereotypes.

  2. Genesis Begins Again - This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself. There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence. What’s not so regular is that this time they all don’t have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It’s not that Genesis doesn’t like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight—Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she’d married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren’t all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she’s made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show. But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won’t the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they’re supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?

  3. Out of Bounds - Fans of Alex Morgan’s The Kicks will love this new series by former soccer player, coach, and motivational speaker, about a group of friends and the lessons they learn through their love of the world’s most popular sport. Makena James absolutely loves soccer. She knows it’s the best sport around and she feels lucky that the teammates on her super competitive and super skilled team, the Brookville Breakers, feel the same way. The girls always have and always will be Soccer Sisters. But when a new person joins the Breakers, everything changes. Skylar is a great player and really cool-but she also doesn’t always play by the rules. Makena, hoping to impress Skylar, starts acting out and running wild, off and on the field. But with a huge tournament looming, Mac’s got tough choices ahead. Choices that will affect her family, her friends, and the game she loves. Can she staytrue to what the Soccer Sisters believe in and win the big game?

  4. How to Be a Lion - In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a… duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world… This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers’ eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It’s an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and courage.

Books About Bullying and Family

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The Rag Coat
Written & illustrated by Lauren A. Mills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

With paintings that capture all the beauty of Appalachia in authentic detail, this tender story about a resourceful mountain girl’s special coat will touchreaders with its affirming message of love and friendship.

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On the Internet
Written by Jillian Roberts & illustrated by Jane Heinrichs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

On the Internet: Our First Talk About Online Safety introduces children to the basics of online safety in a story-based, conversational style. Using real-world examples set within the context of a child who is using the Internet for the first time and watching an older sibling interact with social media, Dr. Roberts takes readers through several common scenarios around parental supervision, online bullying and anonymity. She also includes examples of people who use the Internet to make the world a better place. On the Internet addresses common safety concerns in a child-centered way and offers easy-to-understand rationales as to why it’s important to maintain boundaries online just as in real life. The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural, social and environmental issues that they may encounter outside their homes, in an accessible way. Sidebars offer further reading for older children or care providers who have bigger questions. For younger children just starting to make these observations, the simple question-and-answer format of the main text will provide a foundation of knowledge on the subject matter.

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Coat of Many Colors
Written by Dolly Parton & illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-99

Dolly Parton lends the lyrics of her classic song “Coat of Many Colors” to this heartfelt picture book for young readers.

Country music legend Dolly Parton’s rural upbringing in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee provides the backdrop for this special picture book. Using lyrics from her classic song “Coat of Many Colors,” the book tells the story of a young girl in need of a warm winter coat. When her mother sews her a coat made of rags, the girl is mocked by classmates for being poor. But Parton’s trademark positivity carries through to the end as the girl realizes that her coat was made with love “in every stitch.” Beautiful illustrations pair with Parton’s poetic lyrics in this heartfelt picture book sure to speak to all young readers.

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  1. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict - Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy named Nicholas Benedict - now it's time to meet the boy who started it all.

  2. After Zero - This award winning book offers kids an authentic depiction of selective mutism and a story of the experience of middle school interactions and mental illness.

  3. Lulu Is Getting A Sister - Lulu is getting the sister she never asked for in this oh-so-funny illustrated chapter book filled with hilarious hijinks and fiesty twists from Judith Viorst. Lulu has received the worst. News. EVER. She’s getting…a baby sister. No one ever asked HER opinion on this debacle. But she’ll tell you anyway, because she no how, no way, no thank you wants a sibling. Undeterred, and to prepare Lulu for big sisterhood, her parents bribe—AHEM, ask—Lulu to attend Camp Sisterhood, a.k.a. big sister training camp. As a Sister-in-Training (SIT), Lulu is assigned a variety of temporary little “siblings” who are supposed to be so much fun Lulu will become excited to have a permanent sibling of her own. Well, no one ever said Camp Sisterhood was supposed to teach Lulu how to be a good big sister, so Lulu resolves to be a bad big sister. She insults her little siblings. She taunts them with secrets. She even tricks one of them into carrying both of their backpacks up a mountain! Then some BITs (brothers-in-training) from the neighboring Camp Brotherhood start picking on Lulu’s siblings, and Lulu responds by doing her red-faced, steam-coming-out-of-her-ears thing and showing those BITs who’s boss! After all, Lulu’s siblings may be duds, but they’re her duds, and sisters have to stick together.

  4. I'll Fix Anthony - A little brother imagines how great life will be once he’s bigger than his older brother in this classic, saucy tale of sibling rivalry from master storyteller Judith Viorst. Mother says deep down in his heart Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep down in his heart he thinks I stink. Anthony’s younger brother puts up with a lot. Anthony won’t read to him. Anthony is always threating to clobber him. Anthony thinks he stinks. There’s nothing he can do now…but just wait until he’s six! Then he’ll fix Anthony! Judith Viorst’s funny, classic sibling rivalry story is as timeless as ever.

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Books About Bullying and Courage

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The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mr. Fish finds the courage to speak up for his friends when a shark comes to the park and bullies them.

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One
Written & illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Introduces young readers to numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors by offering the story of ill-tempered Red who got too powerful for his own good and had to be brought down to size by One–a single entity with the courage to stand up for what was right.

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Mustaches for Maddie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
A funny, inspiring story about when life's raindrops fall. Based on a true story.
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  1. Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane - This sparkling middle-grade debut is a classic-in-the-making!

  2. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are - How can Ralph be so mean? Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy’s defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.

  3. The Night Dragon - “I wish I could fly, and breathe fire, and fill the sky with great grey, sooty clouds,” Maud said to her friend, Mouse. Maud is picked on by the other dragons, so stays cooped up in her cave, sad and lonely. But when the chance comes, will her friend Mouse help her pluck up the courage to fly? A beautiful picture book about individuality and friendship from Naomi Howarth, whose first book The Crow’s Tale was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

  4. Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash - Freddie Ramos uses his super powers to give himself the courage to learn how to swim and to deal with a new neighbor who is a bully.

Books About Bullying and Prejudice And Racism

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I Walk with Vanessa
Written & illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Inspired by real events and told only in pictures, this is an empowering picture book from a New York Timesbestselling husband-and-wife team about one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. This simple yet powerful picture book tells the story of an elementary school girl named Vanessa who is bullied and a fellow student who witnesses the act and is at first unsure of how to help. I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

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Mister Lincoln's Way
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Mr. Lincoln, “the coolest principal in the whole world,” discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.

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American as Paneer Pie
Written by Supriya Kelkar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
An Indian American girl navigates prejudice in her small town and learns the power of her own voice in this brilliant gem of a middle grade novel full of humor and heart, perfect for fans of Front Desk and Amina's Voice.
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  1. Speak Up - When something really matters, one voice can make a difference. This spirited, vibrant picture book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed. Join a diverse group of kids on a busy school day as they discover so many different ways to speak up and make their voices heard! From shouting out gratitude for a special treat to challenging a rule that isn’t fair, these young students show that simple, everyday actions can help people and make the world a better place.

  2. Be Who You Are - In a brand-new companion to his beloved classic It's Okay to Be Different, New York Times bestselling author Todd Parr encourages kids to be proud of who they are inside.

  3. The Ugly Duckling - This favorite fairy tale is perfect for parents looking for children’s classics to read with their little one. Teased by his siblings for his different looks, the brave cygnet journeys into the world, looking for friendship and kindness. Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s original story, this is the story of how one little duckling overcomes obstacles and challenges, and with patience and determination, finally finds the companionship for which he has been searching. The charming illustrations by Giuseppe di Lernia in this picture book are sure to capture the imaginations of little ones, and the large format of this book is ideal for sharing with children aged 3 to 5 and reading together at bedtime.

  4. The Liberation of Gabriel King - Gabriel King was a born chicken. He’s afraid of spiders, corpses, loose cows, and just about everything related to the fifth grade. Gabe’s best friend, Frita Wilson, thinks Gabe needs some liberating from his fears. Frita knows something about being brave— she’s the only black kid in school in a town with an active Ku Klux Klan. Together Gabe and Frita are going to spend the summer of 1976 facing down the fears on Gabe’s list. But it turns out that Frita has her own list, and while she’s helping Gabe confront his fears, she’s avoiding the thing that scares her the most.

Books About Bullying and Being Different

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Chrysanthemum
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed….

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Tropical Terry
Written & illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From author-illustrator Jarvis comes a buoyant underwater tale about a little blue fish who learns that being dazzling isn’t what makes you special. Coral Reef City is home to the most brilliant tropical fish in the ocean. Sparkling and multicolored, they swim around and around, showing off. And then there’s Terry. Small, blue, and ordinary, Terry spends his days playing hiding games with his friends and wishing the tropical fish would play with him, too. So with the help of his friends, Terry fashions a flashy, dazzling costume and transforms into Tropical Terry. But life as the center of attention isn’t quite everything Terry dreamed it would be – especially once Eddie the Eel shows up, hungry for dinner. In a bright, cheerful story, Jarvis uses his vibrant art and heartwarming wit to prove that sometimes the things you thought made you unremarkable are actually the most special qualities of all.

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My Hair is a Garden
Written & illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.

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  1. I Am Fartacus - When Chub leads his cadre of middle school misfits in an effort to bring down the evil empire led by his nemesis Arch, he inadvertently becomes the school hero.

  2. A Normal Pig - Pip is a normal pig who does normal stuff: cooking, painting, and dreaming of what she’ll be when she grows up. But one day a new pig comes to school and starts pointing out all the ways in which Pip is different. Suddenly she doesn’t like any of the same things she used to . . . the things that made her Pip. This charming picture book celebrates all our differences while questioning the idea that there is only one way to be “normal.”

  3. If This Were a Story - In the tradition of Crenshaw and The Thing About Jellyfish, ten-year-old Hannah copes with the bullies at school and troubles at home through the power of stories in this sweet and sincere debut. Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that. I wish I felt the same way. If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other. But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck. And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.

  4. Big Bob, Little Bob - It's not easy to become friends with someone who is nothing like you--but surprising things can happen when you give it a try.

Books About Bullying and Belonging

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Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book.

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

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Electric Boogerloo: I am Fartacus
Written & illustrated by Mark Maciejewski
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Chub and his group of misfit friends—including some new recruits—try to track down the school’s missing mascot in the hilarious and heartwarming sequel to I Am Fartacus.

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Angus All Aglow
Written by Heather Smith & illustrated by Alice Carter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Angus loves sparkly things,so much so that he can hear them.To Angus,shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops hearing the sparkle. A gentle story of acceptance, generosity and friendship, Angus All Aglow reminds us that it only takes one kind gesture to restore your sparkle, and returning the kindness can make you glow from the inside out.

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  1. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito - Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway’s musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn’t be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

  2. Nobody Knew What to Do - Straightforward and simple, this story tells how one child found the courage to tell a teacher about Ray, who was being picked on and bullied by other kids in school. Faced with the fact that “nobody knows what to do” while Ray is bullied, the children sympathetic to him feel fear and confusion and can only hope that Ray will “fit in some day.” Finally, after Ray misses a day of school and the bullies plot mean acts for his return, our narrator goes to a teacher. The children then invite Ray to play with them, and, with adult help, together they stand up to the bullies.

  3. Fritz and the Beautiful Horses - Fritz was not beautiful. He didn’t have a braided mane or a glossy coat. He couldn’t prance with long, graceful strides like the elegant horses who carried lords and lovely ladies to the city—a city that allowed only the most beautiful horses within its walls. The citizens laughed at the short-legged pony’s attempts to be like their own horses. But Fritz was dependable and hard-working. He proved to the citizens that there are things more important than being beautiful. He earned a special place for himself in the walled city just as he’ll earn a special place in every reader’s heart. Jan Brett’s full-color artwork sparkles in intricate detail across every page of this exceptional picture book about Fritz, a sure-footed pony who finally gets the chance to shine in his own best way.

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Books About Bullying and Bravery

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Super Manny Stands Up!
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
"Manny stood up. And then he did the bravest, most courageous, kindest thing he ever could have done. He said: Stop It." Manny is a super hero after school every day, wearing a different color cape and conquering the fiercest monsters his imagination can devise, but it turns out his invisible cape he wears to school is the most powerful. The power and confidence practice and imagination can give you, and the reminder that once you stand up for someone, others will most likely follow and back you up is comforting, and who knows when you might make a new best friend. The illustrations in this book are modern and fun, and the message is spectacular.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Stephanie Graegin bring a lionhearted new hero to life in this tender, sparkling story about standing up for what’s right—and finding your inner superpowers. Every day after school, Manny saves the world from formidable foes. I AM FEARLESS! I AM STRONG! I AM BRAVE! I AM POWERFUL! I AM INVINCIBLE! Zombie bears, evil cloud monsters, and alien robots with laser beam eyes are no match for Super Manny. But when Manny encounters a real-life nemesis in the school cafeteria, will he be able to summon his superhero strength to save the day?

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Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth
Written by Jeff Anderson & illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

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Ask Emma (Ask Emma Book 1)
Written by Sheryl Berk & illustrated by Carrie Berk
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Emma Woods knows just how to fix all her peers’ problems-or so she thinks-in this first book in the brand-new middle grade series Ask Emma, from the bestselling creators behind the Cupcake Club series! When 13-year-old Emma Woods gets that tingling feeling in her fingertips, she knows she’s on to a great idea-and starting an advice blog for her classmates at Austen Middle may be one of her most brilliant ones yet! Who better to give advice on friendship, style, school, and even crushes than someone who’s going through it too? But when Ask Emma goes live, she quickly realizes not everyone sees it that way. Suddenly, Emma is bombarded with peers asking her to help them postpone quizzes, get out of detention, and cut gym class short. This wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. . . .What’s worse, someone is posting hurtful comments, telling her to mind her own business. Despite her good intentions, Emma’s blog seems to only be getting her-and her friends–deeper and deeper into trouble. Will Ask Emma come to an end before it’s really begun? Or can Emma find her voice, write what’s in her heart, and truly stand up for what she believes in? This book will include an appendix on cyberbullying resources.

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  1. Poor Little Guy - What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

  2. Zack Delacruz - Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school–and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

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Books About Bullying and Feelings And Emotions

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Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean
Written by Jane Lynch, Lara Embry, and A.E. Mikesell & illustrated by Tricia Tusa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Glee actress Jane Lynch takes a look at bullying head-on in her first picture book. Marlene is the self-appointed queen of the playground, the sidewalk, and the school. She is small but mighty . . . intimidating! Known for her cruel ways, the little Queen of Mean has kids cowering in fear—until big Freddy stands up to her and says what everyone has been too fearful to say. In Seussian rhyme, actress Jane Lynch, clinical psychologist Lara Embry, and former children’s book editor A. E. Mikesell gently and comically depict the undoing of a bully and her efforts to reform. Tricia Tusa’s charming illustrations make the story an even more accessible conversation starter for all ages.

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No More Teasing
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A mean boy always teases Katie Woo. It makes Katie sad and mad. How can she make the bully stop teasing her?

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What If Bunny's Not a Bully?
Written by Lana Button & illustrated by Christine Battuz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Gertie the elephant says everyone on the playground should stay far away from Bunny because she’s super mean. But Kitty has questions: How did Bunny become a bully? Was she born that way? Was she stung by a bullybug? Or maybe she caught the bully flu? Wait, does that mean bullying is contagious? And if it is, couldn’t the other animals catch it, too? But … then no one would play with them either, and that doesn’t seem fair. Is it possible that Bunny is sorry? Should they give her a second chance?

Not your typical bullying story, Lana Button’s fresh take flips the focus from the child being bullied to the one being called a bully. In cadenced rhyming text, the compassionate and insightful Kitty leads children through a series of questions that get at the core of the assumptions we make about others and how it feels to be on the other side of name-calling. Christine Battuz’s expressive illustrations use tenderness and a touch of humor to complement the emotional level of the text. Altogether, this is a perfect child-level exploration of empathy. It would be an excellent choice for discussions about bullying, or more broad issues of social development. It also works for character education lessons on empathy, compassion, fairness and inclusiveness.

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  1. Alan's Big, Scary Teeth - A goofy and lonely denizen of the jungle has just one talent — scaring other creatures with his big, scary teeth! What would he do without them? Deep in the jungle lurks Alan the alligator, descended from a long line of very scary alligators. He prepares carefully — polishing his scales, brushing each of his big, scary teeth, and practicing his frightening faces — then sneaks into the jungle to terrorize the jungle critters. (“I’m big, scary Alan! Fear my razor-sharp teeth!”) But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to enjoy the crossword, run a warm mud bath, and take out his teeth, which nobody else knows are false. Until one morning, when Alan wakes up and finds that his teeth are gone! Without those teeth, he’s just not very scary, and scaring is the only thing he knows how to do. Or is it? Witty, charming, and playful storytelling will have preschoolers cheering for Alan as he discovers a new way to fit in.

  2. Not Quite Snow White - A picture book for magical yet imperfect girls everywhere, written by debut author Ashley Franklin and perfect for fans of such titles as Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer and the classic Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman.

  3. Mia Measures Up - Mia is being cyber-bullied, and she’s determined to find out who is responsible in the latest addition to the Cupcake Diaries series. Mia is upset when her parents tell her she’s too young to go to a concert without adult supervision. She’s old enough to help run a cupcake business! Why can’t her parents see that she’s also responsible enough to do whatever she wants? And just when she’s reached a compromise with her parents (her older brother Dan will go to the concert with her), Mia finds out she’s being cyber-bullied on social media. It’s the Cupcake Club to the rescue as they all help Mia solve her online bullying mystery!

  4. Quiet Please, Owen McPhee - Owen McPhee doesn’t just like to talk, he LOVES to talk. He spends every waking minute chattering away at his teachers, his classmates, his parents, his dog, and even himself. But all that talking can get in the way of listening. And when Owen wakes up with a bad case of laryngitis, it gives him a much-needed opportunity to hear what others have to say. From the author-illustrator team behind The Invisible Boy comes a bright and lively picture book that captures the social dynamics of a busy classroom while delivering a gentle message about the importance of listening.

Books About Bullying and Family Life

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The Size of the Truth
Written by Andrew Smith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy who spent three days trapped in a well tries to overcome his PTSD and claustrophobia so he can fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef in Andrew Smith’s first middle grade novel.

When he was four years old, Sam Abernathy was trapped at the bottom of a well for three days, where he was teased by a smart-aleck armadillo named Bartleby. Since then, his parents plan every move he makes.

But Sam doesn’t like their plans. He doesn’t want to go to MIT. And he doesn’t want to skip two grades, being stuck in the eighth grade as an eleven-year-old with James Jenkins, the boy he’s sure pushed him into the well in the first place. He wants to be a chef. And he’s going to start by entering the first annual Blue Creek Days Colonel Jenkins Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off.

That is, if he can survive eighth grade, and figure out the size of the truth that has slipped Sam’s memory for seven years.

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Caught Offside
Written & illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Rejoin the Soccer Sisters in this latest installment - full of friendship, teamwork, and soccer fun! As the youngest member of the elite Brookville Breakers, Val Flores is feeling out of place. She just doesn’t understand why suddenly her teammates can’t talk about anything except boys.So when the Breakers play a match against El Fuego, she wonders if she should switch teams. Is Val’s time with the Breakers up?

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Accidental Trouble Magnet
Written by Zanib Mian & illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
An exciting #OwnVoices middle-grade debut starring a Muslim boy with a huge imagination
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  1. Best at It - From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out's "LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month," this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle's Nate series. A Stonewall Honor Book!

  2. Wolf Hollow - A Newbery Honor Book
    New York Times Bestseller

  3. The Tapper Twins Go to War - This bestselling first book in the Tapper Twins series is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it’s like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world, told as a colorful “oral history” with photos, screenshots, text messages, chat logs, and online gaming digital art. Twelve-year-old twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn’t be more different…except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war. But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that’s fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

  4. Paperboy - When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend’s newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

Books About Bullying and Coming Of Age

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Blubber
Written & illustrated by Judy Blume
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look.

“Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. There was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go…but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.

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Junior High Drama
Written by Louise Simonson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Welcome to Memorial Middle School, where drama fills the classrooms and follows students home on the bus. Social awkwardness. Mean girls. Hallway gossip. It’s all part of life in junior high, but maybe it helps to know you aren’t alone. Can Lucia avoid the boy-girl party? Will Kamilla overcome her self-consciousness and try out for the play? Can Allie keep anyone from finding out her secret? Told in graphic formal, Junior High Drama shows that while you can’t escape the drama, you can certainly survive it.

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Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Bernice Buttman is tough, crass, and hilarious, and she just might teach you a thing or two about empathy in this novel for fans of The Great Gilly Hopkins.
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  1. Save Me a Seat - Save Me a Seat

  2. The Humiliations of Pipi McGee - Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her. The first eight years of Penelope McGee’s education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge. From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where…well, she doesn’t talk about seventh grade. Ever. After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi–fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School–decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.

  3. Secret Friends - What’s the good in keeping secrets? Secret Friends is a heartbreaking story about friendship and bullying from the multi-award-winning Elizabeth Laird. Rafaella doesn’t find it easy to make friends. She looks and feels different from the others at school. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her ‘Earwig’, until they get to know one another and Lucy sees that Rafaella is full of hopes and ideas, just like she is. Lucy loves keeping her own secret friend, until tragedy strikes and secrets can’t be kept any longer. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children’s Book Award and reissued with new illustrations, more than twenty years after first publication, Elizabeth Laird’s moving and unflinching novella brings home the crucial importance of cultivating empathy in young people. ‘[A] humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well’ Scotsman ‘[A] fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty’ The Sunday Times

  4. The Reckless Club - From award-winning author Beth Vrabel comes a new middle-grade Breakfast Club drama set in a old folks’ home. On the last day of middle school, five kids who couldn’t be more different commit separate pranks, each sure they won’t be caught and they can’t get in trouble. They’re wrong. As punishment, they each have to volunteer one beautiful summer day-the last one before school-at Northbrook Retirement and Assisted Living Home, where they’ll push creamed carrots into toothless mouths, perform the world’s most pathetic skit in front of residents who won’t remember it anyway, hold gnarled hands of peach fuzzed old ladies who relentlessly push hard candies, and somehow forge a bond with each other that has nothing to do with what they’ve done and everything to do with who they’re becoming. All the action takes place in the course of this one day, with each chapter one hour of that day, as the five kids reveal what they’ve done, why they did it, and what they’re going to do now.

Books About Bullying and Making Friends

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The Big Stink
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Something smells terrible in Miss Winkle’s classroom, and no one knows what it is! When the class bully picks on the new boy, saying he’s the smelly one, Pedro steps in and stands up for his new friend. But the class still needs to know where that stench is coming from! Like all Pedro books, the story is supported with a glossary and reader response questions, making this a fun and functional choice for libraries.

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Two Speckled Eggs
Written & illustrated by Jennifer K Mann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Reluctantly inviting the class misfit to her birthday party, Ginger bonds with Lyla when the latter arrives early, supports her party choices and gives her a unique gift, an encounter that compels Ginger to reconsider earlier notions.

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All of Me
Written by Chris Baron
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ari has body-image issues. After a move across the country, his parents work selling and promoting his mother’s paintings and sculptures. Ari’s bohemian mother needs space to create, and his father is gone for long stretches of time on “sales” trips. Meanwhile, Ari makes new friends: Pick, the gamer; the artsy Jorge, and the troubled Lisa. He is also relentlessly bullied because he’s overweight, but he can’t tell his parents—they’re simply not around enough to listen. After an upsetting incident, Ari’s mom suggests he go on a diet, and she gives him a book to help. But the book—and the diet—can’t fix everything. As Ari faces the demise of his parents’ marriage, he also feels himself changing, both emotionally and physically. Here is a much-needed story about accepting the imperfect in oneself and in life.

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  1. Cupcake Diaries 3 Books in 1! #4 - Three Cupcake Club adventures are now available as one sweet treat of a book! Join Katie, Mia, Emma, and Alexis as they form the Cupcake Club—and fast friendships. This book includes three stories in the Cupcake Diaries series: Mia’s Boiling Point; Emma, Smile and Say “Cupcake!”; and Alexis Gets Frosted.

  2. Freddie Ramos Adds It All Up - When Amy, the new girl at school, is being bullied, Freddie Ramos uses his Zapato Power to help her. But then she disappears! Super hearing, super speed, and super bounce doesn’t help Freddie find her. And his superpowers aren’t helping Freddie with his own school problem either–he’s failing math. Can Freddie find a way to help Amy and his math grade?

Books About Bullying and Culture

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Why?
Written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Claire Keane
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This sweet book will appeal to anyone familiar with the universal tendency of young children to always ask WHY? When supervillain Doctor X-Ray swoops in threatening to vanquish an innocent crowd, the only one brave enough not to run away is a little girl, who asks him simply, “Why?” He is taken aback—but he answers. She keeps asking. And he keeps answering—until a surprising truth is uncovered, and the villain is thwarted. In this laugh-out-loud take on the small-and-determined-beats-big-loud-bully story, simple questions lead to profound answers in a quest that proves the ultimate power of curiosity.

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When I Was Eight
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-7

Looks at the experiences of a strong-willed young Inuit girl who receives permission from her father to travel to a residential religious school run by non-Inuit outsiders, where she struggles to adapt to the new way of living.

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Prairie Lotus
Written by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
Prairie Lotus
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  1. Pippa Park Raises Her Game - "Pippa is a magnetic heroine, funny and good-hearted."--Booklist Readers will cheer on Pippa Park in this wonderful middle school book about friendships, bullying, crushes, and family. In this relatable story, Pippa reinvents herself and discovers who she really is on and off the basketball court. Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. When Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. At school, Pippa juggles old and new friends, a crush, and the pressure to get As and score points while keeping her past and family's laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened. As things spiral out of control, Pippa wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try. GREAT FOR DISTANCE LEARNING!
    A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    Now an AR Quiz!
    Bonus Content in the Book includes:
    Discussion Questions, Author Q&A, and Korean Language Glossary with Pronunciation Guide Download complimentary Tween Book Club printable online activities at pippapark.com: word games, make-your-own-book playlist, discussion questions, and the Common Core Language Arts Guide for educators!

  2. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks - On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: a giant shark who TOTALLY tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates plan a birthday bash . . . on the BEACH! Can Sam overcome his fear of becoming fish food before he misses out on the fun?

  3. Blackbird Fly - Future rock star or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. In this acclaimed novel by Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers; and with following her dreams.

  4. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts - Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING–just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!

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Books About Bullying and Values And Virtues

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My Panda Sweater
Written by Gilles Baum & illustrated by Barroux
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A quirky kid donates her beloved panda sweater, and through this act of sacrifice gains a new friend. With whimsical, contemporary artwork, this story balances the topic of selflessness with humor and heart, while also offering an opportunity to talk about bullying, sharing and self-confidence.

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You, Me and Empathy: Teaching children about empathy, feelings, kindness, compassion, tolerance and recognising bullying behaviours
Written by Jayneen Sanders & illustrated by Sofia Cardoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

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.

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Get Up, Stand Up
Written by Cedella Marley & illustrated by John Jay Cabuay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Bob Marley’s music has inspired millions of listeners around the world with messages of peace, love, and truth. This third picture book adaptation of one of his beloved songs has a timely message for children: To counter injustice, lift others up with kindness and courage. As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she’s able to make things right for herself and others. With exuberant pictures by John Jay Cabuay accompanying Marley’s iconic lyrics, Get Up, Stand Up is a vibrant testament to the power we all have to make a difference.

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  1. What Does It Mean to Be Kind? - "...a beautiful book with a beautiful message...the book shows young children how easy it is to be kind through small acts and in simple ways..."--R.J. Palacio, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder

  2. Sad Little Fact - A

Books About Bullying and Middle School

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Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P. I. , Book 2)
Written & illustrated by Casey Lyall
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case–but when they’re forced to prove that uber-bully Carl Dean didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re not thrilled. Now Howard and Ivy have to play nice with Carl, dodge a snoopy reporter, and deal with Howard’s worst enemy, Miles Fletcher. Can Howard handle these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down?

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My Life as a Potato
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
For anyone who has ever felt like a potato in middle school, this hilarious story about a boy forced to become the dorkiest school mascot ever will have readers cheering!
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Restart
Written by Gordon Korman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The amazing New York Times
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  1. Bringing Me Back - Noah is not having a good year. His mom is in prison, he’s living with his mom’s boyfriend—who he’s sure is just waiting until his mother’s six month sentence is up to kick him out—and he’s officially hated by everyone at his middle school, including his former best friend. It’s Noah’s fault that the entire football program got shut down after last year. One day, Noah notices a young bear at the edge of the woods with her head stuck in a bucket. A bucket that was almost certainly left outside as part of a school fundraiser to bring back the football team. As days go by, the bear is still stuck—she’s wasting away and clearly getting weaker, even as she runs from anyone who tries to help. And she’s always alone. Though Noah ignores the taunts at school and ignores his mother’s phone calls from jail, he can’t ignore the bear. Everyone else has written the bear off as a lost cause—just like they have with Noah. He makes it his mission to help her. But rescuing the bear means tackling his past—and present—head-on. Could saving the bear ultimately save Noah, too?

  2. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero - Questioning his resolve to attend public school after being homeschooled when he is targeted by a bully, Max aspires to become like his favorite comic book heroes and finds an unexpected opportunity to be the hero his middle school needs.

  3. Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade - A new hilarious, honest, and inspirational middle-grade novel about finding your inner hero, from the author of Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.

  4. Fuzzy Mud - “Two middle-grade kids take a shortcut home from school and discover what looks like fuzzy mud but is actually a substance with the potential to wreak havoc on the entire world”–

Books About Bullying and Siblings

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Farah Rocks Fifth Grade
Written by Susan Muaddi Darraj & illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

Farah and her best friend, Allie Liu, are getting excited to turn in their applications to the Magnet Academy, where they both hope to attend sixth grade. But when new girl Dana Denver shows up, Farah’s world is turned upside down. As Dana starts bullying Farah’s little brother, Samir, Farah begins to second-guess her choice to leave him behind at Harbortown Elementary/Middle School. Determined to handle it on her own, Farah comes up with a plan–a plan that involves lying to those closest to her. Will her lies catch up with her, or can Farah find a way to defeat the bully and rock fifth grade?

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The Cruel Prince
Written by Holly Black
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99

An instant New York Times bestseller! By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue. Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe. Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid
Written by Kara LaReau & illustrated by Matt Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
When Louie and Ralphie Ratso set out to transform a cluttered lot into an arcade, they end up conquering a few surprising fears along the way in this follow-up to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book The Infamous Ratsos.
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  1. Alan Cole Is Not a Coward - Perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gary Schmidt, this is a hilarious and poignant tale about the trials of middle school when you're coming of age--and coming out.

  2. Brundibar - When Aninku and Pepicek discover one morning that their mother is sick, they rush to town for milk to make her better. Their attempt to earn money by singing is thwarted by a bullying, bellowing hurdy-gurdy grinder, Brundibar, who tyrannizes the town square and chases all other street musicians away. Befriended by three intelligent talking animals and three hundred helpful schoolkids, brother and sister sing for the money to buy the milk, defeat the bully, and triumphantly return home. Brundibar is based on a Czech opera for children that was performed fifty-five times by the children of Terezin, the Nazi concentration camp

  3. Big Little Brother - A four-year-old boy explains that his little brother is bigger than he is, follows him everywhere, and is annoying, but his presence becomes indispensible when bullies are around.

  4. Mitch and Amy - Double Trouble Mitch and Amy both think being twins is fun, but that doesn’t stop them from squabbling. Amy is good at reading. Mitch is a math whiz. Amy likes to play pretend. Mitch would rather skateboard. They never want to watch the same television show. And they always try to get the better of each other. Then the school bully starts picking on Mitch – and on Amy, too. Now the twins have something rotten in common: Alan Hibbler. This twosome must set aside their squabbles and band together to defeat a bully!

Want to see books about siblings?

Books About Bullying and Multicultural

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Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers: Color Edition
Written & illustrated by Dav Pilkey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-18

When we last saw George and Harold, they were headed to jail for the rest of their lives. What could be worse? How about being pulled from prison by a time-traveling tyrant named Tippy Tinkletrousers?!!? Now the boys are taking a trip back in time to the carefree days of kindergarten, when the scariest thing they had to face was not evil mad scientists or alien cafeteria ladies but a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, the nephew of their clueless school principal. And because George and Harold don’t invent Captain Underpants until they’re in fourth grade, the clever kindergartners are on their own. Will their brains be enough to beat the bully?!!?

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Sleepwalking Snowman, Volume 7
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
It's Desmond and Andres versus a sneaky snowman in the seventh book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series!
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Surf's Up, Creepy Stuff!
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Desmond and Andres battle beach bullies who also happen to be creepy monsters in the third book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and I’m afraid of everything. When you go to the beach with Desmond Cole, it isn’t all sand, surf, and sun. It’s more like, ghosts, ghouls, and gloom. And yes, being haunted while there’s sand in your swimsuit is annoying, but at least you can always count on one thing—beach life is never boring with Mersurfers around. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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  1. The Prettiest - An incisive, empowering middle grade novel about a trio of unlikely friends who fight back against middle school sexism. A list appears online, ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade. Eve Hoffman is disgusted by the grating, anonymous text messages she’s been receiving ever since she was ranked number one. Sophie Kane is sick of the bullying she’s endured after being knocked down a peg by the list. And Nessa Flores-Brady is tired of the outside world trying to define who she is. Reeling from the rampant sexism and objectifcation in their school, the three girls attempt to track down the list’s creator. But are they prepared for what they might find?

  2. Lola Levine Is Not Mean! - Lola Levine likes writing in her diario, sipping her mom’s cafe con leche, eating her dad’s matzo ball soup, and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. So what if she doesn’t always fit in? Lola is fierce on the field, but when a soccer game during recess gets too competitive, she accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine! Lola feels terrible, but with the help of her family, her super best friend, Josh Blot, and a little “pencil power,” she just might be able to turn it all around. In this first book in a series, young readers will be inspired by Lola’s big heart and creative spirit as she learns to navigate the second grade in true Lola style!

Books About Bullying and Sports And Recreation

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The Karate Kid
Written & illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When The Karate Kid appeared in theaters in 1984, its heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a bullied boy and his karate teacher won over audiences and inspired children across America to take up martial arts. Now this beloved film is reimagined as a Pop Classics picture book, with Kim Smith’s bright and kid-friendly illustrations capturing all of the story’s iconic moments. Young Daniel moves to a new town and becomes the target of bullies from the local karate dojo Cobra Kai. Hoping to win the upcoming karate tournament, Daniel begs his neighbor Mr. Miyagi to help him train. Mr. Miyagi reluctantly agrees. But he becomes more than just Daniel’s sensei by teaching him lessons about patience, balance, and hard work along the way. This timeless story about finding inner strength will enchant children, their parents, and anyone who has ever had that one special teacher.

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One on One
Written & illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Chloe Gordon is so excited to attend summer soccer camp with her Soccer Sisters Makena James and Val Flores— even though she worries she’s not as skilled as her friends. It’s even worth having to promise her parents she’ll attend ballet camp afterward as a trade. But when Chloe arrives at camp and discovers that the Breakers’ archrival, Skylar Wilson, is rooming down the hall, she worries that her camp experience will be more stressful than fun. Can the Soccer Sisters band together and shut out Skylar’s bullying, and can Chloe overcome her fear of not being good enough?

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Swim Or Sink
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Although only in eighth grade Baxter Reilly is an important member of the Edgeview High School in Tempe, Arizona, and lately the pool has been his place of refuge from the stress of his parents’ separation–but now, between the pending divorce, his father’s miserable apartment, his mother’s new boyfriend, and the resentment and bullying from his older teammates, it is getting harder to focus on his role as the anchor of the 4 x 400 freestyle relay in the upcoming races.

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  1. Skateboard Sibby - Super skateboarder Sibby Henry won’t let the loss of her board defeat her. Eleven-year-old Sibby Henry liked her old life. Now she’s living in a new town with her nan and pops, and mad at her dad for messing everything up. On her first day of school, she sees a dope skateboard park, but she’s lost her precious board. To make things worse, Freddie, a super skater and a super jerk, dominates the park. Sibby tries to stay chill, but when Freddie gets in the face of her only new friend, Charlie Parker Drysdale, things get too hot for chill. Never one to back down, Sibby accepts when Freddie challenges her to a competition on the half pipe. She won’t let anything stop her from proving herself.

  2. Kart Rival - When Sheldon spends the day with his aunt, he has no idea he’s about to enter the fast-paced world of kart racing. Sheldon’s not one for sports, but the combination of technical skill and adrenaline, along with an opposing bully, pulls him onto the track. Will Sheldon cross the finish line first, or will his dreams of kart racing break down?

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