Bullying is a big problem, and reading kids’ books about it can help kids understand it better and have better relationships with their friends. It doesn’t matter whether your child has been bullied or just needs to learn more about empathy; these books for all ages can help. It’s easy to find a lot of books about bullying and other hard subjects in our Book Finder.
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
Walk away and tell someone what Gilroy Goat does to Llama Llama and other classmates. This is what his teacher told Llama to do. It might even happen that Gilroy and Lllama become friends again after the teacher stops making fun of them. To help preschoolers learn how to deal with teasing and bullying in a safe way, this book from the Llama Llamo series is a good choice.
Ages: 3 to 5.
The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman
Lotty Raccoon can’t wait to start a new school year with a new teacher, a new backpack, and a new pair of shoes. She can’t wait! Then Grant Grizzly starts to bully her, which makes her excited fade away quickly. It turns out that acting alone doesn’t always work. Lotty decides to start the Bully Blockers Club, which encourages kids to stand up for each other.
Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean by Jane Lynch
In this rhymed story about bullying, Marlene is the small but powerful queen of the playground, even though she is small. People in Marlene’s class get tired of her teasing and intimidating them, so her classmate Big Freddy helps her change her ways in a very funny way. When Jane Lynch was a child, she was a “bully.” This is her first picture book.
Ages: 3 to 7.
The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson, Ph.D.
It asks: “Have you ever watched a bully do something and done nothing?” When a boy named Pete starts behaving badly, his classmates don’t just stand by and do nothing, they help him. “The Promise” is a promise that everyone will treat each other fairly no matter what.
Ages: 5 to 9.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy
When Ralph sees Lucy, he always makes fun of her. She has one-of-a-kind curly hair and likes to eat spaghetti in hot dog buns. Even though Ralph is so mean, Lucy is a class act, and she helps him when he needs it. I think it’s a good story about doing the right thing and having the courage to be yourself.
Ages: 5 to 9.
Stand in My Shoes by Bob Sornson, Ph.D.
In this book, written by the author of “The Juice Box Bully,” kids learn how to be kind. When Emily’s big sister tells her about empathy, she says that it means being able to see how people feel. Is empathy important? Emily wants to find out, so she puts it to the test! She now sees people in a whole new way.
Ages: 5 to 9.
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig
There is a lot of talk in this book about how boys can be mean to each other emotionally. It’s a bad habit for D.J.’s friend, Vince, to tease a lot and then try to cover it up with “Just kidding!” People might think D.J. can’t laugh at himself if he protests, so he doesn’t want to do that. All of them helped D.J. come up with a good idea.
Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends by Patti Kelley Criswell
Doing better when you’re bullied and bossy is what this book from the American Girl brand is all about. Girls learn how to recognize bullying and how to stand up and speak out against it in this class. It can help tweens understand that there is no one right way to deal with bullying. There are quizzes, quotes from other girls, and advice for their age that can help them learn this.
Ages: 8 to 12.
Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig
This story is told in scrapbook or journal format from the point of view of the “bully,” not the “bullied.” The school counselor tells Katie that she needs to meet with her. Katie doesn’t like it when she is told to meet with her. Katy quickly comes to terms with how she has hurt herself and not just her friends. She also learns how to be a better friend.
Ages: 8 to 12.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This New York Times #1 bestseller, which talks about bullying, empathy, compassion, and acceptance, is now a movie that has won a lot of awards. At the start of August Pullman’s life, his face looked different. This has kept him from going to a normal school. On the first day of fifth grade, he hopes to be treated like a normal kid at Beecher Prep. But his classmates can’t get past his unique face. Auggie is a character who shows that “you can’t fit in when you were born to stand out.” This is a quote from the book.
Ages: 8 to 12.
Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up for America’s Bullied by Gabrielle Ford
Gabrielle “Gabe” Ford talks about how she was bullied and harassed when she was a middle-schooler with a degenerative muscle disease and was teased about it. As an adult, when Gabe’s dog Izzy had the same problem, they set out to tell the world about their disabilities and have become powerful anti-bullying advocates for not bullying people who have them.
Ages: 9 and up
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
One of the best-known picture books, Chrysanthemum, tells a story about bullying, self-esteem, and friendship. Over a million copies have been sold. The American Library Association has called it a “Notable Book for Children.”
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith
Mean Jean is the queen of recess. It isn’t until a new girl becomes her friend that things start to change for the better. This book is great for dealing with bullying that doesn’t need adult help