Books about Bullying, Teasing and Just Being Yourself

Time is flying for me.  My niece recently finished her first year of kindergarten.  My daughter will be starting up preschool in a few short months.  I can’t believe all the babies in my life are becoming school-age children! And with school, as many parents and educators know, comes a whole new set of experiences and challenges, beyond just the academics and longer days.  There is a huge social-emotional component to school, some of which is (fortunately) touched upon and taught in classrooms; and some of which is just experienced by children in their day-to-day interactions with one another.  This is where things can get tricky, when teasing and bullying, feelings of peer pressure, jealousy or low self-esteem can rear their ugly heads.

Now, of course, it’s not all bad!  It’s important for kids to experience things in order to become well-rounded little people.  But that’s where our job as parents and caregivers comes in – we’re here to help our children learn to handle all sorts of interactions with others, and process their feelings (particularly the negative ones) in a healthy way.  Luckily for us, there are lots of books out there to help us facilitate those discussions with our kids.  I know I often don’t know how to start these types of conversations, or what I should say exactly.  (Sound the trumpets). Books to the rescue!

So if you find yourself in this parenting boat and need some books to recommend to your teen or tween, or if you just want to include some social-emotional literacy into storytime with your kiddos, here are some of my suggestions for helpful books about bullying, teasing, depression and just being yourself.


Preschool and Young Elementary-school:0-439-20637-5

Zilly: A Modern-Day Fable by Kelly Parks Snider

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

1679417I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy474858

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

Weird series by Erin Frankel (includes Dare!, Tough! and Weird!)

The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz

Older Elementary to Middle-readers:37739

6393631Bully by Patricia Polacco

Smile by Raina Telemeier

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Blubber by Judy Blume

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes23302416


Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdul-Fattah

The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake

Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jane Asher

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Playground by 50 Cent751635

For more suggestions, here is a great list of children’s books that address bullying and teasing, from my favorite website and resource for all things girl-empowerment (although these books are appropriate for boys as well!), A Mighty GirlTop Books on Bullying Prevention

And for their Top Books Addressing Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

“30 Books About Being Different and Being Yourself” (from the No Time for Flashcards website)

“Recommended Children’s Books of Bullying/Friendship Issues” (from Washington State’s OSPI (Office of the Superindendent of Public Instruction) website)


For Parents:

Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert7607611

The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School — How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle by Barbara Colorosa

101 Facts About Bullying: What Everyone Should Know by Meline Kevorkian (good resource for teachers or others who work with kids)

For more parenting books about bullying, check out A Mighty Girl’s Bullying section

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