No one likes bullying — but what can you do when you’re faced with a bully, or when you realize that you’ve been a bully? Here are five great books to help young readers stand up to bullies.

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Red

Red

Red
Written and illustrated by Jan De Kinder

A moving and realistic story about bullying

In this poignant story, a girl finds it funny when her classmate starts blushing on the school playground. Her friends laugh along with her, but one student takes the teasing too far. Torn between her sympathy for her classmate and her fear of the bully, the girl must make a difficult choice.

This heartfelt book will inspire readers to find the courage to take a stance against bullying and show compassion towards others.

Read more on Eerdlings about Red, “A Different Kind of Bully Book,” and read the starred review from Booklist.

 

The Geese March in Step

The Geese March in Step
Written and Illustrated by Jean-François Dumont

A colorful and rollicking celebration of marching to your own beat

Every morning at the farm, all the geese line up in a perfectly straight line and parade down to the pond. Igor, their leader, makes sure that they all march in perfect time. But no matter what she tries, little Zita just can’t seem to keep the same beat as everyone else. Finally, Igor makes Zita march to the pond all by herself.

She isn’t alone for long, though! Soon all the other animals on the farm join in with the little goose’s own special rhythm. With Zita to lead the way, the parade down to the pond is a good deal more joyful.

Great fun to read aloud, this hilarious book has a wonderful message about the importance of creativity, imagination, and individuality.

 

Big Bad Sheep

Big Bad Sheep
Written by Bettina Wegenast
Illustrated by Katharina Busshoff

The big bad wolf is dead! But no sooner do the three little pigs start celebrating than the sheep Karl decides to apply to be the wolf’s replacement. He’s barely slipped on the wolf’s skin when he starts to change before the very eyes of his friends, becoming perhaps a bit more wolf than anyone expected.

Who hasn’t wanted to do or be something different? Big Bad Sheep deals with precisely this wish, simultaneously asking how true friendship expresses itself. Bettina Wegenast tells this story of the “sheep in wolf’s clothing” with a good dose of humor and many subtle allusions. The simple, expressive strokes of Katharina Busshoff’s black-and-white drawings perfectly complement this quirky and profound story.

Read an excerpt on Eerdlings.

 

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully
Written by Janice Levy
Illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo

An entertaining book about a timely topic

Thomas hates being ignored. But when his attempts to impress everyone don’t make him any friends, he decides to be a bully instead. There’s just one problem: he makes a terrible bully. A toadilly terrible one, in fact.

It turns out, though, that there’s an even bigger bully around, and Thomas discovers what it feels like to be the one bullied. But a bit of teamwork helps him outwit the bully and make a new friend. And being a friend, Thomas finds, is far more fun than being a bully.

 

Bully.com

Bully.com
Written by Joe Lawlor

Seventh grader Jun Li is a brilliant student, more comfortable around computers than people. But his world turns upside down when the principal accuses him of a cyberbullying incident. To prove his innocence, Jun has seven days to track down the true culprit.

Jun’s investigation will bring him face-to-face with computer hackers, a jealous boyfriend, and more than one student who has been a victim of bullying. But he discovers along the way that everyone’s story is more complicated than it seems — and that the people he meets might have more in common than they think.