5 Books Dealing with Bullying
1. The Watcher
by Nikki Grimes and Bryan Collier
A poetic story inspired by Psalm 121
Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.
Nikki Grimes takes the words of a Psalm 121 and masterfully transforms them into a golden shovel poem of compassion, friendship, and faith. Coupled with powerful artwork from Bryan Collier, this heartfelt story is one that readers will treasure.
by Jow Lawlor
You never know what others are going through
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.
New York Journal of Books
“[B]ully.com is full of suspense with a surprise ending skillfully written to keep readers hanging on every word.”
“Jun is a well-written, engaging protagonist, and . . . readers will enjoy his lively, supportive friendship with Chris and find elements to empathize with and relate to throughout. The conclusion suggests further school-based detecting adventures to come.”
by Dileep Joshi and Shobha Viswanath
A story between perception and reality
Juno the jackal is the runt of the pack, and the other animals bully him because of his size. One night, Juno is chased by some dogs from the village, and he hides in a vat of indigo dye to escape.
When he returns to the forest, his fur is bright blue, and the animals hail this strange new creature as their king. But can Juno keep his true identity hidden?
Featuring illustrations inspired by traditional Warli artwork and an informative historical note, this Indian folktale will spark a wonderful discussion about the relationship between perception and reality.
United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), Outstanding International Books (2017)
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.
USBBY 2015 Outstanding International Book
Booklist (starred review)
“From the proliferation of red throughout this book, we know visually it has strong emotional content, and the cover, with a dispirited boy being gawked at by others, adds to its impact. . . . While the text is sparse (and in red), as the teasing builds to a crescendo, the distinctive pencil, charcoal, ink, acrylic, and collage art dramatically shows events spin out of control. . . . [A] thoughtful, accessible story.”
“The beguiling artwork and pulsing heart at the story’s center provide much food-for-thought — not to mention an opportunity for children to put themselves into the shoes of the bystander of a cruel act, which surely happens on playgrounds more than adults would care to admit. Thoughtful and beautifully illustrated, it’s definitely one to look for.”
by Janice Levy, Bill Slavin, Esperanca 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.
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People2015
“Textured, earth-toned acrylic illustrations lend the toads and their landscape a worn-in, comfortable feel and leave plenty of space for the succinct text. A nice life lesson for bullies and bullied alike.”