8 Books That Will Help You — and Your Kids — Better Understand Bullying

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One of the hardest things about dealing with bullying as an educator or as a parent is that you don't always see it. Sometimes it can happen on the school bus, on the playground, or online, and as much as you want to be able to catch it all or rely on students to tell you about it, a lot of it goes unseen and unreported. Since bullying is unfortunately so prevalent (somewhere around 27 percent of all kids get bullied at some point during their school years), it's important to discuss these aggressive behaviors with children. One of the many ways you can do that is through reading. Here's a list of effective books that will help drive the conversation with your child (or student) about treating others compassionately.

Freak the Mighty
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Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty ($7) is a timeless tale about a large boy who forms a friendship with a tiny genius. Ideal for ages 9-12.

How to Be Cool in the Third Grade
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How to Be Cool in the Third Grade

The smallest things can embarrass kids, and that's exactly what How to Be Cool in the Third Grade ($5) addresses. Ideal for ages 7-10.

Out of My Mind
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Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind ($8) is a powerful read about a child with cerebral palsy. The main character is the smartest kid at school, but because she can't speak, no one knows it. It's a great read to explore conversations surrounding disabilities. Ideal for ages 10+.

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others
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The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others

What does it mean to speak up? The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others ($8) teaches kids not to be passive but to speak up. Ideal for ages 4-12.

The Recess Queen
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The Recess Queen

Kids and parents can use The Recess Queen ($10) as an opportunity to discuss conflict resolution techniques through rhymes and illustrations. Ideal for ages 4-8.

The Invisible Boy
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The Invisible Boy

What does it feel like to be ignored by classmates and teachers? To feel alone? The Invisible Boy ($10) uses both visuals and the storyline to carry this message. Ideal for ages 6-9.

Blubber
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Blubber

Blubber ($7) is a Judy Blume classic that shows how easy it is for anyone to become the bully. Ideal for ages 8-12.

The Monster at Recess: A Book About Teasing, Bullying and Building Friendships
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The Monster at Recess: A Book About Teasing, Bullying and Building Friendships

Through a story about a girl named Sophie, The Monster at Recess: A Book About Teasing, Bullying and Building Friendships ($3) explores feelings of acceptance and insecurities. Ideal for ages 5-11.