Let's Get Along! 11 Children's Books About Bullying, Teasing & Empathy

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by: Erin Dower
Bullying is a serious issue, and reading children's books on the topic can help kids understand it better and have healthier relationships with their peers. Whether your child has been a victim of bullying or a participant in bullying, or he just needs to learn more about empathy, these emotionally enlightening books for all ages can help. Find more books on bullying, feelings, and other tough topics in our Book Finder.
Llama and Bully Goat, children's book
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
When Gilroy Goat starts teasing and laughing at Llama Llama and other classmates, Llama remembers what his teacher told him to do: walk away and tell someone. After the teacher stops the teasing, Gilroy and Lllama might even be friends again! This book from the popular Llama Llama series helps preschoolers learn how to handle teasing and bullying in a safe way.

Ages: 3-5

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Bully Blockers Club, children's book
The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman
Lotty Raccoon can't wait to start a fresh school year with her new teacher, new backpack, and new shoes. But her excitement soon fades when Grant Grizzly begins bullying her. Realizing that acting alone doesn't always work, Lotty forms the Bully Blockers Club, which encourages kids to stand up for each other.

Ages: 6-9

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Marlene Queen of Mean, children's book
Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean by Jane Lynch
In this rhyming tale about bullying, Marlene is the small yet mighty queen of the playground. When Marlene's peers get fed up with her teasing and intimidation tactics, her classmate Big Freddy comically helps reform Marlene's mean streak. This is the first picture book by Glee actress Jane Lynch (an admitted childhood bully!).

Ages: 3-7

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Juice Box Bully, children's book
The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson, Ph.D.
This book asks, "Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it?" When a boy named Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates get involved, instead of being bystanders. They teach Pete about "The Promise" — an agreement to treat each other fairly no matter what.

Ages: 5-9

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Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, children's book
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy
Ralph loves to tease Lucy — a girl with one-of-a-kind curly hair who likes eating spaghetti in a hot dog bun! Despite Ralph being so mean, Lucy is a class act, and she chooses to help him in a moment of need. It's an uplifting story about doing the right thing and having the courage to be yourself.

Ages: 5-9

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Stand in My Shoes, children's book
Stand in My Shoes by Bob Sornson, Ph.D.
This book by the author of The Juice Box Bully helps children learn the meaning of empathy. Emily's big sister explains that empathy is the ability to notice what other people feel. Emily wonders if having empathy really makes a difference, and puts it to the test! She suddenly has a whole new perspective on people.

Ages: 5-9

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Just Kidding, children's book
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig
This book takes a close look at emotional bullying among boys. D.J.'s friend Vince has a habit of teasing heavily and then trying to brush it off with a "Just kidding!" D.J. worries that protesting will make it appear like he can't take a joke. Together with the help of his dad, brother, and a teacher, D.J. finds a positive solution.

Ages: 6-9

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Stand Up for Yourself, American Girl children's book
Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends by Patti Kelley Criswell
This book from the popular American Girl brand is all about "Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way." It focuses on teaching girls how to identify bullying and how to stand up and speak out against it. The mix of quizzes, quotes from other girls, and age-appropriate advice can help tweens learn that there is no one right way to deal with bullying.

Ages: 8-12

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Confessions of a Former Bully, children's book
Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig
This fictional story is told in scrapbook/journal format from the perspective of the "bullier" rather than the bullied. After Katie gets caught teasing a classmate, she grumbles when she is sent to meet with the school counselor. Katie quickly discovers that her bullying behavior has hurt her (and not just her peers), and learns how to right her wrongs and be a better friend.

Ages: 8-12

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Wonder, chapter book about bullying
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This award-winning New York Times #1 bestseller is about bullying, empathy, compassion, and acceptance. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. When he starts fifth grade at Beecher Prep, he hopes to be treated as an ordinary kid — but his classmates can't get past his extraordinary face. Auggie is an inspiring character who proves "you can't fit in when you were born to stand out."

Ages: 8-12

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Gabe and Izzy, children's book about bullying
Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up for America's Bullied by Gabrielle Ford
In this touching true story, Gabrielle "Gabe" Ford revisits how she was harassed and bullied as a middle-schooler who developed a degenerative muscle disease. As an adult, when Gabe's dog Izzy developed a similar disorder, they set out to educate the world about their disabilities and have become powerful anti-bullying advocates.

Ages: 9 and up

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