23 Must-Read Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

Sometimes a book can change a heart.

It’s more important than ever to teach students about the negative effects of bullying and to do so as early as possible. With the help of our awesome teacher community, we compiled this list of anti-bullying books (organized from youngest to oldest) that address teasing, friendship, self-esteem, and more.

Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may receive a small commission when you purchase through our links, at no cost to you. All books are selected by our editorial team.

1. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

True friends stick up for one another, even when it’s a little bit scary.

Best for grades preschool–2

2. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou is a unique individual, that’s for sure. But her grandmother has taught her well. So when a bully picks on Molly, she knows just what to do.

Best for grades pre-K–3

3. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum

A popular picture book, Chrysanthemum is a story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance. It has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association.

Best for grades pre-K–3

4. A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

Sometimes it’s terrifying to be the little guy on campus. Will Piggie and Gerald figure out a way to survive the playground bully?

Best for grades pre-K–3

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

The Recess Queen

Mean Jean is the recess queen, and it isn’t until a new girl becomes her friend that recess dynamics change for the better. This book is ideal for addressing bullying that can be resolved without adult intervention.

Best for grades pre-K–3

6. The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy

The Juice Box Bully

One of the best things kids can do to combat bullying is to stand up for one another, which is exactly what The Juice Box Bully is about. Students will learn how to have each other’s back instead of doing nothing when they witness bully confrontation.

Best for grades pre-K–3

7. Willow Finds a Way by Lana Button

When bully Kristabelle starts uninviting kids to her birthday party, shy, quiet Willow decides she’s had enough. Her simple act shocks everyone and changes the dynamic of the whole classroom.

Best for grades pre-K–3

8. I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoet

This pictures-only storybook beautifully illustrates how one person’s kindness can inspire an entire community to stand up to bullying.

Best for grades pre-K–3

9. You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders

A very helpful book for teaching children about empathy, feelings, kindness, compassion, tolerance, and recognizing bullying behaviors.

Best for grades K–3

10. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
enemy pie

Readers will learn about the benefits of making new friends in this book. When Jeremy Ross tries to get rid of his enemy, his dad comes to the rescue. The catch? The only way for Jeremy to succeed is to spend an entire day playing with the enemy. Soon, his best enemy turns into his best friend!

Best for grades K–4

11. My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig

Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but the older they get, the more confusing the friendship becomes. Monica can’t understand why Katie has started to exclude her and call her names.

Best for grades 1–4

12. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945. It’s about a classmate who is ridiculed by bullies for wearing the same dress to school every day, while other students stand by and do nothing to help.

Best for grades 1–5

13. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

This book sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children and reminds readers how small acts of kindness can help others feel included.

Best for grades 1–5

14. Anger Tree by John Cary

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

A neighborhood bully learns valuable lessons from a maple tree. Kids will be able to talk about important issues like anger and self-control.

Best for grades 1–6

15. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Each Kindness Book

This book has a powerful anti-bullying message and follows the story of Chloe, who won’t let the new girl, Maya, play with her and her friends. Eventually Maya stops coming to school, and Chloe realizes that a small act of kindness—like giving Maya friendship—could have gone a long way.

Best for grades 2–5

16. Bully by Patricia Polacco

Bully

Here’s a book that takes on cyberbullying and cliques. When students begin teasing classmates on Facebook, Lyla knows something needs to be done. This is a perfect read for our increasingly digitally savvy students.

Best for grades 2–5

17. The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale

The Bully Book

This book pulls from actual events as the author loosely recounts what it was like when he was bullied in sixth grade. It incorporates both sides of bullying and addresses this ongoing issue in the lives of middle-schoolers.

Best for grades 2–7

18. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

This uplifting novel follows August Pullman to fifth grade, which is his first time entering a mainstream school. August was born with a facial deformity, so he’ll have to convince his classmates that he is normal, just like them, despite his appearance.

Best for grades 4–6

19. Real Friends by Shannon Hale 

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

What happens when your best friend since forever starts hanging out with the “popular” crowd? A story about how hard it is to find your real friends in life, but how the journey is worth it.

Best for grades 4–7

20. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

Heroine Annabelle must find her courage to stand up to a cruel bully and lead by example in this poignant tale set in the US during World War II. 

Best for grades 5–7

21. Dear Bully by Dawn Metcalf

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

This book is a must-read for teens. Today’s top young adult authors contributed 70 heartfelt stories about bullying in this collection—from being a bystander, to a victim, to a bully themselves. The book also includes resources and suggestions for further reading.

Best for grades 8 and up

22. Tease by Amanda Maciel

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

This story is about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. Now she’s under attack as her peers, the community, and the media berate her for causing such a tragic event.

Best for grades 9 and up

23. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

23 Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

16-year-old Alice decides to settle the score with classmates after she is diagnosed with leukemia. Knowing she only has a few months left to live, she figures if she gets even and hurts people for the things they’ve done in the past, it won’t matter in the future. To her surprise, she goes into remission and has to face the consequences of all she has said and done.

Best for grades 9 and up

What are your favorite anti-bullying books? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Also, check out our favorite books for teaching kindness

23 Must-Read Anti-Bullying Books for Kids

Posted by Danielle N. Barr

Danielle Barr is the director of social strategy at WeAreTeachers and loves being a part of the thriving teacher community online. She's a writer, reader & dog-lover, who spends her free time renovating her 1920s bungalow.

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