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Bullies and Bullying in Kids' Books

For Middle Grade Readers (Grades 4-8) and Teens


These kids' books about bullies and bullying range from books for middle grade readers, including upper elementary and middle school students, to young adult books for teen readers. This list of recommended books includes a half-dozen novels, including a short chapter book for reluctant or struggling younger readers, plus one nonfiction book.

1. Wonder

Cover for the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Random House
Author: R.J. Palacio
Recommended for: Ages 9-12
Story: Wonder is a character-driven novel about ten-year-old Auggie Pullman who just wants to be treated as an ordinary boy when he starts school after being home schooled. However, because of his facial deformity, he is bullied and has a difficult time at school for quite some time. The author brings up some important points about identity and how people tend to judge people who are different in this engrossing story. Read the book review of Wonder.
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, a Random House imprint
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 9780375869020
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2. Jake Drake Bully Buster

Cover art for Jake Drake Bully Buster
Simon & Schuster
Author: Andrew Clements
Recommended for: Grade 2-5, reluctant readers or struggling middle grade readers, as well as younger readers
Story: This short (under 90 pages) chapter book is the entertaining story of fourth grader Jake Drake and how he handles a bully. The various choices Jake makes and the results add interest and humor to the story and provide insight as to why kids bully and how to handle bullying. The book is part of Andrew Clements' Jake Drake series. Read my book review of Jake Drake Bully Buster.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 9781416939337
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3. Schooled

Cover art for Schooled by Gordon Korman
Hyperion Books
Author: Gordon Korman
Recommended for: Ages 9-14
Story: This entertaining novel by popular middle grade author Gordon Korman provides both humor and some important messages about bullying and being true to yourself. Read the book review of Schooled.
Publisher: Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 9781423105169
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4. The Skinny on Bullying

The Skinny on Bullying book cover art
Rand Media Co
Author: Mike Cassidy
Illustration and Design: Lindy Nass and Kim Lincoln
Recommended for: Ages 9-14, as well as parents and teachers
Story:This nonfiction book will help you and your kids to better understand what bullying is and how to deal with bullies. The author uses a clever story in comic book style to illustrate major points in a way kids will instantly understand. Read my book review of The Skinny on Bullying.
Publisher: Rand Media Co.
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9780982439012
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5. Stargirl

cover art for Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Random House
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Recommended for: Ages 10 and up
Story: Stargirl is a middle grade novel about the impact of peer pressure and bullying on Stargirl, the new (and different) girl in high school and on Leo, the narrator of the story, who has to decide if he will remain true to his own feelings or give in to the peer pressure that surrounds him. Read the book review of Stargirl.
Publisher: Alfred Knopf Books for Young Readers, A Division of Random House
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 9780679886372
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6. Shooter

Cover for Shooter young adult novel
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Recommended for: Ages 14 and older
Story: Walter Dean Myers's dramatic young adult novel is written in documentary style, about a shooting at a high school by a 17-year-old student and the search for the underlying causes, including the impact of constant bullying. Read the book review of Shooter.
Publisher: Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 9780064472906
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7. Hate List

Cover of Hate List Realistic teen fiction by Jennifer Brown
Little, Brown and Company
Author: Jennifer Brown
Recommended for: Age 14 and older
Story: Hate List is realistic teen fiction about a school shooting, fueled by a number of things, including dysfunctional families, bullies, and a desire for vengeance. It's a disturbing and thought-provoking young adult novel about tragedy and survival. The American Library Association recognized it as a Best Book for Young Adults. Read the book review of Hate List.
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780316041447
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