A few years ago, I got a job working for Girl Scouts. I began as a Troop Leader, but within a few months I was running an anti-bullying program for middle school children. Though running the program was a really great experience for me, one not so great thing was learning that many children never discuss the topic of bullying. Even those who see it happening never talk about it either. That’s why having a list of children’s books that teach your child to stand up for others is more important than you think.
As I ran that program for six weeks, it was heartbreaking to learn just how many children have been or are being bullied. Whether it be their peers or teachers at school, or family members are home, some children never speak up. And what's worse, those who hadn't been bullied admitted to staying quiet when they noticed others being picked on.
With a brand new school year beginning, having the conversation with your elementary aged child about the levels to bullying is extremely important. If opening up the dialogue between you and your children is a little difficult, these nine books will help get them comfortable with the topic.
1. 'The Juice Box Bully' by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
When The Juice Box Bully's main character, Pete, chooses bad behavior over good behavior, his classmates step in and help him see why it is wrong. Dr. Sornson and Maria Dismondy's book is a great one to open up the dialogue about how children can eliminate bullying by uniting together and standing up for what's right.
2. 'Just Kidding' by Trudy Ludwig
3. 'Bullies Are A Pain In The Brain' by Trevor Romain
4. 'Say Something' by Peggy Moss
Say Something by Peggy Moss tells a story of a girl who gets fed up with being an innocent bystander when she sees another kid getting bullied at school. A great way to further the conversation about standing up for others, this book should be first on the list for the new school year.
5. 'Bully B.E.A.N.S.' by Julia Cook
6. 'Brundibar' by Tony Kushner
7. 'The Bully Blockers Club' by Teresa Bateman
When Lotty Raccoon faces an unexpected bully at school, her and a few fellow students band together to form a powerful club to eliminate bullying altogether. The Bully Blockers Club is a perfect story to show children that uniting together and standing up against even the biggest bully can change things for the better.