Bullying is a topic that is the focus of many fiction and non-fiction books. Partially because of the tragic stories in recent years about both the bullied and the bullies. Part of the interest is also because just about everyone has felt like they have been bullied or on the outside looking in for at least some point in their lives. Some of the young adult and children’s fiction that focuses on bullying as part of the plot line or the everyday lives of the characters is extremely powerful. Here are five of the children’s and young adult books about bullying that I have found to be the easiest to relate to, or most moving.
1. How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying by Scott Starkey is a children’s chapter book about Rodney, an admitted coward, who moves to Ohio where the middle school bully immediately singles him out, but through accident gains an undeserved reputation as a tough guy.
2. Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden is a young adult novel about seventeen-year-old Cricket Cherpin who lives under the watchful eye of Mother Mary at a Catholic boys’ home in Maine. He has such bleak prospects he is considering suicide when Wynona Bidaban steps into his world.
3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a young adult book in which a traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.
4. Everybody Sees the Ants by Amy Sarig King is a young adult book, and 2014 Nutmeg Award Nominee, about overburdened fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman who begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War.
5. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti is a young adult book about high school junior Noelle who is bullied at school and neglected by her mother at home. She reaches her breaking point after a classmate commits suicide.
Other fiction about bullying that I recommend are; Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan(YA), Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli(J), The Other Felix by Keir Graff(J), How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson (J),and The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry (J).