Take Part In Bullying Prevention Month with Books

October is Bullying Prevention Month, which means it is important to revisit the damage bullying can cause, how we can stop it, and how we can help the people on all sides of the problem. One way to help ourselves understand, and help young adults deal with bullying related issues, is to read about it. Here are some young adult novels that deal with bullying and the aftermath of what pain it can cause on all sides.

If you or someone you know needs help now, or more solace than a great read can offer then please check out the official website StopBulling.gov, StompOutBullying.org, or the Nation Education Association’s Bully Free page for information, resources, and assistance.

The Bully by Paul Langan

A new life. An new school. A new bully. That’s what Darrell Mercer faces when he and his mother move from Philadelphia to California. After spending months living in fear, Darrell is faced with a big decision. He can either keep running from this bully–or find some way to fight back.

Brutal by Michael Harmon
After being left by her mother to live with a father she hardly knows in the middle of suburbia, Poe is happy to have found a few new friends at her new school, but when her new friends become the target of dangerous pranks by the popular jocks, Poe is determined to take down the group’s egomaniacal leader and put an end to his mean games.
 
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jane Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
 
By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Annie Peters. High school student Daelyn Rice, who has been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, despite the persistent attempts of an unusual boy named Santana to draw her out.
 
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Regina Afton, a high school senior in the popular–and feared–crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace through Michael Hayden, one of her former victims.
 
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
After her boyfriend goes on a shooting rampage at school, Valerie is implicated because of her involvement in writing the list of names and so now must come to terms with what has happened, her feelings for the boy she once loved, and the part she played that resulted in such tragic events.

 

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
A fifteen-year-old “geek” who keeps a list of the high school jocks and others who torment him, and pours his energy into creating a great graphic novel, encounters Kyra, Goth Girl, who helps change his outlook on almost everything, including himself.

As usual, I cannot list all the great books in the post, or I would bored you all. But, I cannot help myself from adding a little bonus list at the end and asking you to comment with any books you would like to recommend. Here are my bonus books; The Misfits by James Howe, The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence, Before, After, and Somebody In Between by Jeannine Garsee, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, Indigo’s Star by Hilary McKay, Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden,Diary Of A Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde, The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander, Freak by Marcella Fleischman Pixley, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson,Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers,Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance edited by Rhoda Belleza, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield, and Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur.

For more books about bullying for all ages, and some non fiction resources, check out some of the books I mentions in these previous posts; 10 Picturebooks that Deal with Bullying, Powerful Fiction Focused on Bullying for Children and Young Adults, and Top 5 Non-Fiction Books about Bullying.

Sharon Reads: The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry

The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry is a children’s chapter book. Nick is short, he thinks he must be the shortest seventh grader in history. He does not really fit in with any of the groups at school, so spends most of his time bully dodging. An enthusiastic guidance counsel teams Nick up with two other outcasts, and the team is mentored by the eccentric janitor. The team of oddballs  come together to a common goal, fighting a bully, and learn about themselves and the nature of bullies.

The Odd Squad: Bully Bait was a great read, and I think is accessible to both elementary and middle school students. It speaks to dealing with bullies, and how easy it can be to cross the line and act like a bully when feeling powerless. Some tough questions are dealt with, while still being funny. Nick is short but smart, stuck spending a good portion of his school day crammed in his locker. His family is a little different, and add to the quirkiness of the story. The other oddballs, Molly and Karl, have their own troubles and quirks. The bully, Roy, is as well developed as the three oddballs, as are the janitor and Nick’s grandmother. rumors of a school ghost, and mentions of other interesting kids at the school, left me wanting to read more about what happens in those halls.

I highly recommend The Odd Squad: Bully Bait to middle grade readers, particularly those that have ever felt like an oddball or on the receiving end of the bully effect. There is some cute, awkward romance in the story, and a collection of unforgettable characters that will keep readers turning the pages. Fry includes some illustrations, which only further enhance the heart, humor, and truth of the story. The sequel, the Odd Squad: Zero Tolerance is scheduled for release in September 2013. I gave this book 4 out of five stars on Goodreads.

This review was originally published on Sharon the Librarian.