October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and thousands of schools, organizations, and communities across the country are mobilizing to educate kids about the serious consequences of bullying, and techniques to prevent it.
From PACER, founders of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month:
National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities around the world to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. This campaign has grown from an initial week-long event to a worldwide effort with thousands of individuals participating in multiple activities throughout October.
First Book has curated a collection of books for all ages that address bullying and can be used to start tough conversations in classrooms or programs. These five books are just a few of our favorites that will help young readers grow into empathetic citizens:
We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, soon to be a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kindness to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?
Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness.
It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way by Luis J. Rodriguez
It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way is a compelling tale of a young boy’s encounter with the world of gangs—a world that author Luis J. Rodríguez knows firsthand. Through his mesmerizing true-to-life story and the dynamic illustrations of artist Daniel Galvez, we see how Monchi is both attracted to the community of gang life and repelled by its violence. There is no easy answer to his dilemma, but the love and respect of his Uncle Rogelio help him find a way out.
Check out the Bullying section on the First Book Marketplace, and use these powerful and inspiring stories to help raise awareness about bullying prevention in your school or program.