Children’s Books about Bullying: 5 Classroom Read Alouds

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Reading aloud children’s books about bullying is a great way to teach and model strategies for recognizing and responding to bullying behaviors. It also helps students understand the impact bullying has on others. This can reduce the occurrence of those types of behaviors in your classroom. This post includes the following children’s books about bullying:

  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
  • The Recess Queen
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Rulers of the Playground
  • The Juice Box Bully

6 Children’s Books about Bullying

This post includes a list of children’s books about bullying that are great read alouds for elementary teachers. If you are looking for resources that go with these bullying books for children, then click the images below. They will bring you to book companion resources based on these picture books about bullying. Each book companion includes reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, SEL lesson ideas, and much more! They are all part of my Starts With a Story collection.

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon book companion The Recess Queen book companion Chrysanthemum book companion
Rulers of the Playground book companion The Juice Box Bully book companion Say Something book companion

1. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Patty Lovell’s book, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon tells a sweet story of a young girl. Molly Lou Melon is the shortest girl in her class, is clumsy, and has teeth that stick out. Her grandma always taught her that she should be proud of who she is and stand tall. One day, Molly finds out that she needs to move. She is leaving her grandma and friends and starting a new school.

At her school, Ronald Durkin starts to tease Molly about her about being short and having big teeth. Molly continues to be proud of herself and impress the other students with her unique qualities. Eventually, Ronald is able to see Molly for who she is. Molly realizes that her grandma was right, if she loves herself others will love her too. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a wonderful story of self confidence and being true to yourself. This read aloud can be used as a children’s book about bullying because it lends itself to a conversation about the difference between teasing and bullying.

Worksheet for Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon vocabulary booklet for The Recess Queen

2. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill tells the story of a young girl named Jean. She is the Queen of recess at her school. She is always the one to go first when playing games and will growl at anyone who crosses her.

One day, a new student, Katie Sue, joins Jean’s class. Not knowing the rules, Katie Sue kicks, bounces and jumps before Jean. When Jean confronts Katie, she is surprised to find that Katie Sue talks back! As Jean chases Katie around the playground, everyone is caught off guard when Katie Sue asks Jean to jump rope with her. At first, Jean is shocked and doesn’t know what to do, but with some encouragement from her classmates, Jean starts to jump. From that day on, not only is Jean friends with Katie Sue, but she enjoys playing with her classmates too!

3. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum loves her name until she goes to school. The students in her class make fun of her for having such a long name and for being named after a flower. At the end of the story, Mrs. Twinkle, the music teacher, defends Chrysanthemum by telling the students she too is named after a flower. The students then start to envy Chrysanthemum’s long name and meaning of her name. Students will enjoy this story about being true to yourself and loving who you are. This read aloud can be used as a children’s book about bullying because it lends itself to a conversation about the difference between teasing and bullying.

Chrysanthemum book cover and writing template The Juice Box Bully book cover

4. The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson

The Juice Box Bully is about a new student Pete who joins his new classroom and isn’t kind to his classmates. He uses harsh words when he talks to his classmates and he steals a ball from kids who are using it during recess. When the other students tell him about the promise they made as a class to be kind and stand up for others he says that their rules are dumb and he doesn’t care.

One day in the lunchroom Pete squirts Ruby with juice and it gets all over her shirt. Ruby gets very upset and tells Pete that she is going to tell everyone how mean he is and make sure he doesn’t have any friends. Ralph stands up for Pete and reminds Ruby that they don’t treat people like that in their class. Pete has never had anyone stand up for him before and he realizes that it is better to be nice and follow the promise they made as a class. Ruby and Pete apologize to each other and move forward.

5. Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

The story Rulers of the Playground is about a boy named Jonah who decides he wants to rule the playground and be king. He claims the slides as his territory and the other kids pinky promise to obey him. Another girl, Lennox, realizes that she also wants to rule the playground and claims the swings as her territory and makes the other kids promise to obey her.

Now Jonah and Lennox are king and queen and they each want to be in charge of more and more area until the whole playground is taken over and no one wants to play with them.

Jonah and Lennox decide that it isn’t fun to rule and they apologize to the kids and stop being king and queen. Now everyone can play on the playground together.

Rulers of the Playground worksheets

6. Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds

This Peter Reynolds’ story explores the different ways we can make a difference. Readers learn that each day they have the chance to say something with their actions, words, and voices. They’ll recognize the many ways to share what they are thinking and what they believe with the world around them.

printable picture book comprehension activities

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

We hope you found this list of children’s books about bullying helpful! We really think your students will enjoy listening to and discussing these books about bullying for kids. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students (in addition to these kids books about bullying), then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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Try this free Starts With a Story book companion based on Alexis O'Neill's picture book, The Recess Queen!