5 Books About Bullying Your Kids Will Love
There’s nothing like having your very own bully to ruin a perfectly good school day or year for that matter. Having struggled through an entire school year where a bully singled out one of our sons, I know that taking a break from the stress of the school day with a fabulous book can be just what a bullied child needs. How much better if that book also has a hero or heroine who refuses to be used and belittled and overcomes their own bully. Here are 5 books about bullies that you kids will absolutely love.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
A classic story of bullying. The BFG is always picked on because his is smaller than the other more gigantic giants. Also he refuses to consume humans due to the unkind nature of such activities as kidnapping and snorking down unsuspecting school children with wild abandon. Who couldn’t find a soulmate in this large and gentle soul? You might find your child refusing to eat meat after reading though, as The BFG makes quite a moving speech about not consuming sausages. It is a little spooky, but also very fun. A wonderful tale from the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach that is sure to please.
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John A Flanagan
One of the things that I absolutely love about this book is that the hero’s bully eventually becomes his best friend. Readers get to see bullying from both perspectives. How it hurts both the victim and the perpetrator. Watching both boys learn and grow and eventually become life-long friends is one of the most powerful elements to this medieval hero tale. There are a few swear words in these books (Damn and Hell) maybe three to five per book as well as some violence. There are wars and battles with swords and axes, but the author does a good job of not making the violence gory and gratuitous. These books tell powerful stories about friendship, hard work, loyalty, and doing the right thing even when it is difficult.
How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
The reason I waited a few years (until my youngest was in … cough cough … preschool) to read these books to my boys is the same reason that kids dealing with a bully will absolutely adore them. There is a lot of bullying in this book. A whole lot of bullying. There are actually classes on bullying, which of course Hiccup does not get get an “A” in, not even a “C.” Advanced Rudery and Frightening Foreigners are just a few of the courses offered at the school for Vikings that Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III attends and he is terrible at all of them. But when the day comes to choose his very own hunting dragon, Hiccup hopes to redeem himself. Running blind and for his life, Hiccup makes a desperate grab for a dragon and manages to snag the smallest, wimpiest, snottiest, and most disobedient little dragon in the entire barbaric archipelago. How can he become the hero his father expects him to be, if he can’t even train his dragon to fetch a single fish? I made my boys make a solemn vow not to ever talk like the Vikings in this fabulous book (they are always insulting each other in very creative ways) and to never ever ever ever never call anyone Big Boobied Bertha (the name of the chieftainess of a rival tribe) and we proceeded to enjoy this amazing series that literally made me laugh and cry all the time. These books are that good. The author is able to expose the hilarity of life as well of the horror of not just bullying, but slavery and injustice as well. An amazing series that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
The McVentures of Me, Morgan McFactoid: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow by Mark S Waxman
Morgan is a science wiz and collector of strange and unusual facts, but he has a problem. The fact that he is the only boy in middle school who shaves has caught the eye of the local bully and his friends. But what if he could melt that hair away? Can science save the day, or will Morgan’s new secret weapon cause nothing but a rash of new difficulties? This was a really fun book that my boys adored because it is chock full of amazing facts. They kept rushing to tell me some new tidbit about flushing the toilet, strange animals, or the radioactivity of Marie Curie’s notebooks. A super fun read.
The Outcasts by John A Flanagan
John Flanagan does it again with this spin off series to his Ranger’s Apprentice books. Who doesn’t love the rough and tumble Skandians? He takes us into a world of wolfships and pillaging and young men on the verge of manhood who might never fit in. There is a definite theme of bullying here as Hal, a half Skandian boy must constantly defend his right to be a part of a wolfship crew. When Hal manages to surround himself with a group of hopeless outcasts, does he have an chance of making the cut? Again, the difficulties with this book are scattered swear words (Damn and Hell) and some violence. These wonderful books about bravery and friendship should not be missed. I simply waited until our boys were seven or eight to enjoy them. I would think that if your children are ready to read The Hobbit, with its fearsome dragon and epic sword fights, that they would enjoy this wonderful series.
So there you have it. Five amazing books whose hero or heroine is not thwarted by having a bully but goes on to do amazing things despite being picked on. Sometimes we just need to see that there is hope. Enjoying a tale of overcoming and adventure just might be the breath of fresh air that a child you love needs. Whether facing a bully or not, may you enjoy the sweeping magic of a fabulous book, today and every day.