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BULLIES IN CHILDRENS LITERATURE
4 years ago

Bullying is a very important issue that I feel educators, students, and parents need to be more educated about.  Having been teased for two years in junior high school, I know just how horrible it is to be made fun of and called names.  Being bullied creates a lot of stress on a child because they are more worried about what will be said about them rather than having fun.  Parents, teachers, and students can use this website as a starting off point to learn about  bullying through children’s literature.



Picture Books


Best, Cari.  Shrinking Violet.  New York:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001.  

Violet is always being bullied by her classmate Irwin.  However when she comes to his rescue during the school play, he discovers Violet is not as bad as he had thought she was.  I chose this book because I feel children can learn that just because someone is mean to you, does mean that you should be mean back.  In other words, two wrongs don't make a right.

Berenstain, J. & Berenstain, S.  The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Teasing.  New York:  Random House     Incorporated, 1995.

Brother Bear constantly teases his sister and sees nothing wrong with it because he was just having “a little fun”.  However, Brother Bear learns that teasing is mean when he is teased by his classmates for being the principal’s pet.  He even sticks up for the new student at his school when other students call him, “Massive Milton”.  I chose this book because it can teach children that bullying others may seem funny, however once they are bullied themselves they actually realize it is mean, rather than funny.

Couric, Katie.  The Brand New Kid.  New York:  Scholastic, 2001.

Lazlo is a new student at Brookhaven School and he feels very left out because all of his classmates tease him.  One day, a girl named Ellie saw Lazlo’s mother crying and decided to befriend Lazlo; and to her surprise she thought he was very nice.  I chose this book because I feel children can relate to Lazlo as they begin attending a new school.

Johnson, Julie.  Bullying and Gangs.  Brookfield:  Cooper Beech Books, 1998.

This book introduces children to bullying, it explains anyone can be a bully as well as anyone can be bullied, and the differences between good and bad gangs.  The book has four main characters who tell their own person stories about bullying.  I feel younger readers will enjoy this book, the text is very simple and has very colorful illustrations.

Larson, Kirby.  Cody and Quinn, Sitting in a Tree.  New York:  Dial Books for Young Readers, 1998.

Cody is in the second grade and is constantly teased by the class bully, Royce, because he is friends with a girl named Quinn.  One day, Cody becomes so upset because he is teased that he ends up hurting Quinn’s feelings.  Cody decides to apologize to Cody and finds a way to get even with Royce.

Mauser, Pat Rhoads.  A Bundle of Sticks.  New York:  Atheneum, 1982.

Ben has always been beaten up by the fifth-grade bully and never defends himself.  He is not one for physically fighting because the thought of it makes him sick.  Ben does not know what to do because his mother does not want him to fight and his father tells him to fight back.  Ben’s parents end up sending him to learn kajukenbo, an oriental form of self-defense; not only does Ben learn self-defense, he also learns to stick up for himself and not to be afraid.  I chose this book because I feel students need to learn that fighting is not the answer to solving bullying problems.  I also feel students will learn that martial arts is not always about fighting, but rather defending oneself.

McCain,Becky Ray.  Nobody Knew What to Do.  Morton Grove:  Albert Whitman and Company, 2001.

This story is aobut a boy named Ray who is picked on by his classmates.  Narrated by a boy in Ray’s class, the boy notices how everybody picks on Ray, they call him names, steal his lunch, and push him to the ground.  One morning Ray did not come to school so the boy told his teacher what had been happening and asked for help.  When Ray came back to school the next day the boy invited Ray to play with him on the playground and there the bullies started walking towards them, and so did their teacher and principal.
I picked this book because I feel younger children will learn to go to an adult for help when they are having trouble with bullies.  

Lester, Helen.  Hooway for Wodney Wat.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.

This is book is about a rat who could not say his R’s correctly and because of this, everyone in school made fun of him.  One day, Camilla Capybera joins Rodney’s class and torments everyone in Rodney’s class.  Then one day, Rodney outsmarts Camilla and becomes the class hero.  I chose this book because I feel some children are tormented by the way

4 years ago

they speak, and I feel they can relate to Rodney.  

Paterson, Katherine.  The Field of the Dogs.  New York:  Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.

Josh has recently moved to Vermont with his mother and stepfather, and not only is he upset because he had to go to a new school, but he is constanly picked on by the school bully.  While walking his dog Manch, he overhears Manch and his other dog friends talking about a pack of bullies who are threatening a fight.  Josh then fjinds a solution to both of thier problems.

Thomas, Pat.  Stop Picking on Me.  Hauppauge:  Barron’s Educational Seris, Inc., 2002.

This book is explains about bullies as well as the feelings and worries children might have when they are bullied.  I chose this book because I feel it does a wonderful job explaining the feelings a child may have when they are bullied.  I also chose this book because it has a few questions for the reader, for instance, “What sorts of things do you do when someone bullies you?”.

  Chapter Books

Kliphuis, Christine.  Robbie and Ronnie.  New York:  North-South Books, 2002.

Robbie and Ronnie are good friends; Robbie is overweight and Ronnie is skinny.  The two friends stick up for one another as a bully names Dennis teases them.  One day at the pool Dennis picks on the two boys and they learn that the best solution is to get help from an adult.  I feel this is a good book because it deals with students being picked on because of their appearances and it seems to me this is why most students are picked on.

Howe, James.  The Misfits.  New York:  Atheneum, 2001.

Bobby, Addie, Joe, and Skeezie have been best friends for as long as they can remember.  The four friends have been teased by their classmates ever since elementary school, but once they enter seventh grade, they have decided to fight back.  The friends decide to create a political party, “No-Name Party”, to run against the popular kids in the election for student council.  They show everyone in their school that name-calling can hurt people feelings and there is more to a person than the names he or she is called.  I feel this book can teach children to look past the names people may be called and focus on the person.

Harris, Mark Johnathon.  Solay.  New York:  Bradbury Press, 1993.

Melissa is very unhappy at her new school because the popular girls tease her because her clothes are not stylish and because she gets good greades.  One day, an alien named Solay from the planet Zironia visits Melissa.  Melissa is so happy to have a friend that she decides to hide Solay in her house.  The friendship she has with Solay gives her more self-esteem.  I chose this book because I thought it is a very cute book that teaches students about bullying and ties into fantasy.

Biography

Blanco, Jodee.  Please Stop Laughing at Me….  Avon:  Adams Media Corp., 2003.

Having been teased from elementary to high school, Jodee tells her story about being bullied in school.  I feel this is a terrific book because it really shows the reader what it is like to be teased.


Folktale

Morimo, Junko.  The Two Bullies.  New York:  Crown Publisher, 1999.

This is a folktale about two giants, Ni-ou and Dokkoi.  Dokkoi decides to leave Japan and go to China to challenge Ni-ou to a fight.  However they both become very intimidated by their opponent’s size and decide not to fight.  Since that day, when people in China lift up something heavy, they say, “Ni-ou!”, and the people in Japan say, “Dokkoi-sho!” I chose this book because I thought the story behind the phrases the Japanese and Chinese say was very good.  I also thought the illustrations were very good, the giants were depicted as overgrown sumo-wrestlers.


Professional Resources


Fried, P.  & Fried, S.  Bullies and Victims.  New York:  M. Evans and Company, Inc., 1996.

This is a guide parents and teachers can use which can help them understand school bullying.  There are many suggestions as to how to deal with bullies, differences between physical, verbal and emotional abuse as well as other information that would be beneficial in trying to stop bullying.  I chose this book because I feel it is a very good resource for parents because it not only explains about the victims of bullying, but it also explains why children bully others.

Thompson, Michael.  Mom, They're Teasing Me:  Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems.  New  York:            Ballantine Books, 2002.

This book gives parents suggestions about how to help thier child deal with bullies.  It also gives suggestions as to how to approach their child's teacher and principal.