A teacher's guide to the books that help children being bullied

Published on: 14 November 2017

Julie Broadbent suggests some of her favourite books to share with students during this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, which has the theme: All Different, All Equal.

Julie Broadbent is a secondary school library manager and literacy coordinator, so it's safe to say that she has read a LOT of children's books.

She also knows that books can help children cope with some difficult issues and open up about their feelings more easily.

So if your child is being bullied, or they're the one doing the bullying, do check out the books below – all recommended by Julie. These are the ones that she has tried and tested at Kingsthorpe College in Northampton.

Why not give some of them a try?

Five fantastic books

The Teenage Guide to Stress by Nicola Morgan

One of the most borrowed resources that we have in our school library, The Teenage Guide to Stress is filled with clear, practical advice on so many personal issues that affect our young people today. From bullying, exam pressures, relationships and body image, this book really does cover it all.

What I love about this book is that it speaks to teenagers in a non-judgemental way. Not only does it give good advice, but it also offers young people useful strategies to use in their everyday life. A very reassuring book for teenagers and one I would definitely recommend for Anti-Bullying Week.

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Helen van Vliet

Written entirely in verse, Cloud Busting is a really moving story about difference, friendship and the consequences of bullying. It is a fantastic book to share with those readers who are perhaps a bit reluctant to read or for those who struggle to complete a whole book. The way Malorie Blackman has crafted each chapter so differently, whether using a shape poem, blank verse or limerick, is so clever, and keeps readers engaged throughout.

I just love sharing this book with our students! A brilliant story that will trigger really interesting discussions around this year’s theme.

Read our review

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Told from the perspective of two different characters, We Are All Made of Molecules shows that there are always two sides to every story. This is a great book to share during Anti-Bullying Week as it focuses on a range of really important themes: difference, acceptance, trust, friendship and family.

I find that students love this book as it’s witty, engaging and thought-provoking. It’s also a fantastic book to use in reading groups as it really does have the capacity to spark interesting debates surrounding the central themes. Why not try some reading groups of your own using this book?

Read our review

The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake

This book is a firm favourite with our younger and more reluctant readers. It is a wonderfully warm story that is filled with humour and is very fun to read. The Boy in the Dress tells the story of 12-year-old Dennis who lives a rather ordinary life, goes to a rather ordinary school, and has rather ordinary friends. However, things change for Dennis when a chance encounter with the older, very fashionable Lisa ignites his passion for fashion.

This book would be perfect to share with students during this week, as it challenges attitudes towards gender stereotypes and celebrates difference.

Read our review

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson & Dr Olivia Hewitt

Mind Your Head is a must-have book for every secondary school library! Focusing on mental health and looking after your wellbeing, this book covers many important topics that young people often face today.

I love this book as it features a really informative section on feeling under pressure that includes advice for those who are experiencing bullying and having problems with relationships and friendship issues. Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt’s advice is given in a practical and caring way and focuses on how and where the reader should go to get the best help and advice.

What makes this book really great, though, is the fact that it warns readers of the dangers of just browsing the net for answers, and instead provides them with the ‘Helpful Stuff’ section. Here, readers are signposted to the best and most reliable sources available, which saves a lot of time and worry for many...

Read our review

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