Bye Bye, Bullies

10 Sep

In a few short days, school will be back in session.  If your child is a Kindergartener or a fifth grader, they may be meeting new friends or, dare I say this, new foes.

Who among us hasn’t met a bully or two in our time?  I can still name several of mine, fifty-five years after the fact.  I was an imaginative child who loved singing and acting on the playground.  You want to talk about “bully bait?”  That’ll do it.  One of my bullies went on to become the revered President of the Philadelphia Bar Association. I suspect, if I had need of a tough lawyer, she’d be the one I would  choose.  Another was a scruffy little girl whose mother bought her beautiful party dresses for weekend birthday parties.  My mother believed in washable.  I was tortured, each weekend, until my mother broke down and bought me a taffeta party dress with bows on the skirt.

Bullying at a pre-teen and teen level has been handled extensively, recently, especially in the cases of cyber bullying and bullying of young people who are LGBTQ.  However, little ones also need help in learning to stand up for themselves and deal in a sensible but assertive way with “mean” kids.  The library has many books that deal with this problem, head on:

Alley Oops, by Jane Levy.

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This is the painful and embarrassing aftermath of bullying, but told from the perspective of the bully.  An interesting way to see the other side of the problem.

Dealing with Bullies, by Pam Scheunemann.

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Describes different kinds of bullying, both verbal and physical, and how kids can deal with it.

Freda Stops a Bully, by Stuart Murphy.

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Max makes fun of Freda’ shoes, but Freda learns to handle his bullying.

Goodbye, Bully Machine, by Debbie Fox.

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A factual book in which kids learn what bullying is, why it is hurtful, and what they can do about it.

Goggles!, by Ezra Jack Keats.

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Two boys have to  outsmart the neighborhood bullies before they can enjoy their new treasure, a pair of motorcycle goggles without lenses.

The Little Bully, by Beth Brackin.

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When Fred makes fun of Billy at school, Billy has to learn how to deal with his friend’s bullying ways.

Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories: A Toon book, by Geoffrey Hayes.

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This graphic novel is a collection of stories about a stuffed bear, including one in which he deals with a bigger, meaner bear.

Ruby and Bubbles, by Rose Winstead.

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Ruby’s bests friend is her pet bird, Bubbles.  Bubbles helps Ruby to deal with two bullying girls.

Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends, by Patti Kelley Criswell.

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This “American Girls” book gives kids tips on speaking up, standing up for themselves, and  ignoring bullying behavior.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell.

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Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother has told her about self-esteem and feels good about herself.

By Lois Gross, Senior Children’s Librarian

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