Top 6 Best Children's Books About Bullying

For Book People's Bedtime Story Competition, in support of Action for Children, we received 1,000s of amazing entries from young storytellers from all over the country. One thing we learned, though, was that over two thirds of children expressed their worries about bullying, loneliness or being different.

Best Children's Books About Bullying

We have picked out these classic stories and modern favourites which tackle the difficult subject of bullying; and we've asked the experts at Action for Children, for their take on the importance of reassuring books that show them that bullying is never okay and that they can get help to make it stop. Action for Children is a charity that does what's right, what works and what's needed for disadvantaged children, young people and families across the UK.

1. Tyrannosaurus Drip

Julia Donaldson & David Roberts | Toddlers

In this colourful picture book, duckbill dinosaurs are placid and gentle, while tyrannosauruses are mean and aggressive. So when a duckbill dinosaur hatches from an egg in a tyrannosaurus nest, confusion soon follows! The baby dinosaur is so out of place, his cruel big sisters call him Tyrannosaurus Drip. But when the little dinosaur has to save the day for his fellow duckbill dinosaurs, the tyrannosauruses get their comeuppance! This fun, rhyming story is a wonderful introduction to the concept of bullying and overcoming bullies.

Tyrannosaurus Drip

2. Leave Me Alone

Kes Gray & Lee Wildish | 5+

Every day, a little boy has to face a bully, and this makes him sad. Fortunately, this little boy has friends: a frog, a cat, a rabbit, a cow, and other kindly animals, who insist on helping him. The next time the bully approaches, they all join with him and shout, "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" And, thankfully, the bully turns around and goes away. This gentle, rhyming tale explores a difficult topic with a light touch, and shows how important it is to share your concerns if you're being bullied so that it can be stopped.

Leave Me Alone

3. Teasing Isn't Funny

Melissa Higgins | 5+

Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly the cat for her fluffy fur and plain clothes. This makes Kelly sad, but the little cat will find effective ways to overcome the bullying, such as talking to the principal. With stunning illustrations and a sweet, gentle story, this book tackles the topic of emotional bullying in a sensitive and illuminating way, showing children how to make it stop in safe ways.

Teasing Isn't Funny

4. Matilda

Roald Dahl | 7+

Matilda Wormwood is super smart, a voracious reader, and has the amazing power to move objects with her mind! She's constantly picked on by her parents and her malicious headteacher, Miss Trunchbull - but she's an extraordinary girl who's sure to get her revenge. So her tactics may not be exactly recommended - they include supergluing her dad's hat to his head and causing her headteacher to faint with shock - but children who have to contend with bullies are sure to feel uplifted by this timeless tale.

Matilda

5. Bad Girls

Jacqueline Wilson | 9+

Mandy is a quiet girl who is picked on by three merciless tormenters: Melanie, Sarah and Kim. But Mandy can't believe her luck when she becomes friends with Tanya, the cool and quirky girl next door. Mandy's parents disapprove of Tanya, whom they deem a bad influence on their beloved daughter. Tanya and Mandy do end up in trouble - including some minor scrapes with the law - but is the trouble and risk worth the friendship and fun? This entertaining and memorable story is all about a daring friendship and overcoming bullies.

Bad Girls

6. Wonder

R. J. Palacio

At the heart of this funny and poignant book is 10-year-old August, a boy who was born with a severe facial disfigurement. He's about to start middle school after being home-schooled by his mother for years. August must deal with malicious bullies and childish cruelty, but will show a courageous attitude and a wonderful humour that will inspire those around him. This thought-provoking novel conveys the important message that what you look like doesn't matter; it's who you are and what you do that really count.

Wonder

Carol Iddon, Managing Director of Operations at Action for Children

'Sadly, over 50% of children will be affected by bullying at some point during their time at school. The effects of bullying can involve damage to a child's confidence and self-esteem and it can even have a negative impact into adulthood.

It is important to have books that raise awareness of this issue and ensure that children do not feel like they are suffering alone. Action for Children encourages parents to talk to their children, especially if you suspect they are being bullied. Reading books together that explore bullying can be a great way to help a child express their worries.'

Book People working with Action for Children

To find out more about how Action for Children works, visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk

  • WBJS 9 years +
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £15.98
    • Save £11.99
    Warning: this book will make you laugh and cry.

    August is a 10-year-old boy born with a severe facial disfigurement. After years of being home-schooled, he is set to start a new term at middle school. As he struggles to make friends, he comes across bullies but his grace, humour and bravery see him through.

    The set contains a journal so you can write down your own thoughts just like August.
  • ACGMN Toddlers
    Julia Donaldson
    Toddlers
    • £5.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.10
    Everyone knows that tyrannosauruses are big and scary, so when a placid duckbill dinosaur's egg ends up in the wrong nest confusion is sure to ensue! When the baby dinosaur hatches out, he's so out of place that his grisly big sisters call him Tyrannosaurus Drip. Poor little Drip: all he wants is a quiet life munching on water weed ...
  • ACGOV 9 years +
    Jacqueline Wilson
    9 years +
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.10
    Mandy has been picked on at school for as long as she can remember. That's why she is delighted when cheeky, daring, full-of-fun Tanya picks her as a friend. Mum isn't happy - she thinks Tanya's a bad girl and a bad influence. Mandy's sure Tanya can only get her out of trouble, not into it... or could she?

    Written by one of our best-loved children's authors and illustrated by her long-time collaborator, Nick Sharratt, Bad Girls is a wonderful example of the magic of coming-of-age books by Jacqueline Wilson. Children aged 7 and above will love this!
  • AELLE 5 years +
    Kes Gray
    5 years +
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.10
    From the best-selling team behind Mum and Dad Glue comes an important story to help raise awareness at home or at school about stopping bullying. A little boy is feeling sad because every day he has to face a bully. But this story's little boy also has friends. A frog, a cat, a rabbit, a cow, and other animal friends insist on helping him, even after he tells them: "There's nothing you can do for me/ There's nothing you can say." Fortunately, he is mistaken, because the next time the bully approaches, they all join with him and shout, "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" And it works! The bully turns around and goes away. The gently clever use of rhyming verse gives a difficult subject a wonderfully light touch. A must-have for any child who has to deal with bullies.
  • MTV2 9 years +
    Roald Dahl
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    From the genius mind of Roald Dahl, Matilda Wormwood is a heroine with a love of books and some truly magical powers. Her parents may call her terrible things all the time, but the truth is she's a very special little girl.

    Forming a special bond with her caring teacher Miss Honey, both her parents and the angry, spiteful headmistress Miss Trunchbull soon find out they were wrong to underestimate Matilda so much...

    In 1996, this magical book was adapted into a popular film directed by and starring Danny DeVito and it's also now an award-winning musical across the world. Complete with Quentin Blake's illustrations, Matilda is a timeless classic that will be returned to again and again.
  • AUQAK 5 years +
    Melissa Higgins
    5 years +
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly's fluffy fur and plain clothes. The constant teasing makes Kelly the cat feel sad. Young readers watch Kelly struggle with the teasing and learn safe ways to make it stop. Sensitive illustrations of gender-neutral animal characters help all children relate to the issue of emotional bullying.