Tween

Bullies Be Gone! 8 Middle Grade Books on Bullying

by Dena McMurdie

Photo credit: Julia Wheeler and Veronika Laws, Digital Vision/Getty Images

Most kids will experience bullying at some level during their school years – either as a victim, bully, bystander, or friend. These eight books deal with various forms of bullying and offer insight, hope, humor, and inspiration. They’re great reads for kids who’ve faced bullying, or any kid looking to understand their classmates and themselves a bit better.

  • Wonder

    by R.J. Palacio

    Also available from:

    Wonder delivers the experience of August Pullman, both from his point of view and the point of view of those close to him. Sometimes humorous and sometimes tear jerking, Wonder is the heartfelt story of a boy with a deformed face and a big heart. His journey will make you laugh, cry, and cheer.

    Also available from:
  • Twerp

    by Mark Goldblatt

    Also available from:

    Even regular kids can make huge mistakes. Told from the bully’s point of view, Twerp offers its readers a glimpse into life in middle school – peer pressure, humor, and the unbearable guilt that comes from doing something horrible to someone else. It’s about growing up and making restitution for the wrongs you’ve done.

    Also available from:
  • The Saturday Boy

    by David Fleming

    Also available from:

    This book gives a different perspective on bully/victim relationships, one where nobody is completely innocent or entirely helpless. Derek and Budgie used to be best friends, and they are still good friends – when no one else is around. Derek learns a lot about himself, Budgie, and the changing dynamics in their friendship.

    Also available from:
  • Hoot

    by Carl Hiaasen

    Also available from:

    Bullying doesn’t take center stage in this comedic adventure, but it is one of the main themes. I love Roy’s approach to dealing with his bullies. He never shows fear and he never backs down. He uses his quick wit and intellect to solve his problems.

    Also available from:
  • Zenobia July

    by Lisa Bunker

    Also available from:

    Zenobia July is the new kid at Monarch Middle School, and she’s living openly as a girl for the first time. An expert coder and hacker, Zenobia hops on the case when an anonymous student begins leaving hateful posts on the school’s website. Lisa Bunker’s latest is a testament to doing our part to keep our spaces inclusive and bully-free.

    Also available from:
  • All’s Faire in Middle School

    by Victoria Jamieson

    Also available from:

    The author of the Newbery Honor Book Roller Girl returns with another heartfelt story starring a middle-school heroine. Imogene — call her Impy — is eager to prove her bravery so she can become a knight at the Renaissance Faire, just like her parents. She decides to brave public school, but the girls Impy falls in with are only sometimes nice, and Impy’s starting to feel unlike herself: ashamed of her background and clothes, and even acting mean. Will Impy find her way back to her roots?

    Also available from:
  • Fish in a Tree

    by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    Also available from:

    Sixth-grader Ally is a math genius with an active imagination, but she also has a secret: she can’t read. The daughter of a military family, Ally’s moved from school to school, so her dyslexia was never identified, and Ally believes she’s dumb. All of that changes when a substitute teacher, Mr. Daniels, catches on to Ally’s dyslexia and works with her to address it. Meanwhile, Ally’s relationships with her quirky classmates evolve, as they all learn to stop believing their bullies and start believing in themselves.

    Also available from:
  • Reach for the Skai

    by Skai Jackson

    Also available from:

    An anti-bullying activist and Disney channel star, Skai Jackson charts the highs and lows of newfound fame in her inspiring and authentic memoir. Even Skai struggles with insecurities, and she’s faced her own personal bullies, too; she’s also discovered her own method of confronting those bullies by way of the “classy clapback.” A true story of self-acceptance and standing by your values.

    Also available from:

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2019.