Thick-skinned, Thin-skinned, The Skin I’m In:
Compiled by Tessa Michaelson
Books about Bullying, Teasing,
Relational Aggression and School Violence
© 2008 Cooperative Children's Book Center
Experiences with bullying, teasing, relational aggression, and school violence are an all too common part of childhood and adolescence. Schools and communities are looking for ways to address these issues, while children, teens, and caring adults deal with the day-to-day fear and misery caused by such behavior. Books for children and teens about bullying, teasing, and other aggressive behaviors range from purposeful to highly literary in style, while offerings span the spectrum from lighthearted to grave.
This selective bibliography offers titles that authentically address the issues of bullying, teasing, relational aggression, and school violence. The books on this list provide perspectives from the standpoint of being a target, aggressor, observer, or all three. The titles chosen here reflect themes of conformity, self-perception, and popularity in addition to stories related to school culture and tolerance. While some books describe the difficulties of being different, others emphasize the positives. From books depicting the heartache of gossip and social invisibility to books portraying the struggle of feeling comfortable into one’s own skin, these titles will have relevance and resonance with readers.
The titles are grouped according the suggested age range as well as by the main perspective the book offers (being the target, being the aggressor, being the observer, multiple perspectives). A section on difference is also included for each age range.
Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies
From the Perspective of the Target (PK-3)
Fleishman, Paul. Weslandia. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Candlewick, 1999. 32 pages. Ages 6-9
Henkes, Kevin. Chrysanthemum. Greenwillow, 1991. 32 pages. Ages 3-7
Holm, Jennifer and Matthew Holm . Babymouse: Queen of the World!. Random House , 2005. 91 pages. Ages 8-10
Ludwig, Trudy. My Secret Bully. Illustrated by Abigail Marble. 2005. 32 pages. Tricycle Press
Ludwig, Trudy. Just Kidding. Illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Tricycle Press, 2005. 32 pages. Ages 5-8
Pérez, L. King. First Day in Grapes. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Lee & Low, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 8
From the Perspective of the Aggressor (PK-3)
Estes, Eleanor. The Hundred Dresses. Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin. Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1944.
From the Perspective of the Observer (PK-3)
Burningham, John. Edwardo : The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World. Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 5-8
Moss, Peggy. Say Something. Illustrated by Lea Lyon. Tilbury House, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 10
Myers, Christopher. Wings. Scholastic Press, 2000. 40 pages. Ages 5 - 11
Wilson-Max, Ken. Max's Starry Night. Jump at the Sun / Hyperion, 2001. 24 pages. Ages 2 - 4
From Multiple Perspectives (PK-3)
Edwards, Michelle . Stinky Stern Forever. Harcourt, 2005. 49 pages. Ages 6-8
Thomas, Shelley Moore. Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace. Photographed by Eric Futran. Albert Whitman, 1998. 24 pages. Ages 3 - 7
Being Different (PK-3)
Boelts, Maribeth. Those Shoes. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Candlewick Press, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 5-8
Choi, Yansook. The Name Jar. Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 4 - 6
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann. Jack's Talent. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 5-7
Gregory, Nan . Pink. Illustrated by Luc Melanson. 2007, Groundwood. 32 pages. Ages 5-8
hooks, bell. skin again. Illustrated by Chris Raschka. Hyperion, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 10
Nikola-Lisa, W.. Bein' with You This Way. Illustrated by Michael Bryant. Lee & Low, 1994. 32 pages. Ages 3 - 6
From the Perspective of the Target (Grades 4-8)
Cole, Brock. The Goats. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987. 184 pages. Age 12 and older
Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. 292 pages. Ages 11 - 15
Howe, James . Totally Joe. Ginee Seo Books / Atheneum, 2005. 189 pages. Ages 10-14
Huser, Glen. Stitches. Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre, 2003. 198 pages. Ages 12 - 15
Levine, Ellen . Catch a Tiger by the Toe. Viking, 2005. 200 pages. Ages 9-12
From the Perspective of the Aggressor (Grades 4-8)
Blume, Judy. Blubber. Antheneum, 1974. 153 pages.
From the Perspective of the Observer (Grades 4-8)
Holt, Kimberly Willis. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. Henry Holt, 1999. 227 pages. Ages 11-14
Kornblatt, Marc. Understanding Buddy. Margaret K. McElderry, 2001. 113 pages. Ages 9 - 12
Spinelli, Jerry. Loser. Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins, 2002. 218 pages. Ages 9 - 12
From Multiple Perspectives (Grades 4-8)
McKay, Hilary. Indigo's Star. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004. 265 pages. Ages 10-14
Frost, Helen. Spinning Through the Universe: a Novel in Poems from Room 214. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. 93 pages. Ages 10-13
Howe, James . The Misfits. Atheneum, 2001. 288 pages.
Wilhelm, Doug. The Revealers. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. 207 pages.
Being Different (Grades 4-8)
Creech, Sharon. Bloomability. Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 1998. 273 pages. Ages 9 - 14
Tolan, Stephanie. Surviving the Applewhites. HarperCollins, 2002. 216 pages. Ages 11-14
From the Perspective of the Target (Grades 9-12)
Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Illustrated by Ellen Fourney. Litte, Brown, 2007. 240 pages. Ages 13-16
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. 197 pages. Age 14 and older
deLint, Charles. The Blue Girl. Viking, 2004. 368 pages. Ages 13 - 16
Hautman, Pete. Invisible. Simon & Schuster, 2005. 160 pages. Ages 12-15
Marino, Peter . Dough Boy. Holiday House, 2005. 221 pages. Ages 12-15
Pixley, Marcella. Freak. Melanie Kroupa Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 131 pages. Ages 11-14
St. James, James. Freak Show. Dutton, 2007. 298 pages. Age 13 and older
From the Perspective of the Observer (Grades 9-12)
Peters, Julie Anne. Luna. Megan Tingley Books / Little Brown, 2004. 247 pages. Ages 14-17
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. 186 pages. Ages 12 - 16
Trueman, Terry. 7 Days at the Hot Corner. HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2007. 150 pages. Ages 12 and older
From Multiple Perspectives (Grades 9-12)
Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. Pantheon/Knopf, 1974.
Koss, Amy Goldman. The Girls. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2000.
Walter, Virginia. Making Up Megaboy. Illustrated by Katrina Roeckelein. DK Ink, 1998. 62 pages. Ages 12 - 16
Yang, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese. First Second, 2006. 233 pages. Age 13 and older
Being Different (Grades 9-12)
This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.