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Chapter Books about Bullying

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Books about bullying

Helen Harvey, author of Emmy Levels Up, has picked her top five recommended children’s books that explore the theme of bullying.

G. R. Gemin
Chapter book

Gemma lives on the grim Mawr Estate in South Wales, where it feels as if everyone has given up hope. When she meets Kate and her herd of cows, they unite in a quest to save their bovine friends from the abattoir. Tall, angry Kate doesn’t fit in at school and is the target of bullies and at first Gemma doesn’t want to be seen with her because this might make her a target too. But by uniting the community in their cause to save the herd, Kate and Gemma are soon seen in a new light.

Cath Howe
Chapter book

Ella on the Outside is a superbly honest debut from Cath Howe, with authentic characters and important themes of friendship, loyalty, self-acceptance and parental responsibility. For me this was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m convinced the characters will resonate strongly with lots of readers. As well as the themes of friendship and loyalty, the book also addresses issues of parental responsibility, childhood eczema, mental health and the impact of having an absent parent. This is a gripping and emotive read filled with heart and we recommend it for readers in upper KS2…

Aisha Bushby
Chapter book
A magical middle grade book about family, friendship and finding out who you are, full of emotion and a secret fantasy world to discover. Perfect for 10 year olds and fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Ross Welford, Kiran Millwood-Hargrave and The House with Chicken Legs. From a rising star of children’s books. This place is magic … but it’s not the sort of magic that comes from wands and spells … Can piecing together the past help you change the present? Safiya and her mum have never seen eye to eye. Her mum doesn’t understand Safiya’s love of gaming and Safiya doesn’t think they have anything in common. As Safiya struggles to fit in at school she wonders if her mum wishes she was more like her confident best friend Elle. But then her mum falls into a coma and, when Safiya waits by her bedside, she finds herself in a strange and magical world that looks a bit like one of her games. And there’s a rebellious teenage girl, with a secret, who looks suspiciously familiar …
Louis Sachar
Chapter book

Marshall and Tamaya walk to school together every day, but Marshall always leaves Tamaya at the gate, because if he’s seen with a younger kid that will only give more fuel to his bully. Chad makes Marshall’s life miserable and Marshall thinks he’s powerless to stop it. Then one day, Marshall and Tamaya take a shortcut through the woods and Chad follows. But there’s a reason they usually avoid the woods – they’re infested with a biohazard, fuzzy mud! When Tamaya and Chad both get contaminated, it’s up to Marshall to save them both. I love Louis Sachar’s writing and his is one of the most realistic depictions of bullying I’ve read for this age group.

Helen Harvey
Chapter book
Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with magma claws and flaming breath. When Emmy’s gaming video gets a front-page feature, thousands of devoted fans flock to watch her battle the ultimate online baddie, the Mulch Queen herself. Life at school is the exact opposite. Emmy is friendless and bullied by Vanessa AKA the Queen of Mean. To Vanessa and her gang, Emmy is a weirdo with bad handwriting, horrible fashion sense and no dad. But if Emmy can take on the Mulch Queen online, perhaps she can also find a way to take on Vanessa too? Emmy decides to level up and solve this challenge alone. But then Emmy discovers that Mulch Queens and Mean Queens are much easier to face when you have a little help from new friends…

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