Anti-Bullying Day

The last Wednesday in February is
Anti-Bullying Day.

 The Last Laugh

Aruego, Jose and Ariane Dewey. The Last Laugh. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Nothing But the Truth

 Avi. Nothing But the Truth. Orchard Books, 1991.

Philip loves running but he might not get to stay on his high school track team because he is failing ninth grade English. He is sure his teacher is at fault. Is she? What happens when everyone claims to know the problem and the solution? [Bullying; Honesty; Running; Schools; Newbery Medal; Young adult fiction]


Bloor, Edward. Tangerine. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc., 1997.

Paul wants to play soccer even though he is nearly blind, even though his father seems to have time only for his football-playing older brother, even though everything seems to be against him in his new school in Florida. He is tough, but is he strong enough to face the slowly-returning memories of what happened to damage his eyes? [Bullying; Brothers; Fathers and sons; Soccer; Football; Florida; Secrets; Schools; Fear; Physically handicapped; Diaries; Moving, Household]

Byars, Betsy. Cracker Jackson. Puffin Books, 1986, c1985.

Cracker discovers his former babysitter is being abused by her husband. What can he do to save her? [Abuse; Babysitters; Violence; Family life]

Carlson, Nancy L. Henry and the Bully. Viking, 2010.

Child, Lauren. Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now.  Candlewick Press, 2006.

Clarice lies asleep at night, worrying. So she makes lists. [Bullying; Family life; Friendship; Worry]

Codell, Esme Raji. Vive la Paris. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2006.

Paris learns about the Holocaust and how to stop bullies when she tries to stop a classmate from beating up her brother. [Bullying; African Americans; Music; Faith; Brothers and sisters; Chicago (Ill.); Holocaust; Humorous stories]

Ellis, Deborah. We Want You To Know: Kids Talk About Bullying. Coteau Books, 2010.

Holubitsky, Katherine. Alone at Ninety Foot. Orca Books, 1999.

Fourteen-year-old Pamela struggles to cope with high school, friendships and her father’s new girlfriend while still grieving over her mother’s death. Winner of numerous awards including Young Adult Canadian Book Award; Best Book for Young Adults – American Library Association. On ERAC recommended list for grade eight.  [Bullying; Grief; Suicide; Peer pressure; Mothers and daughters; Vancouver (B.C.); Dating (Social customs); Alcohol] 

Javaherbin, Mina. Goal! Candlewick Press, 2010. (Illustrated by A.G. Ford)

A group of soccer playing buddies fend off bullies who try to spoil their game of soccer in this picture book set in a South African township. [Bullying; South Africa; Soccer; Friendship]

Langan, Paul. The Bully. Scholastic, 2002.

Darrel Mercer moves from Philadelphia to California where a new bully becomes part of his life at his new school. The fifth novel in the Bluford series. [Bullying; Mothers and sons; California; Moving, Household; Schools; Young adult fiction]


Langan, Paul. Payback. Scholastic, 2007, c2002.

Darrell humiliated him, and now Tyray wants revenge to regain his reputation but his options are limited.  Originally published as The Gun, this is the sixth novel in the Bluford series. (Bullying; Schools; Violence; African Americans; Young adult fiction]

McClintock, Norah. Bang. Orca, 2007.

Quentin is left taking the blame when a robbery goes wrong. [Bullying; Theft; Murder; Teenagers; Honesty; Young adult fiction]

McClintock, Norah. Marked. Orca, 2008.

Colin is happy to have a job for the summer. He hadn’t planned on becoming a criminal. (Bullying; Summer; Juvenile delinquents; Theft; Mystery and detective stories]


Olsen, Sylvia. Yellow Line. Orca, 2005.

Teenaged Vince faces racism and violence when he falls in love with a First Nations girl in their small town. Best suited for mature readers in grade 8 and up. [Bullying; Racism; Schools; First Nations; Canada; Violence; Dating (Social customs); Love; Peer pressure; Young adult fiction]

Otoshi, Kathryn. One. KO Kids Books, 2008.

Pearson, Kit. Perfect Gentle Knight. Puffin Canada, 2007.

After their mother dies and their father becomes absorbed in his work, the six lonely Bell children –  the oldest ones still teenagers – struggle to cope with their grief, each in their own way. On ERAC recommended novel list for grades 7 and 8. [Bullying; Grief; Vancouver (B.C.); Brothers and sisters; Family life]

Pinkwater, Daniel Manus. Yo-Yo Man. HarperCollins, 2007.

Preller, James. BystanderFeiwel and Friends, 2009.

Thirteen-year-old Eric encounters a bully terrorizing students at his new school. It seems no one, not even adults, can stop the intimidation until Eric thinks of a solution. [Bullying; New York (State); Moving, Household; Divorce; Schools; Conduct of life; Young adult fiction]

Scrimger, Richard. The Nose from Jupiter. Tundra Books, 1998.

Alan doesn’t have any special talent except for the ability to  attract bullies. But life changes when an alien comes to live in his nose. Winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award; on ERAC recommended novel list for grades 5 and 6. [Bullying; Soccer; Noses; Extraterrestrial beings; Humorous stories] 

Stevenson, Robin. Impossible Things. Orca, 2008.

Seventh-grader Cassie feels all alone. Her father is working in the Middle East, her mother is busy, her younger brother is being bullied at school, and her best friend has become friends with the mean girls at school. [Bullying; Loneliness; Friendship; Schools]

Walton, K.M. Cracked. Simon Pulse, 2012.

Two sixteen-year-olds, Bull and Victor, face their long-standing problems with bullying when they meet in a hospital’s psychiatric ward. [Bullying; Teenagers; Schools; Family life; Suicide; Alcoholism]

Wishinsky, Frieda. Queen of the Toilet Bowl. Orca, 2005.

Renata learns to be proud of herself even though she is bullied because her mother works as a housekeeper. [Bullying; Self acceptance; Schools]

Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007.

Sixth-grade Frannie is reading a poem about hope in class. But there’s not much hope in her life. Her friend Samantha is becoming peculiar. The class bully is becoming more trouble. And the new boy, nicknamed ‘Jesus Boy’, says he’s not white but he sure looks white. What’s going to happen next? For 11 – 14 year-olds. [African Americans; Bullying; Deaf; Faith; Family; Friendship; Hope; Moving, Newbery Medal; Household; Racism; Schools; Vietnam Conflict; Winter]

Learn more about bullying.

Stories of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.”

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006.
Jane, an orphan in 19th-century England, grows up unwanted and unloved until she turns eighteen, takes a position as a governess and falls in love with the master of the house.

Bunting, Eve. You Were Loved Before You Were Born. The Blue Sky Press, 2008.
A mother tells her little baby about all the people who loved her even before she was born in a picture book for all ages.

Cumyn, Alan. After Sylvia. Groundwood Books, 2004.
Owen still has his brothers but he misses Sylvia, his true love, after she moves to another town. A heartwarming and amusing novel for grades 4 to 6. The second in a trilogy.

DiCamillo, Kate. The Tale of Despereaux. Candlewick Press, 2003.
A little mouse adventurously tries to win the heart of the princess he loves despite the machinations of a rat determined to ruin everything in this Newbery novel.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. Aladdin, 1999.
Ella goes to the ball and Prince Charming chooses her to be his bride but that doesn’t mean happiness is sure to follow in this novel for middle school students.

Hughes, Monica. Blaine’s Way. Stoddart, 1996.
Abandoned by his parents, Blaine runs away from his grandparents’ farm to join the army despite his love for his girlfriend in this classic novel about World War 2.

Keeshan, Robert. She Loves me…She Loves Me Not. HarperCollins, 1963.
A small, short story to make readers smile; illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. Square Fish, 2007.
Meg searches for her missing father, a scientist, with the help of her friends and her younger brother in this classic Newbery novel. For grades six to ten. (Space and time; Fantasy fiction; Love; Friendship; Perseverance)

Lowry, Lois. Anastasia Krupnik. Bantam, 1979.
Ten-year-old Anastasia falls in love and learns she will soon have a baby brother in this novel, part of an entertaining series for grade four to seven.

MacLachlan, Patricia. All the Places to Love. HarperCollins, 1994.
A young boy who describes all his favourite places on the farm where he lives in a beautifully illustrated picture book.

MacLachlan, Patricia. Unclaimed Treasures. HarperCollins,1984.
Willa thinks she is in love with the man who lives next door until she realizes that the one she truly loves is his son, the boy her own age.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Achingly Alice. Simon & Schuster, 1998, 2003.
Thirteen-year-old Alice tries to plan her life as she encounters love in this novel, part of a long series of popular Alice books.

Numeroff, Laura. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! HarperCollins, n.d.
A cheerful boardbook for preschoolers.

Olsen, Sylvia. Yellow Line. Orca, 2009.
Vince encounters prejudice and violence when he fall in love with a First Nations girl in this short novel for grades eight to twelve.

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. HarperCollins, 2005.
Teenagers in a small town discover their friendships turning to love in this Newbery Award winning novel set in the 1960s.

Rylant, Cynthia. If You’ll Be My Valentine. HarperCollins, 2005.
A young boy who makes valentines for the ones he loves in this endearing picture book.

Smith, Dodie. I Capture the Castle. UK Random House, 1949, 2001.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra lives with her eccentric family who wants to marry her off to someone wealthy in order to save their ruined castle in this traditional love story set in 1930s Britain.

Spinelli, Jerry, Love, Stargirl. Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.
Home-schooled Stargirl writes a long letter to the boy she loves, the boy who lives far away, in this popular novel for middle school students.

Stork, Francisco X. Marcelo in the Real World. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009.
Seventeen-year-old Marcelo encounters injustice and discovers romance when he gets a job working in the mail room of his father’s law firm in this humorous realistic novel for teens.

Sturtevant, Katherine.  A True and Faithful Narrative. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
a simply divine novel about pirates, writing, and true love. The main character, Meg, unlike most of the girls in London, pours over books and loves to talk with writers who come into her father’s bookstore. Above all, though, she loves to write. After her father forbids her to do so because it is considered shameful for women to be writers, she secretly meets with a man trying to court her,  Edward, for whom she is writing a narrative about his time of enslavement in the Algiers. Unfortunately, Will, another man trying to court her, spots the two of them together in a tavern and reports her to her father who is outraged. Meg finds herself in a sticky situation: What will her father say to her? What will happen to the narrative she is writing? You’ll have to read this amazing novel find out! (Andriana in grade eight)

Turnbull, Ann. No Shame, No Fear. Candlewick Press, 2003.
Poor fifteen-year-old Susannah, a Quaker, and wealthy seventeen-year-old William, an Anglican, love each other but face persecution and parental disapproval in this novel set in 17th century England.

Venkatraman, Padma. Climbing the Stairs. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008.
Fifteen-year-old Vidya, her older brother and her parents move to the home of her paternal grandfather after her father is severely beaten during a non-violent demonstration in 1941 India.  Instead of looking forward to someday attending college, she now has to face a life of servitude. This compelling young adult novel sensitively portrays different intepretations of the Hindu caste system, India’s struggle for independence and the complications of World War II.

Walters, Eric. Black and White. Puffin, 2009.
Thomas and his new girlfriend have so much in common besides the game of basketball. But their parents are not pleased about their cross-racial romance. A thought-provoking novel about faith and tolerance for grades seven to ten.

Williams, Vera. “More, more, more,” said the baby: 3 Love Stories. Greenwillow Books, 1990.

Zolotow, Charlotte. If You Listen. Running Press, 2002.
A quiet picture book about how to know if someone far away still loves you.

“And what do all the great words come to in the end, but that?
I love you — I am at rest with you — I have come home.”
Dorothy Sayers