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Book List

Read these books with students. Then follow up with activities and discussion designed to enhance the content of the stories.

These book were selected for middle and high school leaders to present to younger students.

Book cover for The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

By Joe Troiano and illustrated by Susan Banta

Suggested Audiences: Kindergarten – 4th Grade

Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a square pumpkin who lives in a round pumpkin patch world. The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, available as both a book and movie, delivers a message of tolerance and kindness in a fun, accessible format that is easily grasped by young students. By making these advanced concepts easily understood by early learners, teachers can help stop bullying before it begins.

This online toolkit includes resources educators can use to effectively present The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin as a multi-subject learning opportunity. The core elements of the online toolkit involve a reading of the book supplemented by downloadable lesson plans and other activities that teach bullying prevention and character values.

Access the online toolkit “Stop Bullying Before It Starts”

Book cover for The Weird Series

The Weird Series

by Erin Frankel and illustrated by Paula Heaphy

Suggested Audiences: Kindergarten – 4th Grade

These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders’ perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.

The books may be read separately or as a set; readers will enjoy tracking small details that carry over from one book to another. These books on bullying each conclude with “activity club” pages for kids, as well as information to help parents, teachers, counselors, and other adults reinforce the books’ messages and foster dialogue with children.

Download “A Leader’s Guide to the Weird Series”

Book cover for Wonder

Wonder

Order From:
Random House

By R.J. Palacio

Suggested Audiences: 5th – 7th grade

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. Wonder by R.J. Palacio begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness"—indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Sign the pledge to “Be Kind”

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