Skip to Secondary Page Navigation Skip to main content

Book Club — Middle School

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

Written by Melissa Hart

Suggested Audience: Middle School

Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. Kirkus Reviews writes: “Hart, who has a lisp and a brother with Down syndrome herself, sensitively explores topics such as bullying, economic hardship, and forgiveness. An uplifting story of family, community, and friendship.”

Devin Speaks Up!

Written by Devin W. Moore and Illustrated by Sutekina Ame

Suggested Audience: Middle School

This book is about Devin’s bullying experience, the importance of being okay with being different and loving who you are, and speaking up to someone you trust about being bullied.  Kindness matters and this book encourages kids to be upstanders for each other. It’s not okay to be bullied and we need to embrace each other's differences.

Metal Like Me

Written by D.W. Saur and Illustrated by Danielle Green

Suggested Audience: Middle School

Vinny is a kid just like you, or is he? Vinny is from a family of metalheads and like his parents, he's one too. As a child Vinny was unaware of his family's differences, but as he got older, Vinny noticed that he was, in fact, not like other children. As the years passed, the more Vinny realized that being different is not easy. He noticed people staring, whispering to themselves as he passed, and sometimes shouting insults. Because of the differences, Vinny had a hard time making friends in elementary school. However, the lack of friends did not get him down, and as he entered middle school, Vinny was determined to find friends who were metal like him. Join Vinny as he shares his story of bullying, difference, coping, and perseverance.

Out of My Mind

By Sharon M. Draper

Suggested Audience: Grade 5 and older

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

Confessions of A Former Bully

By Trudy Ludwig

Suggested Audience: Middle School

Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of someone who bullies? Katie never thought of herself as a bully. So what if she excludes kids from games or says some harsh things to her friends every once and a while? It’s not like she ever hits anyone. What’s the big deal? After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she faces consequences for her actions. The consequences help Katie realize that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual perspective of the aggressor, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tips and tools they can use to help identify and overcome emotional bullying. An informative Author’s Note to Parents & Teachers and recommended resources are included.

The Adventures of Emery Jones, Boy Science Wonder

By Charles and Elsheba Johnson and Illustrated by Charles Johnson

Suggested Audiences: 5th – 9th grade

Emery Jones is a genius – he even built a robot butler to do his chores. Despite his brains, however, Emery’s life isn’t easy. The other students don’t understand him, and that makes them lash out at him. When Emery accidentally sends one of the students who bullied him 190 million years back in time, he must figure out how to save him…or even if he wants to.

Told from the perspective of Emery’s best friend, Gabby, The Adventures of Emery Jones is sure to thrill and delight students. Combining an engaging story with real, tough lessons about responsibility and forgiveness, this book is an excellent way to open up discussions with students.


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”

The Offenders

By Jerry Craft with Jaylen Craft and Aren Craft

Suggested Audiences: 5th – 7th grade

Five middle school students as different from each other as they could be have to band together when a freak accident gives them superpowers…with a twist. Instead of super strength or the ability to fly, these students end up taking on the characteristics of the students they used to bully. When the school is in trouble, will they be able to learn from their past mistakes in time to save the school?

Creative, funny, and engaging – this book presents a unique look at the dynamics of bullying. With a diverse cast of characters, the book illustrates that bullying affects everyone – and that the students bullying can change their behavior and make their school a more positive place.

I Am Jack

By Susanne Gervay and Illustrated by Cathy Wilcox

Suggested Audiences: 5th – 7th grade

Jack is an upbeat, happy 11-year old until a bullying situation at school leads to fear, isolation, and shame. Jack tries to handle the situation himself, but it just keeps getting worse. Eventually his friends decide that enough is enough and the adults step in with a plan to help.

Told in Jack’s voice, this book is full of humor and heart. It shows the power of friendship, family, and community to prevent and address bullying. Jack is a unique and engaging narrator that readers can’t help but root for. Parents and teachers will gain insight into students’ perspectives on bullying by sharing and discussing this book with students – and students will relate to Jack’s struggles and triumphs.

Download the teacher’s guide to I Am Jack