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13 New Books For Building A Culture Of Kindness


October is National Bullying Prevention Month. In today's blog, Reba Wadsworth and Lester Laminack share 13 new books as a supplemental list to the 25 core books featured in Bullying Hurts.

by Reba Wadsworth and Lester Laminack

reba-bullyingIn Bullying Hurts (2012) we offer a plan for building a culture of kindness through read aloud experiences and guided conversations. We included 25 core books (5 titles in each of 5 layers) and a list of additional titles as alternatives. In this post we share several new titles to update your list.

Layer 1 & 2

Who We Are by Robie H. Harris
This story invites readers to explore how each human is unique even if we look alike (twins or family members) or dress alike.

Layer 2

Felix Stands Tall by Rosemary Wells
Felix and Fiona are complete opposites. One is quiet the other bold. When Felix agrees to enter the talent show as a dancer with Fiona classmates become bullies to make fun of him. But bold Fiona quickly steps up to take care of the bullies.

Layer 3

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
This wordless picture book demonstrates what kindness and generosity look like. When a young clown is bounced off a passing train an older farmer comes to his aid. The farmer extends his kindness to the young clown and helps return him to the train.

Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox
What does peace look like? It looks like a helping hand to others: a birthday invitation, a kiss on the cheek, or a kind word. This short read will help students focus on the impact of positive choices.

If Kids Ran the World by Leo and Diane Dillon
Readers see kids from all over the globe working together to make the world a kinder more generous place. It is a perfect companion to Peace is an Offering.

Layer 4

The Invisible Boy by Patrice Barton
Brian is the "invisible" boy who is always left out by his classmates until the day a new boy arrives. Readers discover the transformative power of reaching out to include others.

Goal by Mina Javaherbin
A group of boys in South Africa earned a federation-sized soccer ball. While playing together a group of bullies attempt to take the ball, but the boys guard it carefully.

Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
This story, based on events from the childhood of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, reveals the barb of hurtful words and the more powerful force of forgiveness.

Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen
Big Mean Mike is the meanest dog in the neighborhood and everyone knows it. But one day four little fuzzy bunnies show up in Big Mike’s world and turn it upside down. He’s still Big Mean Mike but somehow he falls for those cute bunnies and dares anyone to laugh at them.

Layer 5

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi
Zero watches each day as the other numbers line up to count. She longs to count, too. Zero discovers her value when she stands next to others to make them more than they can be alone.

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann
Rose longs for a star but those seem to be given for spelling and neatness and raising your hand. Rose discovers that her strengths are also valued.

All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant
Each morning brings fresh opportunities and hope for better things to happen. Each of us can make choices to be kind and make the world a better place.

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison
This short and simple story shows how we can go from ordinary to extraordinary even when we are surrounded by people who shine in everything they attempt to do.


October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Further reading:

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Reba Wadsworth, a former elementary classroom teacher, guidance counselor, and principal, now works as an independent consultant.  She has conducted numerous literacy workshops at the local, state, national and international level.

Lester Laminack is Professor Emeritus of literacy education at Western Carolina University. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide, Bullying Hurts, and Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum.

Their new book Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction Into Writing Opportunities is out now.

Topics: Early Childhood Education, Education Policy, Empathy, Parent, Bullying, Bullying Hurts, Inclusivity, Intervention, Lester Laminack, National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Reba Wadsworth

Date Published: 10/28/15

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