Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant

At Welcoming Schools, we believe that books can not only provide students with mirrors of their own lives and windows into those of others, but can be used as teaching tools to build empathy and encourage ally behavior. This National Bullying Prevention Month, we invite you to take a look at our recommended book lists to prevent bias-based bullying.

Our team carefully reviewed each book for its quality, grade level appropriateness, diversity of characters and authors, and themes of inclusivity. In addition to our list of books to engage students on bias and bullying, we’ve cultivated lists specifically on bullying as it relates to skin color, immigration status, LGBTQ topics and gender. We also have a number of books that highlight the power of allies.

Need a place to start? Consider these Welcoming Schools staff favorites:

1) One: Hothead red picks on quiet color Blue. The other colors don’t know what to do until One shows them how to stand up and stick together.

2) Each Kindness: Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually she stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship.

3) Wonder: Auggie was born with a facial anomaly that prevented him from attending a mainstream school until 5th grade. Wonder, told from multiple perspectives, highlights different character’s struggles with empathy and acceptance.

Books have the power to teach, transport and nourish. By sharing books that spark discussion about diversity and respect and promote empowered allyship, teachers can harness the transformative power of literature to the benefit of all the students in their care.

HRC's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools by embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.
 


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