Bullies and gossipers. Oh boy, I just have one word- "Ugh". Unfortunately, you will probably encounter them at some point in life. So, I have a few books to help you facilitate some meaningful class discussions on these two topics.
Bully by Patricia Polacco
Well, I happen to love ALL things Patricia Polacco, but this book really is wonderful for opening up discussions about bullying, and especially cyber bullying. The story centers around Lyla who is the new girl in town. She immediately forms a friendship with another new kid named Jaime. Lyla joins the cheerleading squad and is befriended by a group of popular girls who make fun of other students on Facebook, including Lyla's friend Jaime. Lyla recognizes bully behaviors when she sees them. I won't give the rest away, so you'll have to read the rest yourself. It's a great story about a girl who is brave enough to stand up for her friend.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Such a clever book that uses colors and numbers to teach an important life lesson. In the story, Blue is the quiet one. Red is the hot headed bully who likes to pick on Blue. The other colors- yellow, orange, green, and purple don't like it when Blue is picked on by Red, but they aren't sure what to do or what to say. So, they do nothing. That is until One comes along and shows them how to stand together and make their voice count. By using colors and numbers in such a simple way, Kathryn Otoshi, teaches readers about acceptance and how it takes just ONE person to make a difference.
Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna
Yes, that's right. Madonna. You heard me right. THE Material Girl. In case you didn't already know, Madonna, along with writing a billion hit songs, also writes children's books. And, good ones at that. This particular one is fantastic for teaching about gossip and spreading rumors and how they can cause harm to others reputations. The story is about Mr. Peabody, a teacher and coach, from a small town that gets ostracized when rumors are spread about him. Mr. Peabody takes matters into his own hands, squashes the rumors, and teaches the boy who spread the gossip a valuable life lesson.
All three of these books are great for interactive read alouds. They are memorable books that teach valuable life lessons to students.