Bullies

Leo the Late Bloomer

By Robert Kraus and Jose Aruego

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Leo the tiger cub doesn't seem to be good at doing anything in particular, but supported with his parents' love and patience he does eventually bloom and find his place in the world.
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Word Nerd

By Susin Nielsen

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When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich, friendless nerd Ambrose, forced to be home-schooled by his overprotective mother, coerces his neighbor Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where people accept him for who he is. 

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The Liberation of Gabriel King

By K.L. Going

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Soon-to-be fifth-grader Gabriel spends his summer trying to overcome fears of spiders and sixth graders, but when his best friend is threatened with a Ku Klux Klan visit, fear takes on a very different look.

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Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop

By Mary Quattlebaum

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His plot in a community garden brings 10-year-old Jackson Jones more zucchini than he cares to see and the unwanted attention of a bully, but when a company plans to destroy the garden, Jackson turns his attention to trying to save it.

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Hidden Talents

By David Lubar

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When thirteen-year-old Martin arrives at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, he falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself.
 

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Don't Call Me Ishmael

By Michael Gerard Bauer

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Unlike underdog Ishmael, new student James—quirky and independent—turns the tables on the class bully instead of avoiding him. An intrepid English teacher and some unlikely comrades round out this cheeky but touching Australian tale. 

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Eleanor Estes: A Childhood Shared

Eleanor Ruth Rosenfeld (Estes) loved to tell stories to children. She began by working as a children's assistant in her hometown library, but when she became sick with tuberculosis, she spent the quiet days of her recovery writing down her childhood memories as a series of stories for young readers.

In The Moffats, a terrific family, growing up during tough times in Cranbury, Connecticut in the 1910s, face calamity when the landlord puts a "For Sale" sign on their beloved yellow house. Janey's widowed mother works as a seamstress every day to put food on the table, coal in the grate, and clothes on their backs, but there isn't enough money left to buy a home. Week after week, month after month, the kids--fifteen-year-old Sylvie, twelve-year-old Joey, nine-year-old Janey, and five-year-old Rufus--expect the worst: that someone will buy their house, and then what will happen?

Katherine Paterson's Healing Words

Best known for her Newbery Award-winning books, Jacob Have I Loved, as well as Newbery Honor winner, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson's very personal style of storytelling strikes nerves with her readers, who are able feel her characters' emotions, giving them practice for dealing with life's sorrows. What keeps her books from being simple studies in misery is her ability to find the humor and grace in any situation.

From the Mixed Up Files of E.L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg has always loved reading. As a girl, she discovered the magic of The Secret Garden and learned about life in a middle-class English family from Mary Poppins. These stories became part of her childhood, and, as she relates in her excellent book of essays, TalkTalk: A Children's Author Speaks to Grown-ups, classic stories become a bridge between today's children and earlier generations.

What she was looking for as a child and did not find, was a reflection of her life in a Pennsylvania mill town. In classic books, the mothers were just that. The women in Elaine's neighborhood worked as maids for extra money. In classic tales, there were maids, but they were always on the sidelines, and the classroom rolls were filled with Smith's, Jones', Edwards', and the like. Where were the Ravinsky's, Machotka's, and Spinelli's?

Mary Downing Hahn: Woman of Mysteries

When Mary Downing Hahn writes a book, she works along steadily until that magic moment when the characters develop their own voices. Whether it's a mean-mouthed boy who is hiding family secrets or a girl who is terrified of the ghostly presence haunting her small step-sister, this author's characters tell their own stories both believably and intriguingly.