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Tackling bullying: short chapter and middle grade books

Invisible Vinnie, Matilda, There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom

One out of every five school-age children report being bullied* and it is a difficult experience. These titles tackle the themes of bullying and are suitable for school-age children.

Rafaella finds it hard to make friends when she starts at a new school. Her name sounds strange, her ears stick out, she feels different from the others. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her Earwig. But then a secret friendship begins.

Rose wishes Zack wasn't always teasing her at school. Then her Uncle Vinnie conjures up a magic way of stopping him. Ratty, the classroom pet might look like just a cute rat to Rose, but, as bully-boy Zack finds out, there's more to this little furry rodent than meets the eye.

Bradley Chalkers is a bad lot! He lies, he gets into fights, no one wants to be his friend and he is all alone. Until, that is, he meets the delightful new school counsellor, Carla, and she persuades Bradley that he can change.

This title is also available on OverDrive.

Frank doesn't know how to feel when Nick Underbridge rescues her from bullies one afternoon. No one likes Nick. He's big, he's weird and he smells - or so everyone in Frank's class thinks. And yet, there's something nice about Nick's house. There's strange music playing there, and it feels light and good and makes Frank feel happy for the first time in forever. But there's more to Nick, and to his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn't the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help.

Matilda's parents have called her some terrible things. The truth is, she's a genius and they're the stupid ones. Find out how she gets the better of them and her spiteful headmistress, as well as discovering that she has a very special power.

This title is also available on OverDrive.

Max is used to being called Stupid. And he is used to everyone being scared of him. On account of his size and looking like his dad. Kevin is used to being called Dwarf. On account of his size and being some cripple kid. But greatness comes in all sizes, and together Max and Kevin become 'Freak The Mighty' and walk high above the world.

It's easy to bully someone, especially when they're weak and different, and everyone else joins in the game. That's why they all call Linda 'Blubber', including Jill. Jill can't stop joining in, even though she can see how much Linda is hurting.

David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: 'Pottymouth' and 'Stoopid' are still stuck with the names - and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true. So how do they go about changing everyone's minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs - it shows that the worst bullying doesn't have to be physical, and that things will get better.

*National Centre for Educational Statistics, 2019