The week of January 21st through January 25th is No Name Calling Week. In recognition of these days, I wrote an article highlighting books on friendship and kindness.
Hopefully you can find some inspiring titles to share with the little ones in your life…
Books for No-Name Calling Week
When I heard the word bully, I used to picture a middle school boy, looming on the playground, ready to throw a punch. As the mother of two elementary aged girls, I now know that this was naïve thinking. My oldest daughter met a ‘mean girl’ in first grade and was deep into the world of cliques and name-calling by the time she was in third grade.
Unfortunately, my daughter’s experience is not usual. According to the New York Times, in an article originally published in 2010, a survey of 273 third graders in Massachusetts found that 47 percent of children had been bullied at least once and that 52 percent had reported being called mean names.
Given what I now know about bullying, I take every opportunity I can to model and talk about kindness with my girls. Keeping an open line of communication with children is crucial to understanding the role that your child may play in social situations. While some children will open up easily with parents, some do better when talking about others.
I find that the best way to communicate with my children about difficult issues is to read with them. Below is a collection of recent books that focus on bullying, kindness and caring for elementary aged children. These titles would be perfect to read anytime but especially during “No Name Calling Week” scheduled for January 21st to January 25th.
Kindergarten & First Grade
A Sick Day for Amos McGee- Philip Stead
Chrysanthemum- Kevin Henkes
Molly Lou Melon- Patty Lovell
The Name Jar- Yangsook Choi
The Recess Queen- Alexis O’Neill
Second & Third Grade
Bully- Patricia Polacco
Each Kindness- Jacqueline Woodson
Goal!- Mina Javaherbin
Oliver- Birgitta Sif
The Quiet Place- Sarah Stewart
Fourth & Fifth Grade:
Inside Out and Back Again- Thanha Lai
Liar and Spy- Rebecca Stead
Out of My Mind- Sharon Draper
There’s a Girl in the Boy’s Bathroom- Louis Sacher
Wonder- R.J. Palacio