If You Like Stories About Bullying

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. In honor of Bullying Prevention Month, this week’s post features recommendations for books, movies, TV shows, and music related bullying.

If you like stories about bullying, you might like


Recommended by Kari @ A Good Addiction:

  • Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: By far my all time favorite book, no book has ever gutted and affected me like this one. Focusing on Peter, a 17 year old boy who goes on a nineteen minute shooting spree at his high school. But, all his life, he’s been bullied. This book left me emotionally damaged for literally a week or more after I finished, but it is one of the most powerful books around. Read it.
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown: Again, bullying. Again school shooting. Except, this is focused on the girlfriend of the guy who brought the gun to school, and the torment definitely does not end because he snapped. Again, visceral and powerful, it’s not an easy book to swallow but one I think everyone needs to.
  • Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen: Okay, I admit, this one is a very, very male book, but it is still absolutely powerful and gutting and gripping, and a fantastic case of not only roid rage but jock bullying.
  • Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde: More bullying, only this time, the narrator isn’t the one that is as drastic, per se.
  • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers: This isn’t the weak being picked on. Nope. The tables are now turned on one of the mean girls, cast out from her little group.
  • Dear Bully edited by Megan Kelley Hall & Carrie Jones: A compilation from 70 YA authors, each with their own stories to tell. If you can’t handle a bunch of emotion at once, you can still do this one because they are all short overall.

Recommended by April @ Good Books and Good Wine:

Recommended by Ashley @ Book Labyrinth:

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: I think what’s important about this book is that is shows how even things that appear unimportant or small can have a huge effect on someone’s life.
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown: Incredibly powerful and thought provoking.
  • Dear Bully edited by Megan Kelley Hall & Carrie Jones: An obvious entry, but a very important one because of all the personal stories it contains.
  • Good Girls by Laura Ruby: About finding strength, moving past very difficult situations, and even re-examining yourself and your preconceived notions of others.
  • Shine by Lauren Myracle: A book about prejudice, hate, abuse, and loss: Cat tries to uncover the truth about a vicious hate crime.
  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen: Not a “bullying book” necessarily, but it shows how being ostracized is a different form of bullying.
  • The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver #1) by E. Lockhart: You will fall in love with Ruby and empathize with her as she deals with her reputation at school and the loss of her friends.

Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • Dear Bully edited by Megan Kelley Hall & Carrie Jones: 70 authors come together to tell their stories of bullies.
  • Endgame by Nancy Gardner: Gray is bullied ruthlessly. The only way he can think to stop it is to bring his father’s gun to school.
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: One girl sends 13 people tapes detailing the reasons she holds them responsible for her suicide.
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Harry hasn’t had a easy life at home and learning he’s famous in a different world doesn’t always work in his favor.
  • Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick: Four girls and their mothers come together to form a mother/daughter book club. Unexpectedly, a fifth girl turns up invited by their mothers – Becca. Becca hasn’t been the nicest girl and some of the girls have a hard time letting her into their circle and trusting her.
  • The Clique by Lisi Harrison: Massie can’t stand the thought of having to pal around with Claire, who doesn’t live up to her fashion or friend standards.
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Something happened to Melinda at a party, which causes her to clam up and every one else to hate her.


Recommended by April @ Good Books and Good Wine:

  • Angus: It’s from the 1990s and has a young James Van Der Beek.
  • The New Guy: Comedy, but with a great message.
  • Pretty In Pink: Main character gets bullied at school.
  • Mean Girls: I love it with the fire of a thousand suns.

Recommended by Ashley @ Book Labyrinth:

  • Mean Girls: So, this movie is hilarious, but I think it provides a pretty honest look at cliques and how girls treat each other.
  • Carrie: A supernatural look at the whole “You might want to think twice before you bully someone…” message.

Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

Recommended by Isaiah @ From Yes:

  • Pretty In Pink: Yes, this is a love story. Yes, this movie basically just rehashes the Cinderella tale. However, next time you watch this John Hughes classic, notice how much James Spader’s conniving rich-kid character is a catalyst for all of the heartbreak in the film. In fact, he has a physical and/or emotional altercation with every principle character. And there’s nothing creepier than a bully in a white-linen suit. And loafers. (Loafers!)
  • The Curiosity of Chance: Attending a new high-school, Chance becomes the target of bullies because he is out and proud. This 2006 teen-comedy has some wonderful and funny moments including a smelly militaristic principle, fabulous drag shows, and lots of secret missions. The sentimental moments fall flat, but humor keeps the film afloat. Not to mention, Chance and his friends make a charming band of misfits.

TV Shows

Recommended by Ashley @ Book Labyrinth:

  • Veronica Mars: This epic show is about a lot more than bullying, but there are several episodes I can think of off the top of my head that deal with the issue. Plus bullying comes into the show with how Veronica is treated by her old friends and in the general “class war” theme of the show.
  • Ugly Betty: Betty is always judged on her appearance, and how she gets treated working at a fashion magazine is definitely an adult form of bullying.


Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • Mean” by Taylor Swift

Recommended by Isaiah @ From Yes:

  • Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos: This album is not exactly about bullying, but about Amos standing up to the many aggressors that plagued her youth. On this album, she faces the many authority figures, lovers, and strangers whose violence is part of her history. “Crucify,” “Precious Things,” and “Me and a Gun” in particular made this album a watershed moment for alternative music, the 90s female singer/songwriter movement, and confessional songwriting.
  • The Bachelor by Patrick Wolf: An aggressive mix of pop, folk, electro-clash, and disco, this album addresses homophobia and heartbreak with balls-to-wall anger. On the song, “Battle,” Wolf tells the listener to “battle the homophobe but battle without war… yes, it’s time for some victory.”

What are your favorite books, movies, tv shows, or music related to bullying? Please share your own recommendations in the comments!

If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.

12 Responses to "If You Like Stories About Bullying"

  • The title of this one seems a bit like an oxymoron! I’m not sure any of us like stories about bullying but they are heck-a important aren’t they?? Great resource as usual Melanie. Are you sure you aren’t going to become a librarian?

    1 Sarah said this (October 3, 2011 at 9:43 AM)

    • I know! I had that issue before with the stories about teen pregnancy post (and I think a couple others). I’m not sure we “like” reading or watching that kind of stuff, but I haven’t figured out a better way of titling it within the context of these posts….but you all know what I mean 😉

      2 Melanie said this (October 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM)

  • I was also laughing at the title. Noo I don’t LIKE reading about bullying, but yes, there are definitely some important stories out there. =)

    3 Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said this (October 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM)

    • Alright. We’ll mentally retitle this one “If you don’t like reading stories about bullying, but find it important, then you might like…”

      4 Melanie said this (October 3, 2011 at 12:19 PM)

  • Yah it’s definitely an awkward phrasing with some subjects but it totally makes sense to keep with the IYL theme.

    5 Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said this (October 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM)

  • Didn’t see Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun mentioned. Other than that, looks like a great list!

    6 Annette said this (October 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM)

  • The Fat Boy Chronicles, based on a true story, book and movie were used at the high school in our community as part of an anti-bullying program

    7 Keith said this (October 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM)

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