Bullying is still a very common issue out there. More popular during school years, it may also extend and target adults later on in life. Books about bullying represent a good source of information for those who struggle with it or want to combat the phenomenon. You do not necessarily need to focus on educational materials or scientific research, but bullying novels can be just as helpful. Here are some of the top-rated books on the market.

If Grace Is Dead I Killed Her, by T. G. Starr

Maddie Hunter is desperate for attention. She wants to feel like she belongs somewhere. Her mother neglected her due to alcohol and random hookups, so her childhood was covered in sorrow and bitterness. She develops into an aggressive young lady who simply strikes at everyone around her. One thing seems to change her life when she falls for a new boy in town.

While happiness finally finds a bit of room in her life, bad behavior takes her back where she started – a dead end with no future prospects. She only has one thing in mind now – revenge. Her malice goes to unprecedented levels and even gets her in trouble with the school officials. Her rage randomly settles on a local nerd.

Unfortunately, her actions seem to go in the wrong direction and may even lead to death. Can Maddie turn herself around and save lives instead? Can she get back on track and actually prevent herself from reaching self-destruction?

Face, by Benjamin Zephaniah

Available in both hardcover and digital formats, Face is one of the best books about bullying. Not only is it actual, but it also targets real life issues that plenty of people might have gone through. The book features a clear message about bullying and teenagers will inevitably find themselves as they go through its chapters.

The subject will give readers plenty of things to think about. It is not just an enjoyable read, but it is also a book about prejudice and everyday challenges. The story follows a young man – Martin, whose bravery can inspire everyone around. It teaches readers a highly valuable lesson of life and can come at the perfect time in a teenager’s life.

The story is soul searching and teaches youngsters how to react to disfigurement. It is quite sensitive and emotional at times, as well as complicated and difficult to read for some – definitely a must-read for those who want a life story.

Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood

Cat’s Eye is one of the most inspiring YA novels for women. It tells Elaine’s story. The painter has quite a few controversies regarding her life and artwork. One day, she decides to return to Toronto – the city where she grew up. Memories come back to life and she suddenly remembers three girls who introduced her to what childhood means.

They taught her everything about bonding, loyalty and betrayal. Elaine is no longer a child now. She is an adult. She is a daughter, but also an artist and a lover. She is a woman from all points of view. At this point, it could be the perfect time to forget about those haunting memories and get back on track – back to herself again.

The book is often full of humor and can put a smile on your face, but there are also times when it becomes disturbing. It is compassionate and can show people how to cut their ties from the past in order to reveal their full potential.

Only Ever Yours, by Louise O'Neill

It is said that women are created for men to enjoy them. While a controversial unwritten rule, it indirectly affects women – every girl wants to be beautiful in order to feel attractive. In this book, girls are no longer born the classic way. They are trained in particular schools in order to learn how to pleasure men – just until the right age comes.

The story follows Isabel and Freida – two good friends who are now 16 years old and ready to become women. At this point, they are ready to be chosen as wives for powerful men. Their goal? Keeping among the most beautiful girls in the school. Should they fail to become wives, they will end up as concubines or teachers in the school – not the best scenario.

The last year puts pressure on Isabel, who goes on a self-destructing venture and risks her beauty. When the boys finally get there to choose their brides, Freida must do whatever it takes to succeed – even if that means betraying her best friend.

Blubber, by Judy Blume

This is one of the deepest books about bullying. Bullying is terrible, indeed. However, this book shows that true friendship is worth every battle you might encounter in life. All in all, this story follows Linda. She is in school and preparing a new class project. She ends up reading it loud in front of the classroom, but she gets the bad reaction.

Instead of appreciating it, pretty much everyone finds it funny. Her appearance might have something to do with it. Linda is overweight and there is not much she can do about it overnight. It is a bad joke, but it eventually leads to a continuous ritual of humiliation. From all those people, Jill is the only one who feels bad for Linda.

Jill is too scared to do anything – she would rather go with the crowd. At some point, she decides to stand up and confront the bullies. Inevitably, she ends up as the next victim. To make it even worse, Linda is now on the bullies’ side because she likes the feeling of being left alone.

Art of Being Normal, by Lisa Williamson

This is one of the most actual YA novels for women and targets a series of modern challenges. Leo Denton is on his first day at a new school – he just wants to be invisible. However, the prettiest girl in the class ends up eyeing him – not really his plan. It sounds great, but Leo is a trans guy. He has not come out of the closet yet at the new school.

One day, Leo breaks a fight and stands up for a classmate. The two become friends by a beautiful coincidence – she is a trans girl. Ready for the transition, Kate is aiming to live a life without any secrets and drama at all. Both Leo and Kate are in the same boat. They are surrounded by bigots, but their friendship will help them overcome all obstacles.

The story follows two modern teenagers struggling to be normal in the UK. The author wrote it based on personal experience, after working in the national health service in a department dealing with teenagers trying to assess their gender identity.

The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi

This book is among the most touching books about bullying, especially as it stands out in the crowd with its Asian influences. Being new in a school is a challenging experience. You have no idea what to do and you are desperately trying to find an identity or perhaps a comfort zone. Things are even worse when no one is able to pronounce your name.

Unhei has just moved from Korea. She knows she will struggle to fit in, but she aims to do her best. Instead of telling everyone her real name, she comes up with a few American names, throws them in a jar and picks one. Whether it comes to Amanda, Suzy or Laura, Unhei realizes that none of these names feels comfortable enough.

A new friend decides to help the young girl feel comfortable with her name. This story is about being yourself, but also about being proud of where you come from.

Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson

This book aims to make the world a bit better and it does an excellent job at it. It has a powerful message that can seriously dig into one’s personal beliefs. Plus, it comes with some incredible art – a must-have in every house. It will resonate with you even after you are done reading it.

Maya is a new girl. However, no one wants to play with her – especially Chloe and her best friends. Whenever Maya tries to join the group, she gets rejected. At some point, disappointed by constant rejections, Maya decides she no longer wants to go to school.

One day, everything changes for Chloe when the teacher explains how small acts of kindness can change the world. Chloe is now disappointed by her behavior, as well as the opportunity to get to know Maya.


Bottom line, these are some of the most touching books about bullying out there. Whether it comes to novels for young adults or stories for teenagers, these books will give you a valuable lesson of life. A bit of kindness can change the world for someone, even if it means nothing to you. Bullying is unnecessary and there is nothing positive coming out of it. If you are looking for more YA fiction books checkout our contemporary YA book list.

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