Pink Shirt Day 2017 Reading List

February 22, 2017 is Pink Shirt Day. Based on the initiative of two Nova Scotia students, Pink Shirt Day encourages all of us to stand up to bullies. By collectively refusing to tolerate bullying and developing the skills to prevent it, children and adults can help to make the world a better place for themselves and others. To learn more about Pink Shirt Day visit

Celebrate Pink Shirt Day in your classroom or library with Canadian kids’ books.

Picture Books

Artist and Me

The Artist and Me
Written by Shane Peacock
Illustrated by Sophie Casson
Owlkids Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77147-138-1
IL: Ages 5-9 RL: Grades 2-3

Vincent van Gogh | Art | Painting | Bullying | Perspective | Passion

During his life, Vincent van Gogh was mocked for being different. Children and adults alike called him names and laughed at him. Nobody bought his art. But he kept painting. Inspired by these events, this is the fictional confession of one of van Gogh’s bullies — a boy who taunts van Gogh until the day he realizes there is more than one way to see the world.

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Lila and the Crow

Lila and the Crow
Written and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Translated by Paula Ayer
Annick Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-55451-858-6
IL: Ages 5-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Diversity | Conflict Resolution | Bullying | First Nations

Lila has just moved to a new town and can’t wait to make friends at school. But on the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is black like a crow!” Lila is taunted and bullied because of her dark skin and hair. At her lowest point of despair, a magical encounter with the crow opens Lila’s eyes to the beauty of being different, and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.

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Noni Speaks Up

Noni Speaks Up
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Tundra Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77049-839-6
IL: Ages 4-7 RL: Grades 1-2

Bullying | Courage | Choices | Friendship | Peer Pressure

Noni always tries to do the right thing. But she doesn’t know how to help Hector, who is bullied for his name, his size and his glasses. Noni is silent, afraid that the kids will turn on her if she speaks up — but it doesn’t feel very good. Will Noni be brave enough to stand up for a friend against playground bullies? This title is also available in French as Ninon tient bon.

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Tattle-tell Tale

A Tattle-tell Tale: A Story About Getting Help
(I’m a Great Little Kid)
Written by Kathryn Cole
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Second Story Press, 2016
ISBN: 978-1927583920
IL: Ages 5-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Bullying | School Life | Tattling | Asking for Help

Joseph tries to deal with a lunchroom bully. His brownie is taken, then his sandwich. The bully follows him into the bathroom to take his lunch, and Joseph ends up outside eating his lunch all alone. Finally, Joseph goes to the principal’s office where he learns the difference between tattling and telling.

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Junior & Intermediate Fiction

Boy Named Queen

A Boy Named Queen
Written by Sara Cassidy
Groundwood Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-55498-905-8
IL: Ages 8-11 RL: Grades 3-4

Bullying | Friendship | Conformity | Tolerance

Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to Grade 5 and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. She takes particular notice of him — he seems to live by his own set of rules and remains unfazed by the bullies that try to taunt him.

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Written by Deborah Kerbel
Kids Can Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77138-341-7
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Family | Bullying | Loss | Loneliness | Friendship | Hope | Cultural Barriers

For 11-year-old Finch, there couldn’t be a better time to fly away from her life. Her family is falling apart, and her best friend has dropped her. When her desperate bathroom graffiti message is answered, Finch stops feeling so alone, and a new friendship begins. But her new friend is secretive, and when those secrets lead to trouble, Finch knows that flying away is not an option.

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Jane, the Fox & Me

Jane, the Fox & Me
Written by Fanny Britt
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou
Groundwood Books, 2013
ISBN 978-1-55498-360-5
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 5-6

Bullying | Friendship

Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies. Her loving mother is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and on a trip to nature camp she makes a friend. This title is also available in French as Jane, le renard & moi.

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Power of Harmony

The Power of Harmony
Written by Jan L. Coates
Red Deer Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-88995-495-3
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 5-6

Bullying | Racism | Friendship | Music

Living in Springhill, Nova Scotia, during the 1960s, Jennifer becomes a target for bullying when her best friend moves away. When a new girl named Melody joins the class, she becomes the new victim. Jennifer must overcome racial prejudices as she becomes friends with Melody through their shared love of reading, books and music.

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Young Adult Fiction


Written by Darren Hynes
Razorbill Canada, 2013
ISBN 978-0-14-318714-1
IL: Ages 15 and up RL: Grades 10-11

Bullying | Courage | Friendship | Letters

Relentlessly bullied Wayne Pumphrey wishes for a lot of things. He wishes he were courageous enough to actually send the letters he writes to friends and family but most of all he wishes that Pete “the Meat” would leave him alone. When Wayne is rescued by Marjorie Pope one morning, an unlikely friendship develops. But the bully now has plans for both of them… and nothing will ever be the same again.

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Hannah Both Ways

Hannah Both Ways
Written by Rosie Greenway
Rebelight Publishing, 2015
ISBN 978-0-9948399-4-7
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10

Bullying | Friendship | Teen Romance | Trust | Resilience

A devastating Twitter prank yanks Hannah out of the popular crowd and turns her into the high school’s best bad joke. Determined to graduate, Hannah keeps the humiliating details from her mother. She takes refuge in the library until the new student, Lucas, invades her space. Can Hannah trust him, or is he part of another ploy to torment her?

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Living with the Hawk (2)

Living with the Hawk
Written by Robert Currie
Thistledown Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1-927068-39-7
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 8-9

Bullying | Racism | Football | Alcohol

Blake Russell always looked out for his younger brother, Blair, until they reached high school and began playing football. Blake, a senior and a quarterback, moved in different circles with friends who partied, bullied younger players and abused the girls they dated. As the differences between the two brothers become more pronounced, a body is discovered in a field north of town, severing the brotherly bond and dividing the Russell family forever.

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The Throne
Written by Beth Goobie
Red Deer Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-88995-496-0
IL: Ages 12-15 RL: Grade 7

Friendship | High School | Bullying

Meredith is determined to make her mark in Grade 10, but that decision brings her unwanted attention
from the school’s “kingpin of the underworld.” Her new enemy is smart, determined and capable of holding a long-term grudge. With the help of her two best friends, she will have to find a way to stand up for herself and survive high school with her dignity intact.

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Bullying: Deal With It Before Push Comes to Shove
(Deal With It)
Written by Elaine Slavens
Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
James Lorimer, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4594-0653-7
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 5-6

Bullying | Coping Strategies | Choices | Responsibility

Kids deal with bullying in its many forms on a daily basis. This newly revised and updated title includes resources, checklists, quizzes and comics to give kids the know-how to deal with bullying — as targets, witnesses or even bullies themselves. An engaging approach to a complex and all-too-common problem.

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Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying
(Take a Stand Against Bullying)
Written by Rachel Stuckey
Crabtree Publishing, 2013
ISBN 978-0-7787-7918-6
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 5-6

Cyber Bullying | Social Media | Bullying Prevention

Cyber bullying can include acts like posting rumours, threats or other hurtful comments on social networking sites or circulating inappropriate pictures of a person on the Internet. This book provides a revealing look at cyber bullying and explains how it is different from other forms of bullying. Other topics include the potential legal issues related to electronic harassment, responsible digital citizenship, online security and how to take a stand against cyber bullying.

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To This Day

To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful
Written by Shane Koyczan
Illustrated by various artists
Annick Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-55451-639-1
IL: Ages 11 and up RL: Grades 6-8

Poetry | Bullying | Memoir | Anger | Self-Esteem | Acceptance

Spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan electrified the world with his passionate anti-bullying poem, which went viral on YouTube. Now his poem has been adapted into a powerful and visually arresting book with illustrations by 30 international artists. Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colours and words that will resonate with anyone who has experienced bullying, whether as a victim, observer or participant.

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We Want You to Know

We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying
Written by Deborah Ellis
Coteau Books, 2010
ISBN 978-1-55050-417-0
IL: Ages 11 and up RL: Grades 6-7

Bullying | Bullying in Schools | Anti-Bullying Programs

In this thoughtful and candid book, author Deborah Ellis asks students aged nine to 19 to talk about their experiences with bullying. The kids raise questions about the way parents, teachers and school administrators cope with bullies as well as which methods have helped them and which have not. Some students reveal how they have overcome their fear to become advocates for the rights of others. A teacher’s guide is available online at

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Professional Resource for Teachers

Bully Go Round

The Bully-Go-Round: Literacy and Arts Strategies for Promoting Bully Awareness in the Classroom
Written by Larry Swartz
Pembroke Publishers, 2013
ISBN 978-1-55138-285-2
IL: Adult

Bullying | Literacy | The Arts

This book advocates the use of various literacy and arts strategies to promote bullying awareness and aid teachers and students alike in reaching a better understanding of the issues that surround bullying. This handy flipbook includes more than 35 class activities, along with resource lists and discussion prompts. It has been written for teachers of Grades 4 to 12.

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