"Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" by Patty Lovell is another good book to use when discussing bullying and standing up for yourself. In this story, Molly is a small child who looks different from her friends. Her grandmother tells her to stand tall and the world will love you. She moves towns and is bullied by a boy named Ronald Durkin at her new school, but she never lets him get her down. She just shows him what she can do and in the end they become friends. I would use this story for any elementary grade to spread awareness about bullying and teach a lesson about always being yourself. It also sends a message to never judge one another based on the way someone looks or talks. Molly Lou Melon gets judged by her new friends and bullied just because she is different. Reading this story on one of the first few days of school could present an opportunity to set up a quick meet and greet in the classroom. Depending on the number of students depends on how you would set up how they can rotate and meet each other. They could have a minute or 2 to share three things that say who they are. Then rotate until everyone has had a chance to talk and meet everyone in the class. This would be better than having all the students stand or get in front of the class to introduce themselves, because some students may be really shy at first. Doing this gives the students an opportunity to talk and share themselves with each other so they can all have a connection from the beginning and know they are all friends in that classroom. There are several other books that would work for this as well, but this story sends a great message.
Guided Reading Level: L
Suggested Grade Level: K-2