The Circle of Respect Book Club:
Taking a Bite out of Bullying
The Circle of Respect Book Club developed by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is an exciting resource for both youth and adults that provides a list of books to reinforce the message of respect as a strategy to use against bullying. Research supports the dramatic negative effects that bullying and cyberbullying have on students, and the Circle of Respect Program, supported by the Book Club, can serve a crucial role in reversing attitudes that must be changed. The old idea that bullying is part of growing up or a rite of passage for kids to go through should no longer be tolerated.
The Book Club includes books appropriate to students of a variety of age levels, as well as works geared toward parents, educators, or any adults with an interest in these topics. The selections were designed to promote national discussion as well as intimate discussions between family members, friends, and within classrooms and workplaces. See the full list of books in the Book Club.
Some selections include books directed to elementary and middle school readers, such as
- Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories - Ouisie Shapiro and photographer Steven Vote
- Mackenzie Blue - Tina Wells
- Confessions of a Former Bully - Trudy Ludwig
- Good-Bye Bully Machine - Allan Beane
Some of the books directed to middle and high school students include
- The Skin I'm In - Sharon Flake
- Poison Ivy - Amy Goldman Koss
- Hot Issues, Cool Choices - Sandra McLeod Humphrey
- Another Life Altogether - Elaine Beale
In addition, the Book Club highlights books directed toward teachers and other adults about preventing bullying and fostering respect—works by authorities such as
- Journalist Deborah Norville
- Author and educator Rachel Simmons
- Professor P.M.Froni, who founded the Johns Hopkins Civility Club
- Dr. Sameer Hinduja , criminologist and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center
- Sociologist and documentary-maker Sudhir Venkatesh, who took to the streets to join a gang and become one of its leaders.
More mature students in late middle school and high school might also be exposed to these books.
The books are supported by interviews with the authors, about such topics as helpful strategies that can be used to address bullying issues and the importance of parent involvement and modeling of respectful behavior. Podcasts of the author interviews are available for download.
Teachers can also take advantage of the following teaching tips, with recommendations for pre- and post-reading preparation, questions, and activities that can be used for any book in this reading program:
Book Club Teaching Tips (PDF)
Return to the Circle of Respect Educator’s Guide.