The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is a Newbery Honor Book and a timeless classic about bullying and its effects on everyone involved. The book focuses on three little girls who take on the roles of bully, victim, and bystander. It teaches a powerful lesson on the importance of standing up for others. Although The Hundred Dresses is assigned a 3rd grade DRA level, I consider the theme (and vocabulary) to be much better suited to older children.
At the beginning, the students do not share my enthusiasm. Every year without fail, students groan and complain when I introduce The Hundred Dresses to the class. I've been told that it looks like a "baby book" or a "book for girls" and it's going to be "boring". However, by the end of the book they always beg for it not to be over and ask if there is a movie or a sequel!
I have the version that includes a foreword by the author's daughter but I don't read this to the students until we have finished the book, and this is for two reasons. The first is that it gives away the plot of the story! The second reason is that she reveals that the story is semi-autobiographical and tells us which of the characters her mother modelled after herself. This knowledge is much more meaningful (and poignant) after we get to know the characters.
I've created a number of resources to go along with this book. The first is a set of short-answer chapter review questions that I use for classwork and sometimes for assessment. There are 7 pages (one for each chapter) and answer guides are included.