25 Children’s Books That Inspire Empathy

Written by

Sara Langer

10:00 am
07/09/18

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. And that ability is not something we are born with, it is a characteristic we develop over time and learn through example. Reading, of course, is an excellent way to cultivate empathy and develop moral imagination. “Books can transport children to other worlds and transform their hearts. And it’s a rare parent who doesn’t believe that reading is crucial for their children’s success, and widespread data supports those views,” says author and “empathy expert,” Dr. Michele Borba, whom we interviewed for our piece on the ropes of teaching children empathy, no matter their age. Fun Fact: While reading is one of the keys to academic success, it will not only make your children smarter, it can also make them kinder. Read together, ask questions about the characters, specifically their feelings, and encourage your children to ask questions, too. To help you get started, we’ve compiled 25 childrens books about empathy that are sure to inspire, below.

For more roundups on great kids books, check out our pieces on 16 Great Sex Ed Books For Kids, Tweens, and Teens, 18 Great Kids Books About Gender, 20+ Feminist Books For Kids, Kids Books That Encourage Healthy Eating, and The Most Beautiful Childrens Books To Give (Or Receive) As Gifts.

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