Best Empathy Books
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The Best Books About Empathy Of All-Time

“What are the best books about Empathy?” We looked at 356 of the top Empathy books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 37 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Empathy” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 300+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!

Top 37 Empathy Books

37 .) A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

A Sick Day for Amos McGeeLists It Appears On:

  • Teacher Blog
  • We Are Teachers

Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day—”Ah-choo!”—he woke up with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn’t make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests. Philip C. Stead’s gently humorous tale of friendship and dedication is illustrated by his wife Erin E. Stead’s elegant drawings, embellished with subtle hints of color.

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36 .) Dear Mr. Rosenwald

Dear Mr. RosenwaldLists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Michele Borba

Renowned illustrator Gregory Christie joins the Scholastic Press list with this empowering story about an African-American community who builds their own school. Based on the true story of the Rosenwald schools built in the rural African-American South in the 1920s, writer and poet Carol Boston Weatherford tells the lyrical story of third grader Ovella as her family and community help each other build a new, and much-prayed for, school. Inspired by Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant and the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., donated millions of dollars to build schools for African-American children in the rural South.

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35 .) Each Kindness

Each KindnessLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Pernillesripp

Each kindness makes the world a little better Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different–she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya. This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon.

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34 .) Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

EchoLists It Appears On:

  • iHome School Network
  • KQED

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together.

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33 .) Hey Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose

Hey Little AntLists It Appears On:

  • Self Sufficient Kids
  • Teacher Blog

What would you do if the ant you were about to step on looked up and started talking? Would you stop and listen? What if your friends saw you hesitate? That’s what happens in this funny, thought-provoking book. Originally a song by a father-daughter team, this conversation between two creatures, large and small, is bound to inspire important discussions. It might even answer that classic childhood question: To squish or not to squish?

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32 .) I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the WorldLists It Appears On:

  • Readings
  • Teacher Blog

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

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31 .) Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall GorillaLists It Appears On:

  • Parents
  • Pernillesripp

In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla. Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact. This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

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30 .) Malala, A Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, A Brave Boy from Pakistan

Malala, A Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, A Brave Boy from PakistanLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Pernillesripp

Meet two heroes of Pakistan who stood up for the rights to freedom and education in these inspirational nonfiction tales from acclaimed author-illustrator Jeannette Winter. Two stories of bravery in one beautiful book! Meet two brave young heroes of Pakistan who stood up for the right to freedom and education in this inspirational nonfiction picture book from acclaimed author-illustrator Jeanette Winter. One country: Pakistan. Two children: Iqbal Masih and Malala Yousafzai. Each was unafraid to speak out. He, against inhumane child slavery in the carpet trade. She, for the right of girls to attend school. Both were shot by those who disagreed with them—he in 1995, she in 2012. Iqbal was killed instantly; Malala miraculously survived and continues to speak out around the world. The stories of these two courageous children whose bravery transcended their youth are an inspiration to all.

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29 .) Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya

Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from KenyaLists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Pragmatic Mom

On market day, Mama Panya’s son Adika invites everyone he sees to a pancake dinner. How will Mama Panya ever feed them all? This clever and heartwarming story about Kenyan village life teaches the importance of sharing, even when you have little to give.

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28 .) Red – A Crayon’s Story

Red – A Crayon’s StoryLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Pernillesripp

A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers an identity crisis in the new picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It’s an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red will appeal to fans of Lois Ehlert, Eric Carle, and The Day the Crayons Quit, and makes a great gift for readers of any age! Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!

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27 .) Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Teacher Blog

Why is the land so important to Cassie’s family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she’s black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family’s lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.

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26 .) Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog BunLists It Appears On:

  • Family Education
  • Fractus Learning

How can Ralph be so mean? Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy’s defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with sticky situation.

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25 .) Stone Fox

Stone FoxLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Teacher Blog

John Reynolds Gardiner’s classic action-packed adventure story about a thrilling dogsled race has captivated readers for more than thirty years. Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, Stone Fox tells the story of Little Willy, who lives with his grandfather in Wyoming. When Grandfather falls ill, he is no longer able to work the farm, which is in danger of foreclosure. Little Willy is determined to win the National Dogsled Race—the prize money would save the farm and his grandfather. But he isn’t the only one who desperately wants to win. Willy and his brave dog Searchlight must face off against experienced racers, including a Native American man named Stone Fox, who has never lost a race.

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24 .) The Boy On The Wooden Box: How The Impossible Became Possible On Schindler’s List by Leon Leyson

The Boy On The Wooden Box: How The Impossible Became Possible On Schindler’s ListLists It Appears On:

  • Fractus Learning
  • Michele Borba

Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list. Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List. This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.

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23 .) The Giving Tree

The Giving TreeLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Teacher Blog

“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

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22 .) The Journey

The JourneyLists It Appears On:

  • Colours Of Us
  • Readings

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned. From the author: The Journey is actually a story about many journeys, and it began with the story of two girls I met in a refugee center in Italy. After meeting them I realized that behind their journey lay something very powerful. So I began collecting more stories of migration and interviewing many people from many different countries. A few months later, in September 2014, when I started studying a Master of Arts in Illustration at the Academy of Lucerne, I knew I wanted to create a book about these true stories. Almost every day on the news we hear the terms “migrants” and “refugees” but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them.

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21 .) The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only IvanLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Pernillesripp

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

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20 .) Through Grandpa’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan

Through Grandpa’s EyesLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Self Sufficient Kids

On John’s visits to Grandpa’s house, his blind grandfather shares with him the special way he sees and moves in the world.

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19 .) You, Me and Empathy: Teaching Children about Empathy, Feelings, Kindness, Compassion, Tolerance and Recognizing Bullying Behaviors

You, Me and Empathy: Teaching Children about Empathy, Feelings, Kindness, Compassion, Tolerance and Recognizing Bullying BehaviorsLists It Appears On:

  • Colours Of Us
  • Dig books

One of the most important social skills a child can learn is empathy. Being able to understand how another person is feeling and recognizing their needs helps people to connect to one another across race, culture and the diversity that is ever-present and so important to our world. This charming story uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learnt trait, and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care.

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18 .) Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

ChrysanthemumLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Pernillesripp
  • Self Sufficient Kids

Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Kitten’s First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round. Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

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17 .) Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu YeboahLists It Appears On:

  • KQED
  • Teacher Blog
  • We Are Teachers

This picture book biography tells the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, who bicycled across Ghana–nearly 400 miles–with only one leg. With that achievement he forever changed how his country treats people with disabilities, and he shows us all that one person is enough to change the world.

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16 .) Fly Away Home

Fly Away HomeLists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Michele Borba
  • Parents

Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . . When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician’s wife-her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator. Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve-a husband, a young son, the perfect home-and yet she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. With temptation waiting in one of the ER’s exam rooms, she finds herself craving more. After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight.

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15 .) Night by Elie Wiesel

NightLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Read Brightly
  • Real Simple

Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man. This new translation by his wife and most frequent translator, Marion Wiesel, corrects important details and presents the most accurate rendering in English of Elie Wiesel’s testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

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14 .) Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Number the StarsLists It Appears On:

  • iHome School Network
  • Michele Borba
  • Teacher Blog

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

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13 .) One by Kathryn Otoshi

OneLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Pernillesripp
  • Self Sufficient Kids

Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other’s differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.

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12 .) Sam and The Lucky Money

Sam and The Lucky MoneyLists It Appears On:

  • Colours Of Us
  • Colours Of Us
  • Parents

Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It’s Chinese New Year’s day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money-red envelopes called leisees (lay-sees). This year Sam is finally old enough to spend it any way he chooses. Best of all, he gets to spend his lucky money in his favorite place — Chinatown! But when Sam realizes that his grandparents’ gift is not enough to get the things he wants, his excitement turns to disappointment. Even though his mother reminds him that he should appreciate the gift, Sam is not convinced — until a surprise encounter with a stranger. With vivid watercolor paintings, artists Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu celebrate the sights and sounds of festive Chinatown streets. In her picture book debut, author Karen Chinn tells the affecting story of a child who discovers that sometimes the best gifts come from the heart. Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It’s Chinese New Year’s day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money-red envelopes called leisees (lay-sees).

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11 .) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeLists It Appears On:

  • Five Books
  • Michele Borba
  • Real Simple

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

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10 .) The Other Side

The Other SideLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Indy PL
  • Pernillesripp

Once upon a time there was a man. He was handsome, successful, loved, and life was great. Time passed and he earned himself a nickname. They called him Midas because everything he touched turned to gold. He climbed ladders until he was staring down at the common person through glass ceilings. But you know what they say… The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And so he fell. Where he landed, no one knows. There once was a girl named Mac. She found a cold, hard stone and held it until it cracked. The closer she held it, the larger the cracks grew. She grew curious and peeked inside. Inside, she found a man…

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9 .) The Sneetches

The SneetchesLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Indy PL
  • Michele Borba

Four funny easy-to-read stories all with subtly planted moral lessons.

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8 .) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdLists It Appears On:

  • Michele Borba
  • Read Brightly
  • The Guardians

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story.

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7 .) The Name Jar

The Name JarLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Indy PL
  • Parents
  • Pernillesripp

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.

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6 .) Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

Those ShoesLists It Appears On:

  • Colours Of Us
  • FH
  • Parents
  • We Are Teachers

But all the kids are wearing them! Any child who has ever craved something out of reach will relate to this warm, refreshingly realistic story. “I have dreams about those shoes. Black high-tops. Two white stripes.” All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. But Jeremy’s grandma tells him they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” and what Jeremy needs are new boots for winter. When Jeremy’s shoes fall apart at school, and the guidance counselor gives him a hand-me-down pair, the boy is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy comes to realize that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

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5 .) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte’s WebLists It Appears On:

  • Fractus Learning
  • Michele Borba
  • Readings
  • Real Simple
  • The Guardians

This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.” This high-quality paperback features vibrant illustrations colorized by Rosemary Wells! Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

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4 .) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Last Stop on Market StreetLists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Colours Of Us
  • FH
  • KQED
  • We Are Teachers

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015 A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015 Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

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3 .) The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

The Hundred DressesLists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Michele Borba
  • Parents
  • Real Simple
  • Self Sufficient Kids

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.

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2 .) Wonder by R.J. Palacio

WonderLists It Appears On:

  • Books For Keeps
  • Family Education
  • Michele Borba
  • Self Sufficient Kids
  • Teacher Blog

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

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1 .) The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

The Invisible BoyLists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Michele Borba
  • Pernillesripp
  • Self Sufficient Kids
  • Teacher Blog
  • We Are Teachers

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party … until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine. From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.

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The 300+ Additional Best Books About Empathy


(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
3813 Reasons WhyReadings
39A Color of His OwnBook Riot
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love
41A is for ActivistBook Riot
A Lesson Before Dying,
Michele Borba
43A Long Walk to WaterLinda Sue Park
iHome School Network
44A Man Called OveFredrik BackmanThe Good Trade
45A New Coat for AnnaMichele Borba
46A Special TradeMichele Borba
47Adventures of Huckleberry FinMark TwainRise And Converge
Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative
Dig books
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Childrens Hospital
50All Kinds of FamiliesIndy PL
All Quiet on the Western Front
Read Brightly
52All the WorldBook Riot
53Amazing GraceMary HoffmanSelf Sufficient Kids
54America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous WrecksRuth WhippmanYes Magazine
Angel Child, Dragon Child,
Michele Borba
56Animals in TranslationTemple GrandinFive Books
57Apt.3Colours Of Us
58Arctic WhiteDanna Smith and Lee WhiteLiterat iBooks
59Argyle FoxMarie LetourneauWe Are Teachers
60Art Detective: Spot the Difference!Doris Kutschbach and Julia DurrLiterat iBooks
61Baby FacesParents
Baby Faces Peekaboo!
63Be a FriendTeacher Blog
64Beatrice’s GoatFH
65Beautiful OopsBarney SaltzbergFractus Learning
66Because Amelia SmiledDavid Ezra SteinWe Are Teachers
67Becoming AuroraReadings
68Beryl: a Pig’s TaleIndy PL
69Big Questions from Little People and Simple Answers from Great Minds compiledGemma Elwin HarrisLiterat iBooks
70Big Tree is Sick: A Story to Help Children Cope with the Serious Illness of a Loved OneNathalie SlosseWe Are Teachers
71Black Like Me,Michele Borba
72BlubberMichele Borba
74Brain GenderMelissa HinesFive Books
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
Pragmatic Mom
76Building Blocks,Michele Borba
77Cheri Meiners
Education and Behavior
78Chicken in the KitchenPragmatic Mom
79Children of the RiverMichele Borba
Chocolate Milk, Por favor!
Colours Of Us
81Clark the SharkBruce HaleWe Are Teachers
82Cloud BustingBooks For Keeps
83CommonwealthAnn PatchettThe Good Trade
84Confessions of a Former BullyTrudy LudwigFamily Education
Cornelia Maude Spelman
Education and Behavior
Counting On Community
Book Riot
87Crabby PantsJulie GassmanWe Are Teachers
88Cry, Heart, But Never BreakGlenn RingtvedWe Are Teachers
89David Gets In TroubleDavid ShannonWe Are Teachers
Desmond and the Very Mean Word
Colours Of Us
91Don’t Need FriendsCarolyn CrimiFractus Learning
92Don’t Think About Purple ElephantsSusanne MerrittWe Are Teachers
93Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed MusicMargarita EngleWe Are Teachers
94El DeafoReadings
Empath: A Guide To Understanding, Defending & Nurturing Your Precious Gift (Empath, Intuitive, Psychic, Empathy)
Dig books
96EmpathyDig books
Empathy – Harvard Business Review
Hub Spot
Empathy (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series
Dig books
99Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get ItRoman KrznaricHub Spot
100Enemy PieDerek MunsonWe Are Teachers
101Everyone Can Learn to Ride a BicycleChris RaschkaWe Are Teachers
102Everywhere BabiesParents
103Exit WestMohsin HamidThe Good Trade
104Extraordinary JaneHannah E. HarrisonWe Are Teachers
105Farewell to Manzanar,Michele Borba
106Fat, Fat Rose Marie,Michele Borba
107Finding PerfectChildrens Hospital
Finding the Lost Art of Empathy: Connecting Human to Human in a Disconnected World Hardcover
Dig books
109Fish in a TreeChildrens Hospital
110Follow My LeaderJames B. Garfield
iHome School Network
111Freak the MightyParents
112Freedom SummerIndy PL
113Full Cicada MoonKQED
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
115Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up for America’s BulliedGabrielle FordFamily Education
117GileadMarilynne RobinsonRise And Converge
118Giraffes Can’t DanceGiles AndreaeWe Are Teachers
Gone Crazy in Alabama
Good People Everywhere
Colours Of Us
121Goodnight Mister TomMichelle MagorianThe Guardians
122Great Expectations,Michele Borba
Grover Finds a Home (Grover McBane, Rescue Dog Book 1)
Growing Peace: A Story of Farming, Music, and Religious Harmony
Pragmatic Mom
125Hallelujah AnywayAnne LamottThe Good Trade
126Happy In Our SkinBook Riot
127Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneJK RowlingThe Guardians
128Heather FoudyTeacher Blog
Hello My Name is Octicorn
Indy PL
130Helping Children Succeed: What Works and WhyPaul ToughYes Magazine
131Horton Hears a Who!Teacher Blog
132How Are You Peeling: Foods With MoodsSaxton Freymann and Joost ElfersFractus Learning
How Books Can Teach Your Child to Care
Indy PL
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Read Brightly
135I Want My Hat BackJon KlassenWe Are Teachers
136I’m New HereKQED
137I’m a Girl!Yasmeen IsmailWe Are Teachers
138I’m Here,Pernillesripp
139I’m New HereColours Of Us
140If you could be mineBooks For Keeps
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
142Introducing TeddyBook Riot
143Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape BehaviorJonah BergerYes Magazine
144Jabari JumpsGaia CornwallWe Are Teachers
145Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness WithinChade-Meng TanYes Magazine
146Juna’s JarKQED
147June and AugustIndy PL
148Just GraceCharise MericleFractus Learning
149Just KiddingTrudy LudwigFamily Education
Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Education and Behavior
151Lacey Walker, Nonstop TalkerChristianne C. JonesWe Are Teachers
152Let’s Talk about RaceIndy PL
153LifeCynthia RylantWe Are Teachers
154Lilly’s Purple Plastic PurseKevin HenkesWe Are Teachers
155Listen, SlowlyKQED
156Little Elliot, Big FunParents
157Little Sweet PotatoIndy PL
158Llama Llama and the Bully GoatAnna DewdneyFamily Education
159Looking After LouisIndy PL
160Lord of the Flies,Michele Borba
Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey
Colours Of Us
162Lots of FeelingsShelley RotnerFractus Learning
163Love That DogBooks For Keeps
164Lying Up a StormJulia CookWe Are Teachers
165Maddi’s FridgeFH
Mama’s Nightingale : A Story of Immigration and Separation
Manchild in a Promised Land,
Michele Borba
Mango, Abuela, and Me
169Maria Dismondy
Education and Behavior
170Marlene, Marlene, Queen of MeanJane LynchFamily Education
171MigrantBook Riot
172Millie FierceJane ManningWe Are Teachers
173Mindsight: Transform Your Brain with the New Science of EmpathyDaniel J. SiegelHub Spot
174MirrorBooks For Keeps
175Missing Mommy: A Book About BereavementRebecca CobbWe Are Teachers
176Molly’s Pilgrim,Michele Borba
177Moo, Baa, La La La!Parents
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
Book Riot
180Mr. Ferris and His WheelKathryn Gibbs DavisLiterat iBooks
181My Grandma’s a NinjaIndy PL
182My Mouth Is a Volcano!Julia CookWe Are Teachers
183My Princess BoyBook Riot
184My Very Own SpacePippa GoodhartWe Are Teachers
185Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit StillKarlin GrayWe Are Teachers
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
Book Riot
187Ninth WardParents
188Nita Everly
Education and Behavior
189No Longer at EaseRead Brightly
190No, No, No!Marie-Isabelle CallierFractus Learning
191Noughts and CrossesMalorie Blackman and Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryThe Guardians
192Of Mice and Men,Michele Borba
193Old Henry,Michele Borba
194One FamilyKQED
195One Green AppleIndy PL
One Word From Sophia
197Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary DeedEmily PearsonWe Are Teachers
198Orion and the DarkEmma YarlettLiterat iBooks
199Out of My MindTeacher Blog
200PaperboyVince VawterFractus Learning
201Pass It OnSophy HennWe Are Teachers
202Pete & PicklesPernillesripp
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Please Stop Laughing At Me!: One Woman’s Inspirational Story,
Michele Borba
205Poetry EmotionBooks For Keeps
206Presto Changeo: Book of Animal MagicEdouard ManceauLiterat iBooks
207Pride and Prejudice,Michele Borba
208Ramona the PestBeverly ClearyReal Simple
209Rude CakesParents
210Rulers of the PlaygroundJoseph KueflerWe Are Teachers
211Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny LieLaura RankinWe Are Teachers
212Same Sun HereSilas House and Neela VaswaniFractus Learning
213SeparationJohn BowlbyFive Books
214Shades of PeopleIndy PL
Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book
Colours Of Us
Sitting Bull : Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People
217Small Great ThingsJodi PicoultThe Good Trade
Some Monsters are Different
Indy PL
Somebody Loves You, Mr
Michele Borba
220Something ElseBooks For Keeps
221Speak,Michele Borba
222SplashdanceIndy PL
223SporkBook Riot
224Spot Goes to the FarmParents
225Stand in My ShoesBob Sornson, Ph.D.Family Education
226Stand Tall Molly Lou MelonPatty LovellFractus Learning
227Stand Up for Yourself & Your FriendsPatti Kelley CriswellFamily Education
228Star of LightPatricia M. St. John
iHome School Network
Start With Sorry: A Children’s Picture Book With Lessons in Empathy, Sharing, Manners & Anger Management
Dig books
230StellalunaJanell CannonReal Simple
232Stick and StoneBeth FerryWe Are Teachers
233Stone-Faced Boy,Michele Borba
234StonerJohn WilliamsRise And Converge
235Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American RightArlie HochschildYes Magazine
236Strictly No ElephantsIndy PL
237Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of MeritocracyRobert FrankYes Magazine
Sumi’s First Day of School Ever
Colours Of Us
239Sunday ChutneyAaron BlabeyWe Are Teachers
240Superhero DadTimothy KnapmanLiterat iBooks
241Take A Deep BreathSue GravesFractus Learning
242Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human SuccessJessica TracyYes Magazine
243TashiBarbara and Anna FienbergLiterat iBooks
244Teammates,Michele Borba
245That’s Not Fair!Colours Of Us
246The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder SocietyFrans De WaalHub Spot
247The AnswerBook Riot
248The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential SkillKarla McLarenHub Spot
249The AwakeningRead Brightly
250The Bear’s HouseMichele Borba
251The Bedspread,Michele Borba
252The BFGRoald DahlThe Guardians
253The Bone SparrowReadings
254The Book of MistakesCorinna LuykenWe Are Teachers
255The Book ThiefReal Simple
256The Border TrilogyCormac McCarthyRise And Converge
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Read Brightly
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Pragmatic Mom
259The Bronze BowElizabeth George Speare
iHome School Network
260The Bully Blockers ClubTeresa BatemanFamily Education
261The Butter ManPragmatic Mom
262The Can ManColours Of Us
263The CayTheodore Taylor
iHome School Network
The Chickens Build a Wall
Indy PL
265The Color of Water,Michele Borba
266The Colors of UsIndy PL
267The Colour of HomeBooks For Keeps
268The Crayon Box that TalkedShane DerolfWe Are Teachers
269The DarkLemony SnicketWe Are Teachers
The Day No One Was Angry
The Diary of Anne Frank,
Michele Borba
272The DiddakoiBooks For Keeps
The Distance Between Us
Read Brightly
274The DotPeter H. ReynoldsWe Are Teachers
The Empathy Guidebook: Honoring, Understanding, and Listening to the People Around Us
Dig books
The Empathy Instinct: How to Create a More Civil Society Hardcover
Dig books
The Face At The Window
Colours Of Us
278The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and ChildrenAlison GopnikYes Magazine
279The Girl Who Never Made MistakesMark PettWe Are Teachers
280The Grapes of WrathJohn SteinbeckReal Simple
281The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your SuccessEmma SeppäläYes Magazine
282The Hard-Times JarFH
283The Hate Crime,Michele Borba
284The Hate U GiveReadings
285The Heart and the BottleOliver JeffersWe Are Teachers
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Read Brightly
287The Invisible StringPatrice KarstWe Are Teachers
288The Invisible Thread,Michele Borba
289The Juice Box BullyBob Sornson, Ph.D.Family Education
290The JumbiesKQED
291The Karamazov Brothers (also known as The Brothers Karamazov)Fyodor DostoevskyRise And Converge
292The Kite RunnerKhaled HosseiniRise And Converge
293The Language InstinctSteven PinkerFive Books
The Little Bit Scary People
Indy PL
295The Little Prince,Michele Borba
296The Lord of the FliesWilliam GoldingRise And Converge
297The Memory StringEve BuntingWe Are Teachers
298The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneKate DiCamillo
iHome School Network
299The One Day HouseColours Of Us
300The Ostrich and Other Lost ThingsBeth Hautala
iHome School Network
301The Other BearsIndy PL
302The Other SonReal Simple
303The Outsiders,Michele Borba
304The Peace BookIndy PL
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Read Brightly
306The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose InfluenceDacher KeltnerYes Magazine
307The ProtectedReadings
The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle
Pragmatic Mom
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Read Brightly
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm
311The RoadCormac McCarthyRise And Converge
312The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson BurnettThe Guardians
313The SelloutPaul BeattyThe Good Trade
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
Book Riot
The Song from Somewhere Else
316The SympathizerViet Thanh NguyenThe Good Trade
317The Things They CarriedTim O’BrienRise And Converge
The Things We Promise
319The Underground RailroadColson WhiteheadThe Good Trade
320The WallEve BuntingSelf Sufficient Kids
321The War of ArtSteven PressfieldThe Good Trade
The War That Saved My Life
Childrens Hospital
323The Water PrincessPragmatic Mom
The Way Home Looks Now
325The Way I FeelJanan CainWe Are Teachers
The Witch of Blackbird Pond,
Michele Borba
327There Might Be LobstersCarolyn CrimiWe Are Teachers
328This One SummerReadings
Tilt Your Head, Rosie Red
Indy PL
330Too Shy for Show-and-TellBeth BrackenWe Are Teachers
331Twelve Angry MenReginald RoseRise And Converge
332Twenty and TenClaire Huchet Bishop
iHome School Network
333Two White RabbitsColours Of Us
334Waiting For WingsLois EhlertFractus Learning
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees
Pragmatic Mom
336Warriors Don’t Cry,Michele Borba
337We Came to AmericaIndy PL
338We’re All WondersR. J. PalacioWe Are Teachers
339Well-Designed: How to Use How to Use Empathy to Create Products People LoveJon KolkoHub Spot
340WeslandiaPaul FleishmanFractus Learning
341What’s Wrong with Timmy?Maria ShriverSelf Sufficient Kids
342When Breath Becomes AirPaul KalanithiThe Good Trade
When Michael Met Mina
344When Pigasso Met MootisseNina LadenLiterat iBooks
345When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really AngryMolly BangWe Are Teachers
Where the Red Fern Grows
Teacher Blog
347Who We AreIndy PL
348Whoever You AreIndy PL
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge,
Michele Borba
350Winnie the PoohAA Milne and The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Guardians
351Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread EmpathyDev PatnaikHub Spot
352Wolfie the BunnyPernillesripp
You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World
Indy PL
You are Stardust: Our Amazing Connections With Planet Earth
355YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND!Peter BrownWe Are Teachers
Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll
Colours Of Us

29 Best Empathy Book Sources/Lists

Book Riot 25 Picture Books That Promote Empathy and Respect – Book Riot
Books For Keeps Children’s Books – Articles – Ten of the Best Books to boost empathy …
Childrens Hospital Books that teach empathy and kindness – Boston Children’s Hospital …
Colours Of Us 19 Multicultural Children’s Books teaching Kindness & Empathy
Dig books Top 10 Empathy Books of 2017 – Best Book Recommendations, Best …
Education and Behavior 5 Great Books to Teach Young Children About Empathy …
Family Education 11 Children’s Books About Bullying, Teasing & Empathy …
FH 10 Children’s Books to Help You Teach Empathy on International …
Five Books The Best Books on Empathy | Five Books
Fractus Learning The Best 15 Books to Raise Children’s Emotional IQ and Teach Empathy
Hub Spot 7 Books That Will Help You Develop More Empathy – HubSpot Blog
iHome School Network 10 Books to Inspire Compassion and Empathy in Homeschooled …
Indy PL Empathy, kindness & Respecting Others – Ready To Read
KQED 20 Books Featuring Diverse Characters to Inspire Connection and …
Literat iBooks In Defense of Monsters: What Dark Books Teach Children About …
Michele Borba 50 Books for Kids and Teens That Teach Empathy | Dr Michele Borba
Parents 20 Books That Encourage Empathy | Parents – Parents Magazine
Pernillesripp 10 Picture Books that Spark Empathy – Pernille Ripp
Pragmatic Mom 10 Picture Books About Africa That Teach Empathy – PragmaticMom
Read Brightly 11 Touching Books to Boost Empathy in Teen Readers | Brightly
Readings Blog: Children’s books that teach empathy ·
Real Simple 14 Books and Movies to Teach Kids About Empathy | Real Simple
Rise And Converge 11 fictional books than can improve empathy – RISE AND CONVERGE
Self Sufficient Kids 10 Children’s Books That Teach Empathy – Self-Sufficient Kids
Teacher Blog Top 15 books that teach empathy and kindness to children |
The Good Trade 10 Must-Read Books To Inspire Empathy & Joy This … – The Good Trade
The Guardians Reading a book is best for empathy | Children’s books | The Guardian
We Are Teachers 50 Must-Have Picture Books About Emotion – WeAreTeachers
Yes Magazine The Science of Creating a Compassionate World: 10 Best Books of …