EmpathyLab has launched its 2022 Read for Empathy book collection. An expert judging panel has selected 60 books for 4-16 year-olds, ‘each chosen to empower an empathy-educated generation’.
‘The pandemic has triggered an empathy deficit in our children who have been deprived of interactions with others, denying them the chance to develop their social skills’ said Miranda McKearney OBE, EmpathyLab’s founder. ‘Science shows that empathy is learnable and that reading is an important empathy-building tool. This collection will help parents and educators to surround children with empathy experiences, inspiring them to understand others better, and tackle societal problems like racism’.
The primary collection features 35 books for 4-11 year olds; the secondary collection has 25 books for 12-16 year olds. Many of the books help readers understand the lives of those experiencing tough situations, like becoming homeless, or a refugee. Others help children build their understanding of emotions or inspire positive action towards the climate or animals or people in their community.
Guides to the collection are available as free downloads for use in the home or learning settings.
The Read for Empathy collections will be used by parents, teachers and librarians in the run-up to Empathy Day, 9 June 2020, and beyond to support children and instil empathy values and skills. This annual event focuses on using books – and talking about them – to build understanding of the importance and practice of empathy.
EmpathyLab announced this year’s theme which is Empathy, Our Human Superpower. Everyone is invited to join in the Empathy Superpower Challenge, choosing from a menu of nine empathy-boosting challenge activities.