The 2023 Read for Empathy book collection has been revealed by EmpathyLab. Selected by expert judges, the 65 books for 3-16-year-olds, have been chosen for their ‘empathy-building insights’, to help young people learn more about empathy – and put it into action.
The Read for Empathy collection and the annual Empathy Day (taking place on Thursday 8 June 2023) focus on using books – and talking about them – to build an understanding of the importance, and practice, of empathy. The non-profit EmpathyLab launched in 2015, and these are now key planks in its mission to raise an empathy-educated generation, empowered to build a less divided world.
The primary collection features 40 books for 3-11-year-olds; the secondary collection has 25 books for 12-16-year-olds. They include picture books, novels, poetry, non-fiction, graphic and verse novels. Each offers young people different ways of experiencing, understanding and building empathy – ranging from inspiring social activism to exploring the power of empathy to heal difficult relationships. Many help young readers gain insight into different life experiences, from homelessness to hearing loss, economic hardship to war. Guides to the 2023 Read for Empathy collection (in partnership with book suppliers Peters) are available as free downloads.