Empathy Day aims to help everyone understand and experience the transformational power of empathy through stories. Books can help us understand someone else’s feelings by stepping into the shoes of the characters we meet and inspire us to put empathy into action.
On 9 June, Empathy Day live, is an online festival featuring a stellar line up of authors and illustrators. Be prepared for a fantastic day of live events, including Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, Joseph Coelho, and a special Draw with Rob Biddulph. The full line up can be found here.
In addition, throughout the week of 6 – 11 June, libraries will be including empathy stories into their rhyme-time and story-time sessions, as well as offering empathy-based activities for children.
Libraries will also feature a selection of books around the theme of empathy for customers to borrow.
Here are some of the books on this year’s reading list:
Isabel’s family are poor and like so many people in the city, she feels alone and invisible. A stark reminder that those who struggle, and are often ignored by their communities, still make a difference to others. A beautiful book that can inspire children to put empathy into action.
A young boy builds a shelter for his sadness, where it can be as it wishes. Gently and subtly encourages children to recognise and be with their sadness before moving towards healing.
Nelson and his friends set out to stop thieves who are stealing from their local food bank. Written with great empathy and Rauf’s trademark humour, The Great (Food) Bank Heist is a moving story that gives a child’s-eye view of the increasing problem of food poverty.
April accompanies her father to Bear Island in the Arctic. With global warming having driven out the island’s polar bears, it’s extraordinary when April meets one, and they form a magical bond. An inspiring heroine, prepared to act based on empathy.
When did Africans first come to Britain? Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings? Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution? A revealing and thought-provoking history of British black heritage from the Romans onwards.
Deeply moving novel set in 1941 war-torn London. Angry, abused Joseph is sent to live with gruff Mrs F who is struggling to keep her family zoo going and to keep a mighty silverback gorilla safe. She’s not an easy woman, but steadfastly keeps on caring for Joseph and doesn’t give up on him, no matter how he behaves.
You can find the entire Read for Empathy 2022 collection here.
Books are available to order via the online catalogue.