Today we’re celebrating Empathy Day 2019!
We know there’s no better way to begin building empathy than by reading and sharing diverse stories, and this year we’re especially proud to have four titles included in Empathy Lab’s brilliant #ReadforEmpathy Guides. These four books cover a wide variety of subjects but all of them offer a unique, engaging perspective that will help any reader learn the skill of empathy.
A beautiful and evocative tale of identity, family and belonging, The White Fox tells the story of Sol, who is grieving for his mother and struggling with the separation from his Inuit roots. When Sol finds a white fox in Seattle’s dockland, he soon discovers a new connection and a way back home.
Exploring multiple themes through word and image, The White Fox is, as Empathy Lab describes, “mysterious, lyrical, with beautifully drawn feelings”. Ideal for younger readers, this is a perfect classroom and group reading text that offers various avenues for discussion.
Dropping us straight into the mind of its protagonist, Hudson, Car Wash Wish is a powerful and moving story of life lived with Asperger’s Syndrome. As Hudson desperately tries to make sense of his parents’ separation and his grandfather’s death, the reader experiences every feeling alongside him.
Hudson’s self-awareness about his Asperger’s and how it affects him (and others) gives him a distinctive and insightful voice that offers an ultimately uplifting take on the world. A short book that packs quite the emotional punch, Car Wash Wish is an invaluable addition to any secondary school classroom.
The Pavee and the Buffer Girl by Siobhan Dowd, illustrated by Emma Shoard
Through the unfolding romance of traveller Jim and settled girl Kit, Siobhan Dowd paints a vivid picture of life in a traveller community. Exploring the prejudice and intolerance that these communities face every day, The Pavee and the Buffer Girl gives a much-needed voice to a rarely told story.
Now available as both a graphic novel and a standard paperback, this groundbreaking story is more accessible than ever. Coupled with Emma Shoard’s evocative illustrations of Irish landscapes and traveller life, The Pavee and the Buffer Girl has empathy and understanding at its heart. This short story is also a particularly pertinent read in June as an excellent entry point into lessons involving Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller History Month.
Alpha’s story of migration and refuge is emblematic of the refugee crisis today – just one of millions on the move, at the mercy of people traffickers, endlessly frustrated, endangered and exploited. Told in graphic novel form, Alpha is a hard hitting and deeply unsettling narrative that gives a human face to the plight of refugees.
This unforgiving examination of a global humanitarian crisis demands that the reader face the hardships of the protagonist head on. Because of this Alpha is as Empathy Lab so perfectly describes, “a jolting book which triggers a determination to stand up for the displaced of this world”.
Make sure to head to Empathy Lab’s website for access to their reading guides and classroom resources. And for more empathy inspiration from us, why not check out the blog posts linked below: