Created: 22nd January, 2020

50 books to help young people read for empathy

Empathy Lab UK has announced 50 titles (33 for 4-11 year olds and 17 for 12-16 year olds) as part of their #ReadForEmpathy 2020 collection. These are titles that have been chosen by expert judges as they illuminate the experience of people from a range of cultures or life circumstances; help children explore emotions so to understand how other people feel, and books which reflect contemporary stories affecting society, such as the refugee experience, or coping with anxiety.

Farrah Serroukh, CLPE’s Regional Programme Leader and co-ordinator of CLPE’s Reflecting Realities research which examines the quantity and quality of ethnic representation in UK Children’s literature, was one of the 2020 judges.

“We know from our work with children and schools about the powerfully transformative benefits that quality children’s books can have. This year’s Empathy Lab collection is overflowing with rich, moving, thought provoking and inspiring titles that will invite readers to connect, broaden their world view and be more empathetic.” - Farrah Serroukh.

This year's judges applauded a rise in books reflecting diverse perspectives and experiences. 40% of selected titles feature BAME characters and 30% are created by BAME authors and illustrators. They include Ghost by Jason Reynolds; Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan (illustrator Amrit Birdi); Race to the Frozen North by Catherine Johnson (illustrator Katie Hickey) and Two Sides by Polly Ho-Yen (illustrator Binny Talib). 

Discover the 2020 collection here

This year Empathy Day will be on June 9th. Find out how you can use the collections to get your school involved