Empathy Lab 2021

How to Be Our Best Selves

The diverse, inclusive 2021 Read For Empathy collection helps raise an empathy-educated generation.

“Empathy is learnable – only 10% of our empathic ability is genetic. Scientists say that reading builds empathy, and this collection will play a direct role in helping raise an empathy-educated generation.” Miranda McKearney OBE, EmpathyLab’s founder.

Today EmpathyLab launches its 2021 Read For Empathy book collection at a time when empathising with others has never been needed more. 50 books for 4-16 year olds are featured, each chosen to do a specific job in building young people’s empathy. 

The judges said: “We have an unprecedented chance to do things differently, building on the wave of community caring we’ve seen in the pandemic. This collection seizes that chance with both hands. The books will help children be their best selves; to think “we”, not “me”. Right now, what could be more important?” 

The primary collection is for 4-11 year olds and consists of 30 books; the secondary collection features 20 books for 12-16 year olds. Many of the books help readers understand the lives of those experiencing tough situations, from witnessing domestic violence to becoming a refugee. Others gently explore everyday situations and emotions, like friendship problems. Several help readers understand the experience of living with autism. The ebullient range of creators, formats and genres helps expand children’s world view and understand others better. 

Primary Collection

Secondary Collection

Guides to the collection are available as free downloads for parents, teachers and librarians to use with children and young people in the home or learning settings. See empathylab.uk/2021-read-for-empathy-collections


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