10 Books That Teach Kids Compassion & Empathy

Long before google we learned what we did from grown ups and books. It is nice to put the screen time to a minimum and get back to the love of reading a good book. A few of my families favorites are in this blog on the topic of compassion.

It goes hand in hand with my blog Ways To Teach Children Compassion.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what books you would add to this list?

 

Picture Books

71l8yieal0lI am Human. A book of Empathy

From the picture book dream team behind I Am Yoga and I Am Peace comes the third book in their wellness series: I Am Human. A hopeful meditation on all the great (and challenging) parts of being human, I Am Human shows that it’s okay to make mistakes while also emphasizing the power of good choices by offering a kind word or smile or by saying “I’m sorry.” At its heart, this picture book is a celebration of empathy and compassion that lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.

 

51+koa18qkl._sx258_bo1,204,203,200_Stand In My Shoes

When Emily asks her big sister what the word empathy means, Emily has no idea that knowing the answer will change how she looks at people. But does it really matter to others if Emily notices how they’re feeling? Stand in My Shoes shows kids how easy it is to develop empathy toward those around them. Empathy is the ability to notice what other people feel. Empathy leads to the social skills and personal relationships which make our lives rich and beautiful, and it is something we can help our children learn. This book teaches young children the value of noticing how other people feel. We’re hoping that many parents read it along with their children.

 

51hedfjugnl._sx405_bo1,204,203,200_Last Stop On Market Street

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

 

51slfezbl6l._sy479_bo1,204,203,200_Those Shoes

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

 

51ib1uey6cl._sx403_bo1,204,203,200_The Invisible Boy

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

 

8 & Up

41dshyyygil._sx337_bo1,204,203,200_Wonder

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

 

61fqv-6veil._sx384_bo1,204,203,200_Each Kindness

Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.

 

41vt65zpk2l._sx327_bo1,204,203,200_El Deafo

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

 

Teens

51s0-mkncul._sx398_bo1,204,203,200_The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens

As a teen, you’re going through major changes—both physically and mentally. These changes can have a dramatic effect on how you perceive, understand, and interpret the world around you, leaving you feeling stressed and anxious. Additionally, you may also find yourself comparing yourself to others—whether its friends, classmates, or celebrities and models. And all of this comparison can leave you feeling like you just aren’t enough. So, how can you move past feelings of stress and insecurity and start living the life you really want? Life is imperfect—and so are we. But if you’re ready to move past self-criticism and self-judgment and embrace your unique self, this compassionate guide will light the way.

 

51gpxd8xk0lThe Friendship Puzzle

The world of autism is one that few understand. The condition comes in many forms, and those affected exhibit a wide range of personality traits, some of which make social relations daunting. The Friendship Puzzle helps young readers learn about accepting and including their friends and classmates with autism. Mackenzie Mackabee is going to school at Brook Acres Elementary. Mackenzie loves to make new friends, and she’s very excited when she finds out there is a new boy at school named Dylan. But when her attempts at befriending him fail, she goes to her mother for advice. Together they determine to solve this “friendship puzzle.” As she sets out to learn how she can be his friend, Mackenzie discovers that friendships come in many different forms. This book is lively, upbeat and sends an encouraging message about the importance of friendship and inclusion. The activity guide makes the book especially useful for educators and parents.

Enjoy!