Read for Empathy 2019 primary and secondary book collection titles announced

January 17th, 2019

Empathy is a human super-power which helps us all understand each other better. It is also an essential social and emotional skill, crucial if children are to thrive. We’re not born with a fixed quantity of empathy – it’s a skill we can learn. Excitingly, research shows that books are a powerful tool to develop it, because in identifying with book characters, children learn to see things from other points of view. So, when you read with children you can build their empathy skills at the same time.

EmpathyLab have announced the titles included in this year’s Read for Empathy book collections, a selection of 30 titles for 4-11 year olds and 15 titles for 11-16 year olds.


Read for Empathy book collection for 4–11 year olds

Download the 2019 Read for Empathy 4-11 year olds guide here.

Picture books and poetry

Elmer – by David McKee
The Last Chip – by Duncan Beedie
Odd Dog Out – by Rob Biddulph
Joy – by Corrinne Averiss
If All the World Were… – by Hoseph Coelho
The Day War Came – by Nicola Davies
Is it a Mermaid? – by Candy Gourlay
Cyril and Pat – by Emily Gravett
Sweep – by Louise Greig
Along Came a Different – by Tom McLaughlin
Ruby’s Worry – by Tom Percival
A Great Big Cuddle – by Michael Rosen
Me and My Fear – by Francesca Sanna
How to be a Lion – by Ed Vere
Peace and Me – by Ali Winter

Novels and graphic novels

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – by Kate DiCamillo
The Tale of Angelino Brown – by David Almond
Not As We Know It – by Tom Avery
Jelly – by Jo Cotterill
The Bubble Boy – by Stewart Foster
Ella on the Outside – by Cath Howe
Love from Anna Hibiscus! – by Atinuke
Beyond the Bright Sea – by Lauren Wolk
Boy in the Tower – by Polly Ho-Yen
Roller Girl – by Victoria Jamieson
The White Fox – by Jackie Morris
The Boy at the Back of the Class – by Onjali Q. Rauf
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree – by Paola Peretti
The Light Jar – by Lisa Thompson
The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle – by Victoria Williamson


Read for Empathy book collection for 11–16 year olds

Download the 2019 Read for Empathy 11-16 year olds guide here.

Graphic novels, poetry and novels

Nough & Crosses – by Malorie Blackman
Rising Starts – by Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme, Amina Jama
Booked – by Kwame Alexander
Alpha – by Bessora & Barroux
Everything All at Once – by Steven Camden aka Polar Bear
Car Wash Wish – by Sita Brahmachari
A Change is Gonna Come – by Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams,  Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga, Yasmin Rahman, Phoebe Roy, Nikesh Shukla
Rosie Loves Jack – by Mel Darbon
The Pavee and the Buffer Girl – by Siobhan Dowd
Boy 87 – by Ele Fountain
Indigo Donut – by Patrice Lawrence
Turtles All the Way Down – by John Green
No Fixed Address – by Susin Nielsen
Mike – by Andrew Norriss
Running on Empty – by S. E. Durrant

EmpathyLab now offers training and Empathy Day toolkits for schools interested in building young people’s empathy, literacy and social activism. To find out more, go to

To order the Read for Empathy book collections, please visit  and receive 26% off plus a free display poster.

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