Books That Teach Empathy

Teaching kids empathy is one of the most important jobs of being a parent. These great books for all ages help make it easier by celebrating friendship, difference, and the importance of caring for one another.

Browse Books That Teach Empathy

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Simple animal tale of bullying, empathy, and forgiveness.
By Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(2013)
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Spare story of ups & downs great for toddlers, preschoolers.
By Jeff Mack
(2012)
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Friendship soothes fears in charming amusement park tale.
By Mike Curato
(2016)
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Boy burns with embarrassment in hilarious, relatable tale.
By Audrey Vernick
(2015)
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Poignant, sensitive story of captive gorilla builds empathy.
By Katherine Applegate
(2014)
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Tractor reaches out to silent friend in tale of empathy.
By Loren Long
(2014)
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Reassuring tale soothes fears, promotes sharing feelings.
By LeVar Burton, Susan Schaefer Bernardo
(2014)
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Kind tale of empathy shows how to reach out to left-out kid.
By Trudy Ludwig
(2013)
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Engaging school story about a messy boy with a good heart.
By Bill Harley
(2013)
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Gentle, much-loved classic delights all ages.
By E.B. White
(2006)
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Ramona tale helps young kids build empathy.
By Beverly Cleary
(2003)
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Nate at his best, showing empathy for geeky new kid.
By Lincoln Peirce
(2015)
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Touching fourth-grade story of empathy and kindness.
By Cammie McGovern
(2016)
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Rich, authentic characters are heart of thoughtful novel.
By Peter Johnson
(2014)
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Remarkable story of three boys honoring spirited teacher.
By John David Anderson
(2016)
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Orange tree draws a neighborhood together in unique story.
By Joanne Rocklin
(2011)
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Great novel about a girl, her chickens, and her best friend.
By Ellen Airgood
(2012)
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Fun, gentle story about kids gaining confidence and empathy.
By Phil Bildner
(2015)
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Super relatable heroine, lots of middle school drama.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2015)
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Wise words to live by cleverly packed in a "Wonder" package.
By R.J. Palacio
(2014)
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Complex adventure mixes immigration issues, space travel.
By William Alexander
(2014)
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Charming, funny comics memoir of growing up deaf.
By Cece Bell
(2014)
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Outcasts join forces to conquer readers' hearts.
By Rodman Philbrick
(2004)
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Sweet coming-of-age story teaches empathy, kindness.
By Kevin Henkes
(2011)
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Fun, fresh sci-fi adventure has touching message of empathy.
By Sophia McDougall
(2015)
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Poignant tale of autistic girl and her dog.
By Ann M. Martin
(2014)
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Sensitive adaptation of classic sci-fi adventure.
By Madeleine L'Engle, Hope Larson
(2012)
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Thought-provoking stories of kindness and friendship.
By R.J. Palacio
(2016)
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Gripping, taut eco-thriller a thoughtful, satisfying read.
By Louis Sachar
(2015)
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Moving tale of girl whose brother died in school shooting.
By Kathryn Erskine
(2010)
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Deliciously macabre, well-spun tale for fans of horror.
By Jonathan Auxier
(2014)
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Gripping story of a girl's bravery during Hurricane Katrina.
By Jewell Parker Rhodes
(2011)
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Tragedy, triumph, and wisdom in funny, heartfelt tween tale.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2016)
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Boy stands up for autistic sister in compassionate tale.
By Gennifer Choldenko
(2005)
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Moving memoir of boy Holocaust survivor on Schindler's list.
By Leon Leyson, Leon Leyson, Marilyn J. Harran
(2013)
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Joey tries to heal his family in emotional series finale.
By Jack Gantos
(2014)
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Moving, uplifting tale of disfigured boy with inner beauty.
By R.J. Palacio
(2012)
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Gripping, heartfelt coming-of-age tale sure to hook teens.
By Matthew Quick
(2013)
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Devastating, deeply moving story of love and resilience.
By Gary D. Schmidt
(2015)
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Award-winning coming-of-age book teaches empathy, bravery.
By Vince Vawter
(2014)
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Stunning classic examines racism -- and justice.
By Harper Lee
(2004)
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Kids', teens' authors share personal bullying experiences.
By Megan Kelley Hall, Carrie Jones
(2011)
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Thoughtful coming-of-ager about looking beneath the surface.
By Cammie McGovern
(2015)
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Gritty Steinbeck classic brings Great Depression to life.
By John Steinbeck
(2010)
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