Developing empathy for people from different backgrounds and experiences is one of the great benefits of reading, for any age. For young children Usborne picture books are a friendly introduction to understanding their emotions, while for older children and young adults we've selected a range of titles which offer unique perspectives from people who don't always have a voice.
How are you feeling today? These fun and friendly introductions to feelings, family and your body are full of bright pictures and facts that grown-ups and children aged 3+ can talk about together.
Usborne writer Felicity Brooks and designer Frankie Allen share what they learned about social and emotional learning theory when creating All About Feelings.
Holly Doherty, parent, Primary School Teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, gives her expert advice on helping children manage their emotions.
Children aged 9+ and pre-teens can learn about the experiences of an unlikely pair who form a true friendship in Freak the Mighty, a girl with selective mutism who develops her voice in Being Miss Nobody, a boy who works in an Indonesian sweat shop but dreams big in Kick, and a scavenger living behind a wall who longs to see 'Outside' in Scavengers.
As funny as it is touching and convincing. The Guardian on Freak the Mighty
These diverse stories for young adult readers include a trans girl learning to love her new self in If I Was Your Girl, survivors of a dangerous cult adapting to the real world in After The Fire, the journey of a girl with Down's Syndrome in Rosie Loves Jack and how physical and mental pain can lead to love in Instructions for a Second-hand Heart.
Important and brave. Read this wonderful book, just read it. Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places, on If I Was Your Girl
Holly Bourne, queen of YA fiction, is best known for her authentic characters and revolutionary attitude to mental health and feminism.
Bourne is intensely readable and writes with compassion, insight and humour. Fiona Noble, The Observer
Empathy Day is an annual event in June. It was founded by Empathy Lab, who aim to build children's empathy, literacy and social activism through literature.
On Empathy Day 2019 Usborne carried out a range of activities to celebrate the role books and stories play in developing empathy.