June Reading List: Encouraging Empathy

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Empathy Day on the 11th June is an annual event founded by Empathy Lab, to harness books’ empathy-building power. It aims to encourage us to read stories, build empathy and make the world a better place. We’ve put together a list of brilliant books that will help you and your class see things from someone else’s point of view and support you to build your real-life empathy skills through reading.

Cat Chase

Cat Chase
Project X Hero Academy
Oxford Level 1 (Year R/P1)

When you’re a superhero, helping others is in your job description! Turn your class into reading superheroes as they join the heroes at the Hero Academy to use their powers to save a furry friend. 

Take a look at the whole Level 1/1+ pack.

This book is also available on Oxford Reading Buddy, with accompanying quiz to test comprehension.

The Festival of Colours

Festival of Colours
Oxford Reading Tree Story Sparks
Oxford Level 5 (Year 1/P2)

Learning about and understanding other cultures and how other peoples’ lives are different to our own is an important part of building empathy. Story Sparks stories aim to do this by firing up children’s emotions and imaginations. Here, we get to transported to bright and bustling Holi, the festival of colours, with Adil and Mira, but there’s trouble ahead when a man’s wallet is stolen. 

Take a look at the whole Level 5 pack.

This book is also available on Oxford Reading Buddy, with accompanying quiz to test comprehension.

A Good Turn

A Good Turn
Oxford Reading Tree Decode and Develop
Oxford Level 8 (Years 1-3/P2-4)

This phonically-based Decode and Develop book sees Biff, Chip and Kipper join the scouts, where they learn that one good turn deserves another. It’s a great book to support children who are moving on to richer reading that encourages being kind to others.

Take a look at the whole Level 8 pack.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales
Oxford Level 9 (Years 1-3/P2-4)

A retelling of the classic tale, adapted so that children can read it by themselves. As we find out that the Beast is not as scary as he looks, it teaches us a valuable lesson about not judging others by their appearance. 

Take a look at the whole Level 9 pack.

This book is also available on Oxford Reading Buddy, with accompanying quiz to test comprehension.

Our Siberian Journey

Our Siberian Journey
Oxford Reading Tree inFact
Oxford Level 11 (Years 1-3/P2-4)

A photographer takes us with him on a journey to the icy cold Arctic to discover what life is like for a reindeer herder living in a remote part of Siberia. This Oxford Reading Tree inFact book is full of breathtaking photographs and personal experiences that will give your class real insights and a whole new perspective to relate to.

Take a look at the whole Level 11 pack.

This book is also available on Oxford Reading Buddy, with accompanying quiz to test comprehension.

Lucy's Search for Little Star

Lucy’s Search for Little Star
Anne Booth
Age 7+

The central theme of all of the Lucy books is the importance of kindness, with Lucy showing empathy to animals and people alike. The simple language and short chapters are perfect for developing readers or for reading aloud, with plenty of opportunities for meeting new characters in situations unlike our own and experiencing a little of what others feel.

Buy Lucy’s Search for Little Star and find more books in the series on Amazon.

The Anti-Bully Machine

The Anti-Bully Machine
Oxford Level 13 (Years 2-4/P3-5)

A genius boy has invented a machine for shrinking bullies, but Steve thinks that having the right attitude and being confident is a much better way to deal with them. What do your class think? This TreeTops book is a great starting point for discussions of how we treat others and seeing things from another perspective.

Take a look at the whole Level 13 pack.

Double Exposure

Double Exposure
TreeTops Reflect
Oxford Level 17 (Years 4-6/P5-7)

TreeTops Reflect is a new thought-provoking and emotional series that uses the power of fiction to help children connect to diverse experiences. In this story, Martin ends up partnered with spiky Sophia for a photography project, but it’s when he learns more about her life, and her role as a carer for her mum, that he discovers they can find a way to work together and he starts to see things from a different angle. 

Read it now in the free Oxford Owl eBook library or take a look at the whole Level 16-17 pack.

Find a quiz to test comprehension for this book on
Oxford Reading Buddy.

Feeling inspired? Share your thoughts using #empathyday to engage in the empathy conversation and, of course, keep reading and sharing stories!

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