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Firefly staff recommend reads for Empathy Day

To celebrate Empathy Day, we recommend some of our favourite books to #readforempathy.


Janet Thomas, Editor picks Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell

'I find it quite overwhelming to try to pick only one book. I’ve chosen perhaps a safe choice, a book I’ve loved for years, Something Else by Kathryn Cave, illustrations by Chris Riddell, because it makes you feel what it’s like to be left out and also how it feels to realise you are leaving someone else out because they’re different. It’s brilliant. But perhaps the bigger message of today is read EVERYTHING. Listen to everyone you can. Let the world open up around you. I love learning of so many new things I want to read.'

Firefly intern An Nabeshima (age 17) from Japan was one of the first readers of Behind Closed Doors by Miriam Halahmy (publishing on 12 July)
’This book has completely changed my way of grasping the word "home". Before I read it, I believed that my family understands me the best, and that it would be the same for everyone in the world without a doubt. However the book told me that there were children the same age as me who don't feel safe with their family and are looking for a real home and I was very shocked by that. At the same time, the two brave girls, Josie and Tasha, made me think of the importance of love and how lucky I am to have my house as the right place to live.
I loved this book very much because it showed me how anyone can fight for their own lives with strong principles and reliable friends. And I learned that the most important person in your life may already be with you, but you have to notice it otherwise you will regret when that person disappears. Also, I reckon any teenager would feel the sadness of the two girls perhaps not being loved by their moms and being so lonely, and can feel empathy for them. And you will realise what "home" is and where your real "home" is by the end.
Megan Farr, Marketing and Publicity, picks In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda, translated by Howard Curtis
'This beautifully written book is the real story of Enaiatollah Akbari who was forced to leave his home and family in Afghanistan at the age of 10 and took five years travelling across Europe, encountering terrible hardship and ordeals along the way before he was finally able to settle in Italy. This book helped me understand what it must be like to have to leave behind everyone that you love and the resilience Enaiatollah had to survive and keep going under terrible circumstances. I’d highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone - children and adults.’
Penny Thomas, Publisher, picks Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
'I finally read Noughts and Crosses on holiday last week and was blown away. What an amazing book - and what better for empathy than everyone putting themselves in each other's shoes? I left my copy in the guesthouse shelves in Greece to spread the word. I'd also recommend The Territory by Sarah Govett, also a wonderfully empathetic YA novel!'