In recent weeks we’ve all seen how empathy is more important than ever, to help us listen to and understand others, enable us to help those in need, and to stand against injustice. Today, Empathy Lab is asking us all to encourage children to READ empathy-boosting books, CONNECT with others by listening, and ACT by putting empathy skills into practice – all as part of Empathy Day 2020.

At Firefly Press, we’re proud of our wonderful authors and illustrators who work so hard to create and share stories for children which will help them to empathise with others. This year, we’re delighted that Vanessa Harbour’s powerful middle-grade historical story Flight is an Empathy Lab selection in their Read for Empathy Guide 2020. 

Flight is ‘a nail-biting adventure about children who manage to save Lipizzaner horses in the Second World War. Gripping, and excellent for exploring and understanding relationships (and history), with strong characters.’

Empathy Lab UK

You can read a special blog post by Vanessa about the importance of developing empathy for (and between) the characters in Flight, hosted by the brilliant Library Girl and Book Boy

Other Firefly authors are taking part with Empathy Day too…

Miriam Halahmy is the author of Behind Closed Doors, a moving Young Adult novel which tells the story of two teenage girls on the brink of homelessness. Watch her special Empathy Day message here.

‘At this time of pandemic the whole world has had to dig deep and show kindness and empathy to each other and to strangers. Empathy is literally saving lives.’

Miriam Halahmy

Kate Mallinder is the author of feel good teen reads Summer of No Regrets and Asking for a Friend. Watch her special message for Leicester Libraries here. Kate is also taking part in #ukteenchat on Twitter from 8-9pm.

And Wilde author and Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams, has created a terrific Authorfy ‘10 Minute Challenge’ especially for #EmpathyDay. Watch it here.

Empathy Reads for Years 2 – 4

Empathy Reads for Years 5 – 6

Empathy Reads for KS3+

Empathy Day Firefly KS3

Here are some ways you can get involved with Empathy Day

  • Share your recommended #ReadForEmpathy books 
  • Take part in the Empathy Day virtual programme
  • Read a book from the Empathy Lab’s Read for Empathy Collection 
  • Take part in one of the activities in the Family Activity Pack

There are loads of brilliant resources to inspire and help parents, teachers and children get involved with Empathy Day over at including this downloadable Empathy Day Resolution poster.

Empathy Lab is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of high-quality literature. Each year, they organise Empathy Day and create a guide for schools, libraries and parents.

@EmpathyLabUK #EmpathyDay #ReadForEmpathy

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