Stories--and fiction in particular--build empathy. (Though English majors have known this for centuries, scientists have recently offered up some strong evidence of this.) Check out these classics, and add your own favorite empathy building book or movie to a growing list of titles we're compiling from readers like you.
1. Charlotte’s Web
Reading E.B. White’s book about “Some Pig” and his friend Charlotte is a rite of passage for children. A master class in caring for those outside your “in” group, the generosity of good friends, and the nobility of the seemingly insignificant, this is a book that parents and children can read together and discuss for years.
2. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Jon Scieszka’s retelling of the classic fairytale shows the wolf’s point of view, making it (much like Gregory Macguire’s Wicked) a valuable object lesson in perspective-taking. And it’s funny.
3. We’re Different, We’re the Same: And We’re All Wonderful
Geared to ages 4-8, this book celebrates multiculturalism and shared humanity by pointing out the differences and similarities in things like noses and hair (also, fur).
Research for this piece contributed by Frankie Thomas and Ilya Tsinis