The More-ness Of Reading

My Book Reviews & Recommendations:

The Grotyln by Benji Davies

All The Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster

6 Books That Encourage Children To Read For Empathy

Going Deeper With Dahl

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Other Blog Posts:

The Best RE Lesson I Ever Taught (Spoiler: It Was A Reading Lesson)

Changing Hearts, Minds, Lives and the Future: Reading With Children for Empathy

Teaching Reading: Pairing Non-Fiction With Fiction

Author Quotations:

“The only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings, is that those who read them should be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and the joys of those who differ from them in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring human creatures.” - George Eliot

“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” - Malorie Blackman

“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.” - Katherine Patterson, author of Bridge to Terebithia

"In reading, you get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals." - Neil Gaiman

"Children's books are engines for empathy. They allow us to see through the eyes of others. By transporting us to other worlds they help us to understand our own." - Chris Riddell

"'You'll enjoy it. There is much you can learn from books and scrolls,' said Jeod. He gestured at the walls. 'These books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.'" - Jeod, in Eragon by Christopher Paolini

"Children's books help children to make sense of the world, provide a refuge from it and maybe, one day, inspire them to build a better one." - Christopher Edge

"The empathy we feel for book characters wires our brains to have the same sensitivity towards real people." - Raymond Marr, et al (2009) in Exploring the Link Between Reading Fiction and Empathy.

“There is growing evidence that reading narratives, even those explicitly labelled as fiction, is far from a meaningless leisure activity that ends when one closes the cover of a book. Several researchers have demonstrated that exposure to narrative fiction can influence our attitudes toward various issues…. evidence is accumulating that the reading of narrative fiction can have important consequences, whose quality and underlying mechanisms require closer study.” - Raymond Marr, et al (2009) in Exploring the Link Between Reading Fiction and Empathy.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." - Atticus, in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Books that make you feel empathy can really actually change you. When I feel empathy in stories I think so much more. I turn the pages more slowly." - Ethan, age 10, Morrlands Primary Academy (with thanks to EmpathyLab)

“...arts and culture, by their very essence, tell us stories about the human condition and help us to understand and live with our fellow citizens.” - Peter Bazalgette

“In literature we feel the pain of the downtrodden, the anguish of defeat, or the joy of victory—but in a safe space. In this space, we can, as it were, practice empathy. We can refine our human capacities of emotional understanding. We can hone our ability to feel with other people who, in ordinary life, might seem too foreign—or too threatening—to elicit our sympathies. Perhaps, then, when we return to our real lives, we can better understand why people act the way they do, and react with caution, even compassion, toward them.” - Keith Oatley, professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto

Book Lists:

Click here for a great list of books which promote kindness, compassion and empathy from Book Trust

Click here to visit the Empathy Lab UK website to find out more about the creative power of words to build empathy, and the power of empathy to make the world a better place

Click here to visit the Empathy Library website, "a digital treasure house to share inspiring books and films to spark a global empathy revolution"

Click here for CLPE's Celebrating Kindness booklist

Books to breed tolerance

Additional Reading (Research and Articles):

Article: Good News for Bookworms: Reading Novels Boosts Your Empathy

Article: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy, Study Finds

Research: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind (sign up for a free account to access this journal article by psychologists and researchers David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano)

Research: On Being Moved By Art: How Reading Fiction Transforms The Self

Research: Exploring The Link Between Reading Fiction And Empathy: Ruling Out Individual Differences And Examining Outcomes

Article: A Feeling for Fiction

Book: The Empathy Instinct by Peter Bazalgette

EmpathyLab at The Bookseller Children's Conference

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