Books to Inspire Gratitude, Empathy and Compassion

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, my girls and I wanted to share our favorite books that inspire the feeling of this holiday.

1.The Adventures of Beekle:  This little imaginary friend has moxy.  My girls always feel sad for him when he is not chosen, and they cheer him on as he goes out in search of his very own happy ending.

2. The Very Hungry Bear:  I love this one.  You may not know it but this is a story about Asylum Seekers. The Polar Bear cannot live in his own home and is forced to create a new home in a very foreign environment.  It’s genius, so subtly done, there is nothing labored about this book.  Yet the essence of sharing and support and kindness is clear.

3. The Treasure Box:  the story of a father and son fleeing their homeland and taking with them something cherished from their culture.  There is sacrifice, loss, and starting again with hope in this book.

4. Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down.  How four young black men, with Dr Martin Luther King’s Words in their ears, inspire change with their non-violent protest.

5. Peace, Bugs, and Understanding.  Siblings can be a challenge, and often the hardest people to find compassion and empathy for when we are young.  This book handles what is a common issue in our house with kindness, love, and ease.  This is essential reading for sibling rivalry!

6. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.  What’s not to love about this classic.  A young boy helps an older woman find her memories.  Mem Fox is the queen of compassion and empathy!

7. The Big, Little Book of Happy Sadness.  A young boy who lives alone with his grandma finds a three-legged dog bound for the infamous green door at the pound and brings him home.  As the boy searches for ways to create a fourth leg for his new friend, the dog fills the too-big hole in the boy’s heart that losing his parents at a young age created.

8. Last Stop on Market Street.  This has had a lot of press over the last year, with good reason.  A lovely story about a boy on a bus with his grandma, not only explores how different life looks for many but it is peppered with lovely moments of celebrating the simple things.

9. Sad, the Dog.  My girls love this story and so do I.  A dog, named Sad, is treated terribly by his owners but finds new hope, acceptance, friendship and a new name when a new family moves into his home.

10.The Stone Lion.  This makes me cry.  Every, single, time.  A statue of a lion resting outside a library uses his one chance to move to make two children’s lives better.  Margaret Wild, you are amazing.

11.  Anh’s Anger. My eldest has a fiery temper, which I swear she gets from her father, not me!  This book is a lovely meditation on developing a healthy relationship with your own anger.  For me, this is hands down, one of my favourite books.  It’s rare to come by a conversation with anger that teaches us compassion and empathy and kindness for ourselves.


Happy Reading x


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1 Comment

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