KS2: Empathy Day 2019

Empathy Day focuses on using books as tools to build more understanding between us all, because scientific research shows that reading builds our real-life sensitivity towards other people. Here’s some of our favourite stories that can help pupils understand the world around them.

How to be a Lion by Ed Vere

You don't have to ROAR to be heard...

Meet Leonard - a lion like no other.

Leonard's best friend is Marianne, a duck. But lions chomp ducks, don't they?

What will the pair do when their way of life is threatened?

Charlie Changes Into a Chicken by Sam Copeland, Sarah Horne (Illustrator)

Charlie McGuffin has an incredible secret . . . He can change into animals. All sorts of animals: a flea, a pigeon, even a rhino. Trouble is, he can't decide when - it only happens when he gets worried. And right now, Charlie has quite a lot to worry about: His brother (who is in hospital), his parents (who are panicking about it) and the school bully (who has Charlie in his sights) And even though every kid wants a superhero power, Charlie isn't keen on changing into a chicken in the middle of the school play. So with the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way of dealing with his crazy new power - and fast!

Check out our resources section for a full scheme of work to help explore this hilarious book and the personal well-being issues it addresses.

My Mum Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt

Jacqueline Wilson is one of the most loved authors for a reason. Her characters never needed a cape, or a special power to be a hero to generations of children; just huge imaginations, a bit of fierceness and a big heart. And there is no hero fiercer or more iconic than Tracy. My Mum Tracy Beaker is a fantastic new story, reuniting readers with a much-loved old friend (and some old enemies. . .) Just like old times, it’s packed full of illustrations from Nick Sharratt.

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

The fairies are in trouble. Goblin gangs (exactly as bad as it sounds) are planning an uprising, and it looks like they've had human help.

Holly Short is convinced it's her old nemesis, Artemis Fowl.

But, for once, Artemis is innocent. He's too busy getting his father back from the Arctic Circle, where the Russian Mafia (also very bad) is holding him prisoner.

All Artemis has to do is clear his name, face the biggest criminal organisations in the world and avoid freezing to death.

At least it'll get him out of the house . . .

 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Sephy is a Cross: dark-skinned and beautiful, she lives a life of privilege and power. But she's lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.

Callum is a nought: pale-skinned and poor, he's considered to be less than nothing - a blanker, there to serve Crosses - but he dreams of a better life.

They've been friends since they were children, and they both know that's as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies - love is out of the question.

Then - in spite of a world that is fiercely against them - these star-crossed lovers choose each other.

But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come.

Boy In The Tower by Polly Ho-Yen

When they first arrived, they came quietly and stealthily as if they tip-toed into the world when we were all looking the other way. Ade loves living at the top of a tower block. From his window, he feels like he can see the whole world stretching out beneath him. His mum doesn’t really like looking outside – but it’s going outside that she hates. She’s happier sleeping all day inside their tower, where it’s safe. But one day, other tower blocks on the estate start falling down around them and strange, menacing plants begin to appear. Now their tower isn’t safe anymore. Ade and his mum are trapped and there’s no way out . . .