Empathy Day is still a number of months away (it's on the 9th June this year), but preparations are already underway.

The 2020 #ReadforEmpathy Book Collections from @EmpathyLabUK were announced today and feature 50 superb books; 33 for 4-11 year olds and 17 for 12-16 year olds. 

Some illuminate the experience of people from a range of cultures or life circumstances. Others help children explore emotions, so they can understand how other people feel. Several reflect stories of our time, such as the refugee experience, or coping with anxiety. 

All are engaging and thought provoking.

The collections are available to order from Peters via https://www.peters.co.uk/empathy2020 or can be purchased individually from your usual suspects. Click here to find your nearest independent bookshop.

Each collection has its own Read for Empathy Guide with a synopsis of all of the books, top tips for sharing stories and more information about #EmpathyDay which is on 9 June 2020. 

The book selection

Teachers, librarians, parents - download your FREE guides by visiting https://www.empathylab.uk/2020-read-for-empathy-collections

Here are the 17 titles from the Secondary collection:

The Secondary School collection


Somebody Give This Heart a Pen - Sophia Thakur (Walker Books)

Verse novels:

Long Way Down - Jason Reynolds, illustrator Chris Priestley (Faber & Faber)

The Deepest Breath - Meg Grehan (Little Island Books)

The Black Flamingo - Dean Atta (Hodder Children’s Books)

Toffee - Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury YA)

Graphic novels:

DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test - Hamish Steele (Nobrow)

Heartstopper: Volume 1 - Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)

New Kid - Jerry Craft (HarperCollins)


A Country to Call Home - Lucy Popescu (ed.), Illustrator Chris Riddell, (Unbound)


Furious Thing - Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books)

The Boy Who Steals Houses - C. G. Drews (Orchard Books)

Kick the Moon - Muhammad Khan, illustrator Amrit Birdi (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Frankly in Love - David Yoon (Penguin Books)

A Story About Cancer (with a Happy Ending) - India Desjardins, illustrator Marianne Ferrer, translator Solange Ouellet (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

The Unexpected Find - Toby Ibbotson (Scholastic)

Can You See Me? - Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott (Scholastic)

Jemima Small Versus the Universe - Tamsin Winter (Usborne)