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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Teach Your Kids Empathy With These Old-School Chapter Books | Reading - Lifehacker

I began to plow through chapter books almost as soon as I could read, and I distinctly remember a handful of “a-ha” moments while submerged in these novels, notes Jaclyn Youhana Garver, Providing concise, audience-focused writing, editing, & marketing.
Photo: Jaclyn Youhana Garver

These moments occurred as I read about experiences I’d never had and people I never knew (I grew up in a pretty homogenous bubble—lots of white, Christian people).

A variety of studies and articles over the years have debated whether reading fiction can increase a person’s empathy. In one of the most widely cited, published in 2013 in the journal Science, researchers focused on whether the type of fiction mattered. Its findings? Reading literary fiction can, in the short term, improve readers’ ability to pick up on and understand others’ emotions. (Nonfiction, romance, horror and sci-fi, not so much.)

In particular, I remember how these old-school books (published in the 1980s or earlier and straight off my own bookshelves) presented compelling stories that can help expand a child’s empathy:

Source: Lifehacker