Recommended Reading: Featured Reading

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Catboy

Category: Chapter Books, Featured Reading

By Eric Walters

Written in collaboration with his students in a Toronto-based school, this story is about a boy named Taylor who has moved from a small town in Ontario to the big city of Toronto. On his way home from school with a new friend, he discovers a cat colony in a junkyard and takes an interest in the cats living there. Taylor soon discovers that the junkyard is being redeveloped into condominiums. Taylor, with help from friends, his teacher and a security guard, comes up with a plan to save the cats.

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How to Heal a Broken Wing

Category: Featured Reading, Picture Books

By Bob Graham, 2008

In a city full of hurried people, a young boy notices an injured bird on the ground. With the help of his family, he gently wraps the hurt bird, in a blanket, and takes it home to heal. This uplifting story highlights the power of compassion.

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Small in the City

Category: Featured Reading, Picture Books

By Sydney Smith, 2019

Small in the city by the award winning illustrator, Sydney Smith follows a young person venturing out in an urban environment providing advice to someone on how to stay safe in the city; including suggestions on the safe passages, places to avoid, the kind people, and the good spots to warm up. The book a twist ending that will have you re-reading the book for new meaning. It's a great book to explore empathy for animals and people.

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Sonya’s Chickens

Category: Featured Reading, Picture Books

By Phoebe Wahl, 2015

Sonya raised her chickens from the time they hatched. Sonya cares for the animals and watches as they grow from chicks to hens, and even start producing eggs! Then one night, one of the chickens goes missing. Where did the she go? What happened? When her father sits her down and explains what happened Sonya learns the reality about the interconnectedness of nature and the happiness, and unfortunately the pain, that comes with caring for an animal.

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The War for Kindness: Building empathy in a fractured world

Category: Books for Teachers, Featured Reading

By Jamil Zaki

Jamil Zaki provides an easy to digest understanding of empathy along with detailing the advances in empathy research.  According to the book empathy levels have been declining for decades, however the author notes that empathy isn't a fixed trait, but rather a skill that we can build and grow. Empathy, he argues, is truly necessary to combat some of societies greatest challenges.  The book mixes both research and anecdotes from people who have shown kindness and empathy in challenging circumstances that have led to inspiring outcomes. He interviews a former neo-nazi who is now helping extract people from hate groups, police officers and how they're are changing their culture to decrease violence and NICU nurses who need to balance empathy to avoid burnout. As teachers nurture empathy in their classrooms, these stories can provide great insights.