Children's books that teach empathy

 Read reviewYou Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P!

Alex Gino

Alex Gino, the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of George, is back with another sensitive tale based on increasingly relevant social justice issues.

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You Must Be Layla

You Must Be Layla

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Layla's mind goes a million miles a minute, so does her mouth - unfortunately her better judgement can take a while to catch up! Although she believes she was justified for doing what she did, a suspension certainly isn't the way...

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I'm Australian Too

I’m Australian Too

Mem Fox, Ronojoy Ghosh

I'm Australian! How about you? Many people from many places have come across the seas to make Australia their home. How Australian is that? From countries near and far, many have made their home in Australia, sharing it with...

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Dragon Post

Dragon Post

Emma Yarlett

A fiery story about friendship and asking for help from award-winning author-illustrator Emma Yarlett. One day Alex finds a dragon living in the cupboard under the stairs. Luckily he knows just what to do. He writes...

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 Read reviewEverything I've Never Said

Everything I’ve Never Said

Samantha Wheeler

A powerful novel about a subject rarely tackled - young people with disabilities and the families who love and support them.   

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 Read reviewSorry Day

Sorry Day

Coral Vass, Dub Leffler

Two stories entwine in this captivating retelling of the momentous day when the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, acknowledged the sorrows of past and said ‘Sorry' to the generation of children who were taken...

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 Read reviewBaz & Benz

Baz & Benz

Heidi McKinnon

From the creator of I JUST ATE MY FRIEND, this is a gorgeous and hilarious exploration of enduring friendship.

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Black Cockatoo

Black Cockatoo

Carl Merrison, Hakea Hustler

Finalist for the Readings Children's Book Prize 2019Black Cockatoo is a vignette that follows Mia, a young Aboriginal girl as she explores the fragile connections of family and culture.<br...

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The Lotterys Plus One

The Lotterys Plus One

Emma Donoghue, Caroline Hadilaksano

The one thing in life that never changes... is that sooner or later things change.

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 Read reviewLenny's Book of Everything

Lenny’s Book of Everything

Karen Foxlee

Winner of the 2019 Indie Book Award for children's booksLenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their single mother, who...

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 Read reviewAll the Ways to be Smart

All the Ways to be Smart

Allison Colpoys, Davina Bell

From the award-winning creators of The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella comes this joyful ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are.    

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Room On Our Rock

Room On Our Rock

Kate Temple, Terri,Rose Baynton

Two seals are perched on a rock. When others need shelter, do they share it? Room on Our Rock celebrates the truth that there are two sides to every story. This clever picture book has one story that can be read two...

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My Two Blankets

My Two Blankets

Irena Kobald, Freya Blackwood

A beautiful tale about friendship and culture, paired with award-winning Freya Blackwood's stunning illustrations

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Girl on Wire

Girl on Wire

Lucy Estela, Elise Hurst

Girl on Wire is a simple yet brilliantly uplifting allegory of a young girl struggling to build her self-esteem and overcome the anxiety that many children feel as they grow - she walks the tightrope, afraid she will fall, but...

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 Read reviewWhen Friendship Followed Me Home

When Friendship Followed Me Home

Paul Griffin

A boy's chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss and the meaning of family

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 Read reviewHello, Universe

Hello, Universe

Erin Entrada Kelly, Isabel Roxas

Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.

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 Read reviewThe Promise Horse

The Promise Horse

Jackie Merchant

Harry is tired of being the tall new kid with red hair, big feet and freckles; the one with the dead sister whose voice follows her wherever she goes. Everyone says she's imagining it, but she knows they're wrong. If she was...

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 Read reviewHelp Around the House

Help Around the House

Morris Gleitzman

Ludo helps other people. It's how he was brought up. When Dad is elected to Federal Parliament, Ludo grabs the chance to make Australia an even better place. But he soon discovers it's not the homeless of the national...

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Front Desk

Front Desk

Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China, desperate for money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown Southern California motel for skinflint Mr. Yao, whose son is the only other Chinese American in Mia's class.

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 Read reviewInheritance

Inheritance

Carole Wilkinson

Historical fiction for middle grade readers at its compelling, shocking, fascinating best. Nic is left in the care of her grandfather at the remote family property that was once her mother's childhood home; a place with 30...

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Wide Big World

Wide Big World

Maxine Beneba Clarke, Isobel Knowles

A beautiful children's picture book about diversity from award-winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrator Isobel Knowles.

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 Read reviewA Song Only I Can Hear

A Song Only I Can Hear

Barry Jonsberg

Rob has a huge crush on the new girl at school. But Rob is painfully shy and suffers severe panic attacks. How is her heart to be won? Another wonderful and heart-warming comedy drama from the award-winning author of My Life as an...

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No One Likes a Fart

No One Likes a Fart

Zoe Foster Blake, Adam Nickel

A sweet, funny story about accepting yourself and finding a friend who loves you just the way you are. Mostly, though, it's about a fart. And fart jokes. Loooots of fart jokes.

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 Read reviewCatch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star

Meg McKinlay

This coming-of-age story by multiple-award-winner Meg McKinlay is about loss and grief, dealing with change and fighting to hold on to what you can, while letting go of what you can't.

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 Read reviewThe Peacock Detectives

The Peacock Detectives

Carly Nugent

Shortlisted for the 2017 Text Prize, The Peacock Detectives is a delightfully Australian story about self-discovery and dealing with change for upper middle-graders.

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Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy

Katherine Marsh

When all seems lost, real heroes can be found.

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Magrit

Magrit

Lee Battersby, Amy Daoud

An award-winning, evocative book for younger readers by Lee Battersby and Amy Daoud.

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Pax

Pax

Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen

The moving story of the extraordinary friendship between a boy and his fox and their epic journey to be reunited. Beautifully illustrated by multi-award winner, Jon Klassen. Now available in Paperback!

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A Different Boy

A Different Boy

Paul Jennings

Anton escapes from an orphanage and successfully stows away on a boat headed for the land of 'sunshine and steaks'. A heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of loss, guilt, mistaken identity and risk-taking, migration, resilience and...

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 Read reviewWisp

Wisp

Zana Fraillon, Grahame Baker-Smith

A refugee story of extraordinary power and beauty from the Amnesty CILIP Honour-winning author of The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon, and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning illustrator Grahame Baker Smith.

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 Read reviewWren

Wren

Katrina Lehman, Sophie Beer

Wren just wants a bit of peace and quiet. What he gets is the noisiest baby sister you could ever imagine! But when Wren runs away to the country, he discovers that maybe peace and quiet isn't all he needs...  

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 Read reviewUnder the Love Umbrella

Under the Love Umbrella

Davina Bell, Allison Colpoys

From this award-winning creative duo comes a stunning celebration of the joy and comfort that love can bring - wherever we roam in the big, wild world.  

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 Read reviewMy Girragundji 20th Anniversary Edition

My Girragundji 20th Anniversary Edition

Meme McDonald, Boori Monty Pryor

The 20th anniversary edition of the award-winning, much loved story that tells how a little tree frog helps a boy find the courage to face his fears.

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The Elephant

The Elephant

Peter Carnavas

An exquisite first novel from acclaimed picture book author and illustrator Peter Carnavas about Olive, Dad and his elephant.

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It's OK to Feel the Way You Do

It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do

Josh Langley

Everyone has feelings ... sometimes we just don't know what to do with them! Happy, sad, lonely, angry, anxious, proud, scared - they're all feelings and emotions and they're all OK! Yes - every single one of them! In...

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Some Boys

Some Boys

Nelly Thomas, Sarah Dunk

Some Boys is the second in a series of kids books aimed at challenging old-fashioned stereotypes about boys and girls. It is a story about how everyone is different and special in their own way. Your boy might like rough,...

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Some Girls

Some Girls

Nelly Thomas, Sarah Dunk

Some girls are good with cars and bikes. Some girls are good with art and kites. Some girls are good with puzzles and maths. And some girls are good with dolls and cats. Some Girls is a story about how everyone is different and...

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 Read reviewMrs Whitlam

Mrs Whitlam

Bruce Pascoe

Marnie Clark of Curdie Vale can ride but she doesn't have a horse. She dreams of owning one and having the whole world to ride it in. Before too long Marnie is gifted Mrs Margaret ‘Maggie' Whitlam, a beautiful, big...

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 Read reviewThe Journey

The Journey

Francesca Sanna

With haunting echoes of current affairs this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book...

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Love Makes a Family

Love Makes a Family

Sophie Beer

Whether you have two mums, two dads, one parent, or one of each, there's one thing that makes a family a family... and that's love. A book for EVERY family by dazzling illustrator Sophie Beer.

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Why The Face?

Why The Face?

Jean Jullien, Meagan Bennett

A hilarious guessing game of facial reactions created by the author of bestselling This Is Not A Book

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George

George

Alex Gino

Allow me to introduce you to a remarkable book, full of love, wonder, hope, and the importance of getting to be who you were meant to be. You must read this. - David Levithan, author of Every Day and editor of George. GEORGE is...

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Hope in a Ballet Shoe

Hope in a Ballet Shoe

Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince

Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated and she sees the brutal murder of...

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Wonder

Wonder

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...

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 Read reviewGrover Finds a Home (Grover McBane, Rescue Dog Book 1)

Grover Finds a Home (Grover McBane, Rescue Dog Book 1)

Claire Garth, Johannes Leak

Grover is a brave dog, but right now he's cold, wet, hungry and afraid.After escaping from his owner's yard in a thunderstorm, Grover is taken to a local animal shelter. The people there are kind, but Grover isn't sure...

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 Read reviewIntroducing Teddy

Introducing Teddy

Jessica Walton

Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it's riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day,...

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Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street

Matt de la Pena, Christian Robinson

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? Each question is met with an...

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Hello Little Babies

Hello Little Babies

Alison Lester

From the bestselling author of Kissed by the Moon and Imagine comes a book to be cherished by children and parents everywhere. 

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