January 23, 2018

Find it in NoveList: Books that foster compassion in children

With bad news filling our social media feeds, reading can offer us a compassion and empathy break. We know reading matters. Reading helps foster compassion and empathy, giving the reader both the space and tools they need to be a kind force in an unkind world (which seems more and more unkind every day). Having adults who practice compassion on a daily basis makes us all better and childhood is the place to start teaching these skills. Whether you’re looking for books for a storytime about sharing or answering a question from a parent looking to teach their child about gratitude, NoveList has you covered for finding books (both fiction and nonfiction) that teach kids about compassion, caring, empathy, and generosity.

Let’s get you started!

Search using subject headings and audience levels (ages 0-8 or ages 9-12) relevant to your reader’s needs. On the advanced search page, type a subject heading like “Compassion in children” into the first search box, select the audience level that’s right for you, and click search. 

Some subject headings that may be useful to try are:

  • Compassion in children
  • Caring in children
  • Generosity in children
  • Helpfulness in children
  • Kindness in children­
  • Unselfishness

We also have subject headings for “Compassion in girls”, “Compassion in boys”, etc., so you may want to do a truncated search such as “Compassion*” or “Caring*” or “Generosity*” to bring back a larger variety of books.

Field code searching lets you do the same type of search without going to the Advanced Search page. We have a guide to field code searching on our website, but your quick tip is that SU will search NoveList subject headings and RL will search NoveList audience levels (RL 4 = ages 9-12 and RL 8 = ages 0-8). If you wanted to do the same search we did on the advanced search page, type (SU Compassion in children) AND (RL 4) into the search box. That search will return both fiction and nonfiction titles. Swap “Compassion in Children” out for “unselfishness” or “Caring*” and you’ve got a search you can customize to fit your needs.

Looking for something on a topic rather than a character trait? Books about caring for the environment or caring for animals? You could try doing some searches using subject headings such as: “Animal rights”, “Animal welfare”, “Nature conservation”, “Wildlife conservation”, “Environmentalism”, or even “Vegetarianism” or “Veganism”, along with the aforementioned field codes for books for ages 0-8 and 9-12 (RL 4 OR RL 8). For examples, type (SU Nature conservation) AND (RL 8) into the search bar for books on nature conversation appropriate for younger kids.

The possibilities are endless. Now let’s go spread some compassion! 


Jennie Minor is a Metadata Librarian I at NoveList. 





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