A writer of children’s books contends that reading fiction can increase compassion (and prevent bullying) by allowing students to experience life through another person’s eyes.
When you read, you become another person, if only for a short while. You see how that person lives and how they think. You experience their hopes and fears, and you see how they’ve come to be who they are. If you read five different books, you have a window into the lives of five different people. That’s what empathy is: to feel for that other person, and it opens you up to different experiences you may never have otherwise been able to share.
There have been numerous studies showing that people who read fiction have increased empathy. This...
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Michael Dahl is the author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, specializing in the mystery and creepy fiction genre. He speaks at schools, libraries, and conferences across the country, and has been a featured speaker at ALA, AASL, NYAEC, TLA, NOLA, EncycloMedia and IRA. He is a three-time winner of the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award. Find him online at michaeldahlwrites.com.