Middle school can be a particularly difficult time in children’s lives. Grades 5-8 are full of so many new experiences. During this time, children become young adults and this transition can be very hard. Teaching students empathy during these years is particularly important. They are developing their identity and need to be coached on how to relate to what others are feeling so that they can grow to be caring adults. Read on to learn the 9 top books on empathy for middle school students.

1. Wonder by RJ Palacio


2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

3. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

The Hundred Dresses

4. The Summer of Swans by Betsy Byars

The Summer of the Swans

5. Sounder by William Armstrong


6. Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks

Tiny Stitches Book

7. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons

8. Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly

Crazy Lady!

9. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret


Each of the books listed will help you to lead your students and your own children through discussions about empathy. Helping young adults develop strong character traits such as empathy is important to their development. To learn what books we recommend for younger children, click here.


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