Read For Empathy – Poverty & Hunger

For harvest this year, we are asking for donations to Coventry Foodbank. As we did last year, crates will will be placed in bike sheds so that donations can be put in before and after school during next week (from Monday 4th October to Friday 8th October).

Books are a brilliant way for children to explore the lives of others, and this week’s books all link to families who may find themselves in need of their local foodbank.

It’s a No Money Day by Kate Milner is a moving insight into the sad rise and necessity of foodbanks from the perspective of society’s most vulnerable, and an essential book to help develop empathy in younger readers.

Mum works really hard, but today there is no money left and no food in the cupboards. Forced to visit the local foodbank, Mum feels ashamed that they have to rely on the kindness of others, but her young daughter can still see all the good in her day like reading and drawing, and even the foodbank. Maybe one day things will be different but for now together they brighten up even the darkest of days.

The Invisible by Tom Percival is a moving, powerful story that shines a light on those that feel invisible in our world – and shows us that we ALL belong.

The Invisible is the story of a young girl called Isabel and her family. They don’t have much, but they have what they need to get by. Until one day, there isn’t enough money to pay their rent and bills and they have to leave their home full of happy memories and move to the other side of the city. It is the story of a girl who goes on to make one of the hardest things anyone can ever make…a difference. And it is the story of those who are overlooked in our society – who are made to feel invisible – and why everyone has a place here. We all belong!

Poverty & Hunger by Louise Spilsbury and Hanane Kai is a beautiful picture book for older children, that explores what poverty and hunger are and how they affect children all over the world.

The Children in Our World picture book series helps children make sense of the larger issues and crises that dominate the news in a sensitive and appropriate manner. With relatable comparisons, carefully researched text and striking illustrations, children can begin to understand what poverty and hunger are, how they affect people in countries all over the world and how readers can help those affected.

Where issues aren’t appropriate to describe in words, award-winning illustrator, Hanane Kai, uses striking, sensitive, age appropriate illustrations to help children visualise the people and situations impacted by poverty and hunger.

For our older readers, Make Me Awesome by Ben Davis is a hilariously, heart-warming story about the power of self-belief and friendship. Make Me Awesome highlights the issues surrounding poverty and mental health, and their impact on families. Freddie turns desperation into determination and will have you crying with laughter as he embarks on various schemes to be awesome. I loved that the school library was at the heart of this story as a place for everyone to go, meet up with friends, old and new, try out new things and have fun. Did I say it was awesome? It’s more than awesome – it’s MAWESOME!

When Freddie’s Dad loses his job, the Smallhouse family hit tough times, and have to move in with Uncle Barry. When he announces that he has a job in Germany and will be selling his home, Freddie knows he has to do something. With the help of awesome life coach, Chuck Willard, he sets out to save himself and his parents from living in a B&B. Can the Make Me Awesome programme help Freddie to be as awesome as Chuck and turn his family’s fortunes around?