Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides

Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides

Created by Anna Mae Duane, Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, and Allyson Dowds, Youth Technology Librarian for Teen Central at the Boston Public Library.

About the theme

Empathy has been held up as a balm for our divided society by everyone from neuroscientists to primatologists to political thinkers. Yet as the consensus grows that we need to cultivate more empathy, the scarcer it seems to become. From political debates, to cultural choices, to classroom conversations, we seem increasingly unable to engage in empathetic exchange. Instead, we pick sides and dig in against perceived enemies. Continue reading about this theme.

Reading List

  • Flight by Sherman Alexie (Read ALA's statement about the use of Sherman Alexie's books for this project.)
  • Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy, John Jennings
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman
  • March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
  • Bonus book: Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School by Adam Fortunate Eagle

Programming Materials

Promotional Materials