This article, published by Edutopia, is written by a woman who is a firm believer that the theme of empathy is throughout literature and can form empathy in the readers. Writer Elena Aguilar writes that books and empathy are connected because readers are able to take the perspective of the characters in the books, feel their feelings, understanding their emotions. She argues that it is crucial to read books that have an underlying theme of empathy because if readers “don’t get the feelings in a visceral form, will [they] act to change the injustices of this world?” (Aguilar, 2014).

This helped me answer my guiding questions because it provides further information about why it is so important to teach empathy to children. As a teacher, we are to foster the love of reading in our students and find books that have underlying themes or lessons that can be applied to their lives. Aguilar’s article helps me see that a powerful book has more than just empathy, but can help students step into the shoes of other people, taking others’ perspectives and learning from one another.


Aguilar, E. (2014, February 05). How reading literature cultivates empathy. Retrieved June 28, 2016, from