In the academic journal Childhood Education, researchers Young, Hadaway, and Ward wrote an article about character values and how they are represented in children’s books internationally. They discussed wisdom, justice, transcendence, humanity, courage, and temperance. In children’s books, characters often face moral dilemmas, difficult situations, and relatable life events. The writers discuss how books about character values can be written anyway while also being applicable to children all over the world.

I found the article to be incredibly useful because Young, Hadaway, and Ward broke down all 6 character traits they identified in books with definitions and examples of representations of each in literature. In addition, the writers provided the readers with lists of book suggestions that highlight each trait. For example, for courage, they suggested books such as Gervelie’s Journey: A Refugee Diary, Fatty Legs, and Beatrice’s Dream: A Story of Kibera Slum. They also provided a list of all the books and documented the awards they won. All of the books were chosen from different countries around the world.

It relates to my topic because empathy is being expanded to many character values and applied in many multicultural texts. The list of books is extensive with great descriptions about the themes and connections to empathy.


Young, T. A., Hadaway, N. L., & Ward, B. A. (2013). International children’s trade books: Building blocks for character education. Childhood Education, 89(6), 379+. Retrieved from