PPBF: Stand In My Shoes

Happy November!
Look whooooo came trick or treating last night.

Falling asleep and awakening to the sounds of 
our backyard "pet" owl makes me so happy.
Such a wise creature.

And though we're not technically having a PPBF over at Susanna's blog today, I'm excited to share a title that'll help you
elevate empathy in your students.

Author: Bob Sornson
Illustrator: Shelley Johannes
Publisher: Love and Logic Press
Date:  February 1, 2013
Suitable for: Kindergarten and up
Realistic Fiction
Themes: Empathy 
Brief synopsis:  When Emily's sister asks her to show some empathy, it starts Emily on a journey of learning to notice, recognize, understand and appreciate 
the feelings of the people in her path.

Opening pages: 


*Read Roxanne's book review at Books That Heal Kids.
*See how Sheila used the book with her kids at Pennies of Time.
*Read Michele Borba's post on Stretching Student Empathy.
*Experience Tanya's Empathy In A (Shoe) Box lesson.
*Learn how to make Toilet Roll Empathy Dolls.
*Learn about Changemaker Schools from Start Empathy.
*Check out Sunburst Visual Media's How Would You Feel?.
What's Your Empathy Quotient? Take the Empathy Test.
*Watch Mark Ruffalo explain what empathy is 
to Murray in this Sesame Street Clip.

Want a service project? Consider collecting second-hand sneakers
to support Soles4Souls. Click the graphic below to learn more.

Why I like this book:  It's no secret that I'm big on nurturing and elevating the empathy that we're hardwired with at birth. I've spent a lot of time in the past three years challenging my students to switch places with people so that they can feel what people feel and understand where they're coming from. 
Learning more about someone's story typically helps with this.

Recently I was presented with the opportunity to do just that, to put empathy into practice. I read this blog post about Logan, a senior in high school, and the horrific car crash (his wrecked vehicle could have totally been mine except that it took an hour to cut him out of his) that left him broken, in the hospital and headed to rehab for weeks and months to come. I had walked in his shoes, literally and figuratively, when I survived that head-on collision just nine months earlier, so I offered to send a copy of the book Crash Course that helped me through my trauma. I decided to tuck a gift card inside the book to treat his family to dinner or to give him some iTunes music for recovery. Words can't express the delight I felt when his mom emailed me saying that he was using my gift to buy ... yep ... shoes! 
A teenaged boy who could have bought himself anything. 
Without knowing anything about me or my work. 
To replace the shoes that were cut off in the devastating wreck.
Read his mom's post about it {here}. 
Now that's the power of empathy.

Try the empathy switch in this video clip to tangibly help your audience understand how difficult switching places can be. Use Emily's story so that students can learn about empathy vicariously through her experience and stretch and strengthen their character muscles connected to this
glorious virtue and important life-skill.

How will standing in someone else's shoes 
make your life better today?


  1. That's a very good book. Great recommendation!

    1. Thanks, Barb! I totally forgot that we weren't having PPBF today.

  2. 1. I love owls and wish I could see more of them. He's a beauty!

    2. We definitely need our kids to have empathy- I think a lot of our world is missing that!

    3. I actually met one of the founders of Soles4Souls! He came to our little school and talked to a couple of our classes about his running. We have a local Soles4Souls that is run by one of my parents- he and his wife operate a Wylie House Foster Home! How neat is that???

    4. You are a shining star to so many people, and God was looking out for you during your accident. YOU. HAVE. A. PURPOSE. :)


    1. Thank you, dear Shannon. Every time that you leave a reflection, I feel my emotional reserve overflow ... because you have the gift of encouragement and support. Come visit sometime and you can see our owl in person!

  3. We recently had a discussion about empathy in a 4th grade class. Walking in someone else's shoes. It was a pretty lively conversation. This book would have come in handy. Thanks for the review, the fun videos and the links. We'll be checking it all out!

  4. This looks like a great book. I love the cover, love the art, and of course, the theme. Thanks for the link to Soles4Souls. I dug out a box full of perfectly good sneakers Monday and was trying to figure out what to do with them all.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!