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Interview with Amanda Morin, Author of What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids

What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids

What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids written by Amanda Morin and illustrated by John Joseph is a wonderful and unique story about friendship, perspective taking and empathy.


This story is told twice, first from Sofia’s point of view and then from Ava’s point of view. The story is about Sofia and Ava who are best friends. Sofia and Ava were next door neighbors until Sofia’s family needed to move across town. Sofia hasn’t seen Ava all summer because her mom works all day and doesn’t have a car. She wanted to Ava terribly but it was too far to bike across town. Sofia is so excited to see her best friend on the first day of school. When she gets on the school bus, she immediately finds Ava and assumes she will save her a seat. She is surprised and hurt when she sees Ava sitting next to someone else. Ava has a new best friend, Madison! Sofia is devastated and doesn’t understand why Ava does not want to be her friend anymore. The story continues as both Sofia and Ava learn about themselves and their friendship.

In part two, Ava’s story, the readers get a different perspective on the story and how Ava perceives the situation. Through these two different parts of the book, children will learn about different perspectives and open their mind to the concept of compassion and understanding. This book confirms how there are always two sides to a story. It’s important to understand these concepts in order to develop empathy and compassion.

A Note to Parents and Caregivers

Included in the book is an informative note to parents and caregivers that provides tips and strategies to trigger conversation and discussion with your child as you are reading the book. This section also goes into more detail about bullying and how to discuss this topic with your child. There is also a note to readers, which can also be helpful when reading this book aloud with your child. This book is also ideal for educators as well because it can be used in conjunction with the Zones of Regulation curriculum to help teach children new emotion vocabulary. 

What Is Empathy?: A Bullying Storybook for Kids

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About Author and Educator, Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is an author, former classroom teacher, education writer, and special education advocate. She serves as an in-house adviser for Understood.org, where she teaches about using empathy as a tool to embrace inclusion. She has been an expert resource for NPREd, Education Week, Associated Press (AP), The Atlantic, Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, Education World, USA Today, and more. Amanda is also the winner of the 2017 SmartBrief Education Editor’s Choice content Award.

Amanda is the author of four books. Titles include the Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education: A Complete Step by Step Guide to Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs,  The Everything Kids’ Learning Activities Book: 145 Entertaining Activities and Learning Games for Kids, On-the-Go Fun for Kids!: More than 250 Activities to Keep Little Ones Busy and Happy-Anytime, Anywhere! and her most recent children’s book, What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids

To learn more about Amanda, visit her website here.

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