In a lovely article Michael Morpurgo writes about the 50th anniversary of Amnesty, saying that ‘giving children a love of literature could help make the pressure group redundant’.

He descibes so beautifully the importance of literacy and the power of story to help us be human:

… developing in young children a love of poems and stories (fiction and non-fiction) is vital … It is through literature, not simply literacy, that we learn to understand and empathise. As readers, we learn about the lives of others, other places and cultures, other ways of seeing the world. We find out about the past, understand better how it made our today and how our today makes our tomorrow. We learn we are not alone in our feelings, that joy and pain are universal, that humanity is to be celebrated for its diversity but is ultimately one humanity. Through literature, we can find our place in the world, feel we belong and discover our sense of responsibility.

Amnesty understands this very well and it seeks out, encourages and endorses literature that it believes can help children develop this great skill of empathy, a skill that is vital for tolerance to grow, hatred to diminish and human rights to flourish.

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