The past year has been strange and difficult for most of us. It has been a time of loneliness, isolation and feeling unsure and we had to find new ways of being ‘normal’. Throughout this time the theme of kindness has been constant, with people volunteering to support their communities, donating food or cooking for frontline workers and fundraising for the NHS.
An act of kindness can be the tiniest thing, a simple smile as you step aside to let some pass on the street, it can start small and become huge. Kindness can improve our self-esteem, heighten our sense of belonging, reduce isolation, and help to keep things in perspective. Kindness also has the potential to make our world a happier place.
To celebrate kindness, we have put together a collection of books for adults and children, that promote kindness and its power to change our lives, communities, and world. Look out for these books in your local library or borrow them as eBooks and eAudiobooks from BorrowBox.
Jonny Benjamin – The stranger on the Bridge
In 2008, 20-year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny’s life. The Stranger on the Bridge is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
Christie Watson – The Language of Kindness
Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, this book is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion, and kindness. In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us and in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.
Akwaeke Emezi – Freshwater
A sparkling debut novel exploring the idea of many ‘selves’, how we develop our identities and the impact of others around us.
Ingrid Persaud – Love after love
Brave and brilliant, steeped in affection, ‘Love After Love’ asks us to consider what happens at the very brink of human forgiveness, and offers hope to anyone who has loved and lost and has yet to find their way back.
Elizabeth Laird – Secret Friends
Rafaella finds it hard to make friends when she starts at a new school. Her name sounds strange, her ears stick out, she feels different from the others. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her Earwig. But then a secret friendship begins.
Onjali Q Rauf – The boy at the back of the class
Told with humour and heart, The Boy at the Back of the Class offers a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense.