cover image Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Michele Borba. Touchstone, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5011-1003-0

Parenting expert Borba (Building Moral Intelligence) traveled the world and researched for decades before writing this fresh and powerful primer on raising caring kids. The book came into focus, she explains, while she was visiting the Cambodian killing fields outside Phnom Penh. Her resultant goal—find out what causes inhumanity and how to stop it—led her to visit Dachau, Auschwitz, and Rwanda, as well as school classrooms. By consulting current research, she discovered that a strong sense of empathy is not only a moral imperative, but also an advantage in attaining health, happiness, and career success. In separate chapters, Borba presents nine essential empathetic skills: emotional literacy, moral identity, perspective talking, moral imagination, self-regulation, practicing kindness, collaboration, moral courage, and compassionate leadership abilities. In each section, she provides a wealth of exercises, activities, and age-by-age strategies to help parents nurture empathy—a trait, she stresses, that is not innate but can be taught and developed. With narcissism and self-absorption on the rise in our digital age, she argues, this trait is in danger. Her thought- provoking and practical book may very well tip over the parenting priority applecart—and rightly so. Agent: Joëlle Delbourgo, Joëlle Delbourgo Associates. (June)