A Challenge to Change Your Perspective

For healthy habits in the new year, we turned to Theresa Bosse, longtime English teacher and Loveland High School’s media specialist. After all, what’s more important than exercising your brain and stretching your mind? Or, more difficult: changing your perspective.

“These books challenge us to be empathetic. It’s what I love about them.” 

1. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Even if you’re not into graphic novels, this goes deeper than its art-based content. It’s about assumptions. And labels. What you’re willing to do to fit in. An immigrant tale that forces you to think, “Have I ever treated someone like that?”

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Winning awards for both artwork and story, it’s Theresa’s gateway book for non-readers—pictures make it non-threatening; its narrative is easy to read. Yet, it’s powerful and emotionally deep, with a universality that appeals to any age.

3. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Sci-fi meets history in this time-traveling tale of an early-’70s biracial couple. She finds herself a slave, he her slave owner. Both are changed, both scarred. But their scars are different, and none fade after their return to the present. A classic, inviting conversation and thought.

4. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

The quintessential curmudgeon, Ove appears to be just a cranky old man. But so much of his story echoes of Socrates, “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s about our shared humanity, our ability to touch someone else’s life. And why it’s vital to do so.

5. Unselfie by Michele Borba, Ed.D.

“I started reading it and had to put it on this list immediately,” Theresa says. “It’s not a self-help book, it’s not a prescription … it’s a reminder of how important empathy is.” A reminder of, again, perspective.