I tell my students it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself somebody next door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see who's very far away who's a different color who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.
But it's important while we are supporting lessons in respecting others to remember that many of our youngest kids need to learn to respect themselves. You learn your worth from the way you are treated.