The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers

Summer reading recommendations for, and from,

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

We searched far and wide to come up with a list of great books for you to crack open during the summer break—and, most important, we asked our teacher advisers and Facebook teachers what they were looking forward to reading (or rereading!). We received an avalanche of interesting ­responses. It was hard to choose just a few but here are some newer releases that you can pick up at your bookstore or download to an e-reader, plus teachers’ dog-eared favorites.

For Some Lessons on Life, and Teaching

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
—Amy Bennett-Rosado, teacher adviser

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs
by Ellen Galinsky
“Should be mandatory reading for parents and teachers alike.”
—Susie E., via Facebook

Teach Like a Pirate
by Dave Burgess
“Behind the funny title is a book full of creative ideas that will help you have fun while becoming a more effective teacher.”
—Grady Doane, teacher adviser

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind

Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations
by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky

“Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?” Teaching Lessons From the Bronx
by Ilana Garon

PD: Get Inspired

Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—and Why We Should Let Them
by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Michael W. Smith with Sharon Fransen

The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook, Grades K–2
by Jennifer Serravallo
—Lyssa Sahadevan, teacher adviser

Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success
by Baruti Kafele
—Stefania H., via Facebook

Falling in Love With Close Reading
by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts
—Laura Lai, teacher adviser

The Book Whisperer; Reading in the Wild
by Donalyn Miller
—Recommended by numerous teachers

Building Fluency: Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success
by Wiley Blevins
“I have dog-eared so many pages.”
—Ellen Palmer, teacher adviser

Time to Teach
by Rick Dahlgren and Judy Hyatt
—Jenny Letson, teacher adviser

Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers
by Judith Wynn Halsted
—Kim F., via Facebook

4 For Fun (and you can discuss with students!)

“The Divergent series: There is a mile-long wait list for these books at school, which definitely sparks my interest!”
—Leann Parrish, teacher adviser

“For pleasure, I want to reread many Agatha Christie and Jan Karon novels. Both provide a well-deserved escape into a different world.”
—Marsha Rains, teacher adviser

“I just finished the Parallel Trilogy—Gone, Imprisoned, Hunted—by Christine Kersey. I love young adult fiction!”
—Kathy S., via Facebook

“For fun? Matilda.”
—Jennifer H., via Facebook

Award-Winning Teacher Blogs for Thought-Provoking Ideas

A passionate, smart place to feed your own inspiration, or get reinspired. Krissy Venosdale blogs about mentors, the importance of play, and what schools could be, and offers downloads of crazy-colorful “Venspired” posters to brighten up your walls.

Matt B. Gomez
This self-titled blog has a number of fun and useful lists, including Google Hangout resources for teachers, apps to use in kindergarten, and favorite videos for brain breaks, transitions, and indoor recess.

Teacher and author Erin Klein’s blog is loaded with lesson plans, room design ideas, technology tips, and more, all presented in a warm voice that invites fellow teachers in.

Teacher Blog Spot
The focus is on teaching math, with lots of helpful graphics to demonstrate strategies. There’s a special section that deals specifically with Common Core convergence.


Click Here to Subscribe to Instructor Magazine

Instructor Cover

Instructor Magazine

Six issues per year filled with practical, fun, teacher-tested ideas for your classroom. Keep up with classroom trends, get expert teaching tips, and find dozens of resources in every issue.