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Summer reading for teachers: 25 books for your reading list

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There’s no doubt that summer reading is good for students—there’s evidence of the importance of summer reading everywhere, including some recent findings from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. But picking up a good book isn’t only for kids. Stop your own summer slide by checking out this summer reading list made especially for teachers (and other grown-ups too).

There’s no doubt that summer reading is good for students—there’s evidence of the importance of summer reading everywhere, including some recent findings from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. But picking up a good book isn’t only for kids. Stop your own summer slide by checking out this summer reading list made especially for teachers (and other grown-ups too).

EdWeek’s Teacher Book Club Just in case you missed our recent post that linked to EdWeek’s Book Club, here are some of the books that were chosen especially for teachers. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning by Mike Schmoker: This book is about taking a back-to-basics approach to education.

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov: This book offers proven techniques that teachers can use to raise student achievement.

Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery by Kathleen Cushman: This book discusses ways teachers can help their students feel more engaged and inspired.

The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test by Linda F. Nathan: This book explores solutions to issues related to teaching, race, and achievement.

More Books for Professional Development and Inspiration Here are more books you might want to peruse, including books with general teaching tips, insights on specific strategies, and a healthy dose of inspiration.

The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom by Erin Gruwell: This inspiring book contains more than 3,000 bits of information, including tips, quotes, and more.

The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child by Ron Clark: The author won the Disney Teacher of the Year Award. Here, he shares some personal anecdotes to introduce his 55 rules for effective teaching.

Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains by LouAnne Johnson: This book offers tips and strategies for creating classrooms where students feel truly engaged.

No Limits to Literacy for Preschool English Learners by Theresa A. Roberts: This is a favorite of the curriculum designers at Imagine Learning. The author draws on research to create a plan for preschool instruction that helps young learners gain important language and literacy skills.

Academic Language! Academic Literacy! by Eli R. Johnson: This book contains more than 30 hands-on strategies teachers can use to help students learn academic language and literacy.

What Really Matters in Vocabulary: Research-Based Practices Across the Curriculum by Patricia M. Cunningham: This book explores why many children enter school with underdeveloped vocabulary skills and offers strategies that will help fill the gaps.

Why I Teach: Inspirational True Stories from Teachers Who Make a Difference by Esther Wright: This inspirational collection of stories from real teachers celebrates all of the amazing things teachers like you are doing every day.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba: This is the inspiring true account of how a teenager in Malawi, Africa, saved his family and changed the lives of those in his community by harnessing the power of wind to create electricity.

Inspiring Books to Share with Young Readers These books don’t quite fit into the Professional Development category (though they’re very inspiring), and they don’t quite fit into the Fun Reads category (though they are fun), so I’m making a new category. These books explore important and inspiring subjects in engaging ways suitable for kids and grown-ups alike.

Ian’s Walk: A Story About Autism by Elizabeth Kennedy: This  picture book is all about Ian, a boy who has autism. The story is told from his sister’s perspective and explores her feelings and confusion about her brother's condition, as well as provides insight into the mind of children like Ian.

Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day by Pat Mora: The author of this book is actually the founder of Children’s Day/Book Day, so he knows his stuff. This fun book is all about reading and having fun.

Thomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora: This book is a fictionalized story about a real person, Thomas Rivera, who was the chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. This tells the story of how a librarian helped him develop a lifelong love of reading.

Good-Bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton: I couldn’t resist adding this novel about a kind English schoolteacher who devotes his life to educating generations of boys.

Fun New Reads and Blasts from the Past You know what they say about all work and no play. So kick back and relax with some of these books, which include new popular fiction, old favorites from some of us at Imagine Learning, and more.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: This book about life, the universe, and everything may not necessarily be short, but it is engaging. It is a summary of the history of science, including cosmology, paleontology, chemistry, physics, and more (and it’s more interesting than it sounds).

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I got in trouble for not including this on my last reading list, so here it is now. This book is the first of a trilogy and is so engaging that you shouldn’t plan on doing anything else until you’re finished with it. Take my word for it.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan: This picture book uses beautiful illustrations to capture the experience of immigrants as they come to America. There are no words in the book, but it still manages to tell a beautiful story.

The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop: This fantasy story is about a ten-year-old boy who shrinks down to the size of a toy knight and battles a wicked magician in another land. (It’s a personal favorite of mine.)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle: This classic adventure tells the story of three children who travel through space and time to find the protagonist’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret government work.

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones: There are six books in this series, and you'll want to read every one. The stories revolve around a mysterious sorcerer called Chrestomanci. Some of the stories explore how Chrestomanci came to be, while others are about the adventures of other children. All of them are fantastic.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Even if you’ve read it before, it’s worth reading again. This book tells the story of a small southern town rocked by a shocking crime. It addresses issues of family, friendship, race, and heroic honesty.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar: This collection of quirky short stories is fun to read over and over again. The stories center around the wacky and backwards adventures of students at Wayside School—a school that was built sideways.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: This is another classic that never gets old. This story tells about the adventures of Max, a little boy who runs away from home and finds himself on an island of monsters.

There are about 500 more books we could add to this list, but there are, after all, only three months of summer. Happy reading!


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