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July 1, 2016

Top 10 Summer Books for Teachers

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Category: Career Path

Top 10 Summer Books for Teachers

Searching for the perfect summer books to lose yourself in for the next few weeks? Maybe you’re anxious for a new professional development book that will give you great ideas for the upcoming school year.  Or perhaps you want to catch up on some of the YA or Children’s Literature that you didn’t have time to read during the school year. It could also be that you want to set work aside and simply curl up with a book that doesn’t make you have to do any heavy thinking, but that allows you to simply enjoy the act of reading.  Whatever your summer reading preference, we have some great suggestions from Really Good Teachers around the country.  Check out what they’re reading and what they recommend for you!

Teachers’ Top 10 Summer Books

1. Kids Deserve It! Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome

Stefani and Colleen of Midnight in Second Grade/Chic Classroom Style recommend this #1 New Release (June 1, 2016) for summer reading. The book focuses on empowering teachers to rediscover the reasons why they became educators and helps to reignite passion for teaching.

Book Description: “Be inspired to take risks, shake up the status quo, and be a champion for your students.”


 2. Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci

 Really Good First Grade Teacher, Marcelina Powers of Ms Powers Firsties suggests Mindsets in the Classroom, a book that focuses on helping children believe that they can achieve great things.

Book Description: “Mindsets in the Classroom (July 1, 2013) provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and ‘look-fors’ for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms.”


3. Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess

Argh, matey! Third Grade Giggles is knee-deep in Teach Like a Pirate this summer as she prepares for another successful school year in the fall. Teach Like a Pirate is a teacher favorite and one that makes almost every summer reading list!

Book Description: “This book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator.”


4. Pax by Sara Pennypacker

The beautiful and best-selling story of a boy and a fox has captured Really Good Fourth Grade Teacher Caitlin’s interest this summer.  She’s excited that she’s “going to finally read Pax” while relaxing and blogging at Cait’s Cool School over the next few months!

Book Description: “From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox.”


5. Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller

Really Good Teacher and Instagram user, Stayc_ful, suggests teachers read Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller this summer. From classroom set-up to instruction to routines, this book touches on the things that Really Good Teachers do to build their classroom communities from the very first day of school.

Book Description: “In an environment where the handing down of scripted programs and ‘foolproof’ curricula is increasingly the norm, Teaching with Intention offers a compelling reminder that truly transformative teaching is built from the ground up, and is rebuilt every year, by every teacher, in every classroom, with every new group of students.”


6. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller

A teacher professional development staple, The Book Whisperer, is on DeAnna’s summer reading list this year.  While she’s reading it “for the first time”, it’s a teacher favorite for igniting students’ passion for reading.

Book Description: “Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller’s students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller’s unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves.”


7. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Summer friendship and struggles are at the heart of Kate DiCamillo’s newest children’s book.  With DiCamillo’s track record of amazing children’s books, it’s no wonder that our Really Good Instagram friend, CoreneJoan, recommended it as a summer pick.

Book Review: As in her previous award-winning books, DiCamillo once again shows that life’s underlying sadnesses can also be studded with hope and humor, and does it in a way so true that children will understand it in their bones. And that’s why she’s Kate the Great.
—Booklist (starred review)


8. The Forgetting Time: A Novel by Sharon Guskin

Forgetting Time was so unique and had many different layers! [I] loved it!” said Really Good Teacher Catherine McDearmid.  Not only is it an enjoyable read for the summer, but it’s the type of book that leaves you wanting more. As avid readers know, sometimes saying goodbye to characters is difficult!

Book Description: “Gorgeously written and fearlessly provocative, Sharon Guskin’s debut explores the lengths we will go for our children. It examines what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between.”


9. Room by Emma Donoghue

Really Good Teacher Marcelina Powers also recommends the fiction novel Room by Emma Donoghue.  It’s the story of a mother and child whose world is limited to a single room and their desire to break free.

Book Description: “Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.”


10. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Set in New Orleans in the 1950s, Out of the Easy tells the tale of a girl who wants more for life and the people she meets along the way.  A riveting YA Novel, Out of the Easy is a must-read, can’t-put-down book that belongs on every teacher’s summer reading list!

Book Description: “Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.”


What’s on your summer reading list?  Share your favorite books below or on the Really Good Teachers Forums!

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