The Ultimate Teacher Summer Reading List 2015

2 Min Read  •  Literacy

It’s time for that annual tradition at EdCloset: our teacher summer reading list.  That also signals that we are getting close to the end of the school year and that warm summer days and long, cool nights are ahead.  What better way to spend them than with a great book?

As always, we’re separating out the list to include books for professional learning and books for pleasure.  This summer, we’re also including family-friendly books and books to preview for use in your classroom.  After all – we’re not always in the mood for the same type of books all the time!

You’ll find some specific descriptions in the professional learning segment, and then a straight-up list in the other categories (because the product descriptions from the links do a much better job of providing you with an overview).  Just click on each title for more information.  Time to get our Amazon wish-lists ready!


Teachers are always learners. These books are our top picks to check out in 2015 if you’re looking to grow as an educator!

1. Unshakeable: 20 ways to enjoy teaching every day – no matter what (Angela Watson)  Was the year a little tough?  When you start to feel down, this book has some great reminders and exercises to do that can help you remember why you LOVE being an educator!

2. The Art of Work: A proven path to discovering what you were meant to do (Jeff Goins) Summer is a chance to re-evaluate our passions and why we do what we do.  This book helps provide that clarity to either confirm or uncover your own purpose.

3. Create Your Dream Classroom: Save your sanity, escape the rut, sharpen your skills (Linda Kardamis) One thing I notice each and every September is the struggle of classroom management from all areas of education.  Why not save yourself some stress and get a leg-up this summer with this practical and helpful book?

4. Education Nation: Six leading edges of innovation in our schools (Milton Chen) We all claim to want our schools to foster innovation, but do they really have the systems in place to do that?  This interesting read dives into the 6 ideas crucial to making innovation a reality in schools.

5. Daily Rituals: How artists work (Mason Currey) Behind each and every artist is a process by which the “magic” happens.  This books explores not only visual artists but also the practices of authors, composers, choreographers and more.

6. Fostering Grit (Thomas Hoerr) A big theme in 2014-2015 has been the idea of building mental toughness and grit within our students.  But how do you DO that?  This is a quick, insightful guide to cultivating that sometimes elusive mindset.

7. SCRUM: The art of doing twice the work in half the time (Jeff Sutherland) This book changed my life in a BIG way.  It got me totally rethinking how I approach my work, team-development and delivery of instruction.  We are all tasked with doing more with less – this is a great book to help you navigate that conundrum.

8. Mastery (Robert Greene) What does it take to become a master?  How can you rise to mastery in your own life and work?  This book shares some extraordinary insights into growth, mastery and the pursuit of “perfection”.

9. Overwhelmed: Work, love and play when no one has the time (Brigid Schulte) If you’re like most other teachers I know, the title of this book alone describes your life.  This book explores why we are obsessed with working more, why none of us can relax – and what we can all do about it.

10. The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life (Twyla Tharp) Think that creativity is something you’re born with?  Think again.  World-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp contends that creativity happens due to the habits you commit to pursuing.

11. No Permission Required: Bringing STEAM to life in K-12 Schools (Susan Riley) Okay, okay.  Yes – this is my own book and I’m including it on this list.  That being said, I really do believe this is a book you need to read, if only to reaffirm that you CAN bring back creativity and joy into your teaching.  I share case studies of schools actually having success, lessons, assessments, and strategies in all grade levels.  Practical, but with a good conversational tone.

And now, for the rest of the story….


What’s summer without a few fun reads that you can lose yourself in for a while?  If you’re looking for a great book to take with you on travel (or just to escape the world for a while), try one of these.

1. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth (Christopher Scotton)

2. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)

3. This Much I Know Is True (Wally Lamb)

4. The Mountain Between Us (Charles Martin)

5. Thrive (Arianna Huffington)

6. The Light Between Oceans (M. L. Stedman)

7. Still Alice (Lisa Genova)

8. Inferno (Dan Brown)

9. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

10. The Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert)


One of my favorite times in the summer is being able to set aside 20-30 minutes of family summer reading time.  These are books that we pull out to read aloud and enjoy together.  It is something that my 5 year old requests every day, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect.  Here are a few of our current favorites.

1. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)

3. The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino)

4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)

6. The City of Ember (Jeanne Duprau)