Top 10 Teacher's Summer Reading List - A Little Something For Everyone

Can you hear that? Do you know what that is? It’s the sound of summer knocking on our door which means it is time to get that summer reading list ready. Some teachers are winding down already, while others may have another month to go. It seems that if you end early, then you go back early whereas if you end later, then you go back later. Either way, summertime is right around the corner and we need to figure out what we should be reading this summer.

Beach reads are awesome to just get lost in thought while you have your quiet reading time, but summer can also be a time to grow not only as an educator, but as an individual too. So this post is going to have a little something for everyone. We broke down our suggestions into 3 categories to help you easily find what you want to read. Here are our Top Ten Summer Reads for 2021. Let’s get started!

Professional Reads

One of the first reads of summer that all teachers, preschool through high school, should read is Shake Up Learning by Stacey Bell. I ABSOLUTELY cannot recommend this book enough. It will start moving you in the direction of creating a 21st century student centered learning environment for your classroom. Bell does an excellent job of taking the “scary” out of this future forward way of thinking and teaching. This is an easy read with a whole lot of impact.

All of my primary teachers out there also need to be sure to add this to their 2021 Summer Reading List:
The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton. This book describes many of the teaching practices that we so often guide our students with during the course of the school year. However, it will then take those strategies and transform them into purposeful language that our students will listen to and hopefully react with positive intentions.

Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess is another AMAZING read you need to add to your list whether you are a new or seasoned teacher. You will gain inspiration and a passion for teaching because of the numerous ideas to capture student engagement. When you come back into the classroom in August, your creative juices will take over and students will be begging to come to class.

Crash Course by Kim Bearden is a book that will give any teacher all of the feels. You will laugh, cry, feel joy and sorrow. Kim Bearden takes us on her journey of being an educator and what her students and families have taught her about teaching. Each chapter provides a “Course Description” which is a foretelling of what is to come. Then, Bearden ends the chapter with a “Homework” section. I know what you’re thinking...who wants homework while reading a book in the summer. Trust me, if you take the time to do the homework and reflect on the questions, it will truly pay off.


Personal Growth

Atomic Habits by James Clear is not only a book that will help you reflect on your goals with your career, but also life in general. It will help you to take a look at how to form meaningful habits in your life while saying “No” to the things that don’t need your attention. This is not always easy, but it is definitely powerful. 

High Performance Habits
by Brendan Bruchard is the perfect book to follow after reading Atomic Habits. Brendan Bruchard does an incredible job of presenting years of research in actionable steps to help you achieve your highest goals. There is even a FREE high performance quiz that you can take to determine where you are on your journey. Simply making little changes each day will bring you closer to your goals in no time.

This next book might take a bit of time to really get into, but once you do it will leave you thinking about life entirely differently. The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer will offer methods of achieving inner peace and pushing yourself to reach your wildest dreams. Singer helps you to realize that you are not your mind and when we quiet our mind we will begin to achieve that inner level of peace.

 Beach Reads

If you have yet to read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, then you want to read this when you have plenty of time on your hands because you won’t want to put it down. The detail and imagery used in this book leaves nothing to the imagination. There are essentially two storylines to follow that end up coming together. This book has a mystery that will leave you guessing all while we experience a coming of age story.

If you love picking up a book and simply getting lost in the story, then you’ll for sure want to read The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks. This book will keep you wanting to read even into the wee hours of the morning. This story is about true love and figuring out how to move on when you don’t want to, but know you should. Then, just when you open your heart up again life gets turned upside down and you have to find the strength to go on. This is a page turner of a tale that will keep you hoping for the best.

Our last suggestion for the Summer Fun Reads category is A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler. This book will really get you thinking about life and what it means to be a “good” neighbor. This is another captivating novel that you will finish in no time. It has a little bit of everything from the issues of race and social class along with a love story. 


After reflecting on all of these books while typing this blog, I am now wanting to go back and reread them all over again. So much learning, growth, and pure entertainment to be had inside each and every choice above. If you do end up reading any of these, please feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts. Also, feel free to share with us what you’re reading this summer. We always love great book suggestions. 

Be sure to check out next week’s blog where we’ll share our Top 10 Summer Podcasts. When you don’t have time to sit down and read, podcasts are a great alternative.

As always, if there is anything you need during these few weeks of school, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our passion is serving primary teachers by saving them time and energy. You can find us on Instagram (@lessonplantoolbox) or email us ([email protected]). 



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