Have you Read any Good Books Lately?


Summer Reading Recommendations from Teachers

Whether on the beach or at a coffee shop, for many teachers, summer is an ideal time to catch up on reading for pleasure. There are an infinite number of great titles out there, sometimes it’s hard to choose. To narrow down all the choices, I asked my teacher friends from around the U.S. (including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California) about books they’ve been enjoying this summer. Here’s a categorized list of what they recommended for us:

For More than Just a Love Story:

  • Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
  • The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
  • Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

For a Thought-Provoking Drama:

  • Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

For Some Historical Fiction:

  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

For the Outdoor Enthusiast:

  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

For a Newbery Medal Winner:

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

For Suspense and Mystery:

  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • The Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
  • Murder at Rough Point by Alysa Maxwell

For Hope, Motivation and Inspiration:

  • Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
  • The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle
  • The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

For Critical Thinking and Innovation:

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools by Glenn E. Singleton and Curtis Linton

This reading list should get you through the rest of summer. Don’t stop reading for pleasure when summer ends, though! Perhaps you and your students already participate in D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) time at your school. If not, consider carving out about 10 minutes of your busy schedule for silent pleasure reading this fall. According to the American Library Association, even a short amount of daily independent reading time can increase test scores (in all subject areas), boost comprehension, increase vocabulary, improve spelling and grammar, and overall increase knowledge of the world. You get to read, your students get to read, and all these benefits are included - it’s a win-win-win!

For now, it’s time to head to a park bench or to a cozy chair with a book of your choice. May the rest of your summer days be filled with entertaining and insightful reading.

Interested in learning more about current literacy research and the components of teaching reading in your 21st century classroom? Click here for a list of our English Language Arts Course offerings.



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Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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