100 books every teacher should read

I am by habit a bibliophile. I read at least 25 pages of a book per day which usually turns in to 40-60 books per year. I’ve written a few books myself, and plan to write more.

But this list is not about me, it’s really about us as an education community. What are we reading? Are we slowly shifting to reading only blogs and short pieces online? I love blogs (case in point of what you are currently reading) but there is something special about the thought, effort, and depth of a book. I hope that we can continue to read books that push our thinking, and share them widely.

This list is a start.

If you are wondering what book to read next, this may or may not help you decide! I’m going to leave the comments open for book recommendations with a short synopsis, and rationale. This list will not be limited by number, and at this point in time is only limited by the number of books I’ve read (and would recommend), so any recommendations are appreciated!

Table of Contents: Each section is hyperlinked to a list below.

I. Start Here

II. Non-Fiction Books for Teachers

    1. Books on Learning
    2. Books on Teaching
    3. Books on Curriculum
    4. Books on Leadership
    5. Books on Creativity
    6. Books on Writing and Craft
    7. Books on Psychology and Behavior
    8. Books on Philosophy and General Wisdom
    9. Books on Self-Help and Personal Development

III. Fiction Books for Teachers 

IV. Recommendations from Readers (Comments)  

I. Start Here

I plan on maintaining this list as much as possible throughout this year and the years to come. If you have any tips on organization, please let me know…as it is a lot to cover and will grow with time. There is also no “rankings” involved in this list. I’m not even beginning to try and rate books or list titles in some type of order. This list is only to recommend great books that will benefit teachers and leaders. I’m stating this several times because I know the intent can be skewed in discussions where everyone is not on the same page. If you have a book you’d like me to add to the list, share it below in the comments and I will try to read it as soon as possible!

All of the hyperlinks are from the Amazon Associates program, and if you choose to buy the book through the links below I’ll get a small commission in most cases. If you want to buy the book, but don’t want to use the link, feel free to search for it on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel (or anywhere).

II. Non-Fiction Books for Teachers

    1. Books on Learning

      Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott

      Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager
      Kindle Book

      Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me by Kim Bearden

      How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

      Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere by Will Richardson
      Kindle Book

      The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam

      Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts–and Life by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts

      This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by Jose Vilson

      The Monsters of Education Technology by Audrey Watters

      Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World by Tom Vander Ark
      Kindle Book

      Who Owns the Learning?: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age by Alan November

      Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by Don Wettrick
      Kindle Book

      The 20Time Project: How educators can launch Google’s formula for future-ready innovation by Kevin Brookhouser

      Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It by Eric Jensen

      It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd
      Kindle Book

      The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel

      Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World by Raun K. Kaufman

      Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play by Mitchel Resnick

      How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey

      Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn by John Hattie


    2. Books on Teaching

      The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning by O’Donnell, Wicklund, Pigozzi, and Peterson

      Passion-Driven Classroom, The: A Framework for Teaching and Learning by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold
      Kindle Book

      Classroom Habitudes (Revised edition): Teaching Habits and Attitudes for 21st Century Learning by Angela Maiers
      Kindle Book

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

      The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley

      Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner

      World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students by Yong Zhao

      Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation byLarry Ferlazzo

      A Sustainable Start: A Realistic Look at the First Year of Teaching by John T. Spencer
      Kindle Book

      The Highly Engaged Classroom (The Classroom Strategies Series) by Robert J. Marzano

      High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching by Jim Knight

      Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching by Angela Watson
      Kindle Book

      Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (K-12) by Doug Lemov

      Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day by Jonathan Bergmann

      Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (Pearson Resources for 21st Century Learning) by Vicki Davis & Julie Lindsay

      Reinventing Writing: The 9 Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching, and Learning Forever by Vicki Davis

      Empowered Schools, Empowered Students: Creating Connected and Invested Learners (Corwin Connected Educators Series) by Pernille S. (Schmidt) Ripp

      Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education by Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli

      Unleashing Student Superpowers: Practical Teaching Strategies for 21st Century Students by Kristen Swanson and Hadley Ferguson

      Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn

      Differentiation: From Planning to Practice, Grades 6-12 by Rick Wormeli

      Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions by Dan Rothstein

      Shift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for MASSIVE Impact in Your Classroom by Joy Kirr

      Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth: 6 Truths That Will Help you THRIVE as an Educator by Aaron Hogan

      The Epic Classroom: How to Boost Engagement, Make Learning Memorable, and Transform Lives by Trevor Muir

      Hacking Project-Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom by Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy


    3. Books on Curriculum

      Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart

      Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

      Schooling By Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

      Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World by Heidi Hayes Jacobs
      Kindle Book

      Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie

      Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom by Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke


    4. Books on Leadership

      The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros
      Paperback and Audio

      Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools by Pam Moran, Ira David Socol, Chad Ratliff

      The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey

      Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric C. Sheninger

      The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
      Kindle Book

      Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
      Paperback and Audio

      Getting Real by Jason Fried
      Kindle Book

      Wooden On Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization by John Wooden

      The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

      Leading in a Culture of Change by Michael Fullan

      The Ten-Minute Inservice: 40 Quick Training Sessions that Build Teacher Effectiveness by Todd Whitaker
      Kindle Book

      What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media by Scott McLeod, Chris Lehmann, and David F. Warlick

      Becoming by Michelle Obama

      The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader by James M. Kouzes

      The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story (Corwin Connected Educators Series) by Tony Sinanis and Joe Sanfelippo

      #EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education by Grant Lichtman

      Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wombach

      Start. Right. Now.: Teach and Lead for Excellence by Todd Whittaker, Jeff Zoul, and Jimmy Casas

      Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today by Eric Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray

    5. Books on Creativity

      Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon
      Kindle Book

      Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
      Kindle Book

      inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig

      The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

      The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp

      Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

    6. Books on Reading, Writing, and Craft

      Story Engingeering by Larry Brooks
      Kindle Book

      This book will teach you how to write better by Neville Medhora
      Kindle Book

      Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl

      Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

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

      Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It by Kelly Gallagher

      The Collins Writing Program Improving Student Performance Through Writing and Thinking Across the Curriculum by John J. Collins

    7. Books on Psychology and Behavior

      Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

      Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

      Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
      Kindle Book

      David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

      Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

      The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
      Kindle Book

      Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

      Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

      Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

      Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

      To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

      Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

      Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

      Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner

    8. Books on Philosophy, History, and General Wisdom

      The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander

      The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman

      Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond

      The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun
      Kindle Book

      The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

      How Music Works by David Byrne
      Kindle Book

      This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace

      A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

      The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

      365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts by R. J. Palacio

      The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson
      Kindle Book

      Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools by Diane Ravitch

    9. Books on Self-Help, Productivity and Personal Development

      The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

      The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss
      Kindle Book

      Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff

      Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

      Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less by S.J. Scott
      Kindle Book

      Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson

      Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson
      Kindle Book

III. Fiction Books for Teachers

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

What do you do with an Idea?  by Kobi Yamada

The Dot By Peter H. Reynolds

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne (Author),‎ Vladimir Radunsky (Illustrator)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Redwall (The Series) by Brian Jacques

IV. Recommendations from Readers (in the comments)

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  • Tony GURR says:


    Wonderful listicle – would you mind if I re-blogged this (with full credit to you, of course)?

    Take care,


  • Veronica Hernandez says:

    This is an awesome list! Thank you so much!

  • Debbie says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I thought I was fairly well-read both personally and professionally, but I can see I have some work to do! Looking forward to the fiction suggestions!

  • Chris says:

    Soemthing to do in your spare time – 12:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.

  • Steven Slaughter says:

    Great list, AJ. A couple of others off the top of my head that I would add:

    1. The Reading Zone, by Nancie Atwell
    I’ve been using Atwell’s wonderful “Lessons That Change Writers” with students for years, but just discovered this short, powerful manifesto a year and a half ago, and it has changed my approach to teaching reading. I had previously abandoned textbooks and anthologies in favor of class novels, yet Atwell goes further, advocating that if our long-term goal is to shape our students into lifelong passionate readers, then we need to give them the same tools and reading experiences we give ourselves – namely, huge libraries of high-interest books in a range of reading levels, combined with a lot of time to “just read”. (The title refers to that pleasurable place we go when we are reading and completely lose track of where we are.) Teachers feel compelled to attach all sorts of ‘proof’ that kids are reading (to prove that we are legitimate teachers?), but the more comprehension sheets and vocab lists and post-its and journalling, and whatever the next fad in reading instruction comes along – the more that we pile on top of the reading experience, the less enjoyable the experience becomes. (Imagine if we were required to do all of that stuff every time we read a book. We’d stick to TV and video games too.) The transformation has been incredible for my students. So many kids who were not readers are finding the books they love, are recommending them passionately to others…all of those things that I hope for them. This should be required for every reading teacher, especially everyone in a teaching/education program.

    2. Better Than College, by Blake Boles
    The title is a bit of hyperbole. Boles is careful not to dismiss the value of a college education wholesale. However, he is challenging it as the automatic straight-out-of-highschool pathway that so many of us assume is correct. And he makes many very strong points. The work world is different than it used to be; a college education is not the ‘guarantee’ we used to imagine it was. And the stakes are so much higher, with the massively high costs and potential debt (with no automatic high-paying job to pay it off anytime soon). So Boles promotes self-directed learning, structured gap years – which we are currently helping our daughter craft right now – and real-life experience integrated with book-learning (again, self-directed). All of this documented with a blog-website. Imagine a student applying for a job or college being able to showcase a list of books that they have read (like this list, or something else specific to another field) – on their own initiative, not for a grade or mandated by a teacher, combined with narratives of internships and travel experience and whatever else might connect them to their field of interest? This kind of person would be hugely desirable as a prospective student or employee.

    I did a study of this book with a bunch of other parents and our teens. Really fascinating discussions followed, and continue to be generated by this thought-provoking and imminently sensible book. College is such a sacred cow that it can feel very threatening to suggest to many parents that their child should, perhaps, not go directly to college. People are afraid that they will get off the path and work at a skateboard shop the rest of their life. But I agree with Boles: what we need to be doing is helping our students (and children) become the sort of self-directed, curious, motivated people that will succeed no matter their path.

    Steven Slaughter
    Rosslyn Academy
    Nairobi, Kenya

  • Viki says:

    Children’s book teachers should read – the Joey Pigza series by Jack Gantos
    Young adult – Center of Everything
    Adult – Casual Vacancy by JK Rowlng

  • AJ-
    I love how you organized the page and the books you listed. My book list would fall into similar categories. Great idea!

    Wooden on Leadership is one of my favorites.

    I recently read Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull and loved it for leadership strategies. Many of his messages align to the growth mindset.

    • AJ Juliani says:

      Creativity, Inc is on the reading list now! I actually just listened to a podcast with Ed Catmull and Tim Ferris that was fantastic.

  • Jared says:

    Awesome list – I have read a lot, and have some to add to my list.

    I agree with previous commenters suggestion of Creativity Inc, by Ed Catmull. Fascinating look at leadership and developing a culture of leaders within an organization.

    Also, I noticed two Daniel Pink books, I haven’t read To Sell is Human, but didn’t see A whole New Mind on your list. That is another great one that I highly recommend.

    • AJ Juliani says:

      Ok, Creativity, Inc has to be one of my next reads – thanks for sharing! I guess I almost forgot about A Whole New Mind since Pink’s last two books radically changed the way I view teaching/learning -thanks for the reminder!

  • Stacy says:

    My recommendation is “The Trust Edge” by David Horsager – book on leadership pillars. Excellent!

  • Angela Ribo says:

    Thanks for helping to motivate me to get organized and start reading more!

  • BJ Neary says:

    Fantastic post!
    I would also recommend Donalyn Miller’s 2nd book- Reading in the Wild (2014),
    Teaching Literacy in the Digital Age edited by Mark Gura (2014),
    Teaching With Digital Video Edited by Glen L. Bull and Lynn Bell (2010),
    Teaching With Author Web Sites K-8 by Rose Cherie Reissman and Mark Gura (2010)
    And I can help with lots of YA titles- Fiction, Nonfiction and Reference/Professional, just let me know.

  • […] writing my post on “100 books every teacher should read” I received a number of emails about finding the time to read all of those books (without […]

  • Melinda Miller says:

    This is a great list. I would love to see a book on mindfulness in the classroom. One of my favorite titles is Vicky Savini”s Ignite the Light: Empowering Children and Adults to Be Their Absolute Best. I think it would be great to read along Carol Dweck’s Mindset, which you have included.

  • Taylor says:

    The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell


    Rules of Play by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman

  • Johnett Scogin says:

    I would add Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath and Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach.

  • Katie Dwyer says:

    What a list! I love it, and am feeling super inspired. I’ll be taking this post to my next trip to the library for sure.

  • […] “What are we reading? Are we slowly shifting to reading only blogs and short pieces online? I love blogs (case in point of what you are currently reading) but there is something special about the thought, effort, and depth of a book. I hope that we can continue to read books that push our thinking, and share them widely.”  Read more… […]

  • Janet says:

    I highly recommend “Swimming to Tokyo” a YA read that was written by Brenda St. John Brown.

  • Laura says:

    Lessons from the Classroom by Hal Urban – Inspiring!!

  • Charlene Doland (@inspirepassion) says:

    Nice list, AJ. I would suggest adding:
    Reading, Writing, and Craft: The Writing Thief by Ruth Culham
    Creativity: Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown.

    I also second the vote for Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

  • I appreciate your list as many of the books are ones I would not necessarily have chosen becuase I either have not read them, or I have (mostly the former). The list will afford me an opportunity to stretch my thinking. I do worry a bit about the curriculum choices as they situate curriculum as product, not as Complicated conversation.

    This is a link to 50 professional texts that influence my thinking, practice, theory making.

    I hope you’ll take a look and again thanks for posting a thoughtful list.

  • The book that solidified my decision to enter the teaching profession was written several decades ago by a fellow Kentuckian: “The Thread That Runs So True,” by Jesse Stuart.

  • Bgilbert51 says:

    Love the list. Gives me the impetus to tackle more professional reading this month, as I’ve wandered off into fiction!
    Suggestions for curriculum: Deborah Leong, Tools of the Mind (prek-k)
    Writing: Zinsser, On Writing Well, White, Elements of Style, and Stephen King, On Writing.
    Anything by Jonathan Koziol.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • AJ Juliani says:

      Love Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, should of added that one before (as a former English teacher, I’m ashamed that I didn’t)!

  • [I commented via the Twitter, but thought it might be more useful here]
    There are a few books not on the list that were very important to my development as a teacher and how I think about teaching and learning:

    – The Children’s Machine – Seymour Papert
    – Mindstorms – Seymour Papert
    – The Power of Their Ideas – Deborah Meier
    – In Schools We Trust – Deborah Meier
    – Savage Inequalities – Jonathon Kozol

    It’s a nice conversation starter to think about what books were important to me as a teacher. Thanks!

  • Jared Colley says:

    A little bit different from most of the selections here, but I would add to “Philosophy/General Wisdom” category The Ignorant Schoolmaster by Jacques Ranciere as well as The Beautiful Risk of Education by Gert Biesta & Taking Care of Youth by Bernard Stiegler. These books tend to be highly theoretical, but the paradigm shifts of thinking that each author demands are idea-inspiring!

  • Martin says:

    Harry Wong’s First 30 Days of School. Essential to any teacher.

  • Charlotte says:

    All the pedagogical readings are great but what about “A Child Called “It”” by Dave Pelzer and “Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism” by Arthur Fleischmann to make us stop and consider the lives of our students. So much more important than all the teaching techniques we can put in place. If we don’t consider their lives outside of school we may never really reach them and make a difference.

  • […] from my colleagues around the world. If you are looking for a summer reading list, I’ve put 100 of my favorite books on this post for you. I also spend time working on projects, speaking, writing, and […]

  • John Young says:

    Anything by Dylan Wiliam
    The Hidden Life of Learners by Graham Nuthall

    • Rachel Wastney says:

      The Hidden Lives of Learners is excellent. Nuthall gave me a lot of insight into ways of improving my teaching through understanding what was going on with learners/students.

      A book I’m currently reading is “Indelible Leadership” (2017) Michael Fullen. This has some great ideas that help improve leadership, one of my favourite ideas from the book is “Deep leadership is not about finding things that were always there; it is about creating things that were never imagined”.

  • […] Post: 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read by AJ […]

  • […] writing my post on “100 books every teacher should read” I received a number of emails about finding the time to read all of those books (without going […]

  • […] writing my post on “100 books every teacher should read” I received a number of emails about finding the time to read all of those books (without going […]

  • I would like to submit for your consideration my free e-book:
    50 Ways To Have Fun With Your Bad Spanish.
    Free download at badspanish.net.
    It is short, and my purpose is to encourage real communication in any level of Spanish.

  • […] Looking for some books to read this summer? Check out this great list compiled by A.J. Juliani, “100 Books Every Teacher Should Read”. […]

  • […] year I wrote a post titled, 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read. I’ve since updated that post once, but wanted to write a separate piece about 10 books […]

  • […] have my curated list of books that I’ve read (and would recommend) over the years here: 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read. I’ve also shared that I read at least 25 words a day. It’s a habit that has helped me […]

  • d'Ann Jacaban says:

    Two books I would recommend for your children/youth list are Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. They both allow a glimpse into the world of children who are considered different. Wonder is about a boy who was born deformed and is a beautiful discussion on friendship and bullying. Mockingbird is about a girl on the spectrum and helps you see the world and people through her eyes. Both are amazing! Best for kids 4th-8th grade.

  • Christine Grams says:

    Two school-related:
    I Got Schooled; the Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Move Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America’s Achievement Gap, by M. Night Shymalan

    Student-Centered Coaching: A Guide for K-8 Coaches and Principals, by Diane Sweeney

    For fun (Adult Non-Fiction) OR Young Adult NF for Classroom Use:
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

  • […] writing my post on “100 books every teacher should read” I received a number of emails about finding the time to read all of those books (without going […]

  • Hollie Mendenhall says:

    I’m so thrilled to see my friend danah boyd on your list for “It’s Complicated” Just a note: she does not capitalize her name (as I wrote above). It’s just her thing. We have been friends since middle school, and I’m proud to have a signed copy of that book at home!

  • Steph Holmberg says:

    Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined , The Truth About Talent, Practice, Creativity, and the Many Paths to Greatness, by Scott Barry Kaufman

    Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

    Both would be great additions to your list!

  • Judith Yero says:

    I’m amazed that no one has mentioned The End of Average by Todd Rose. It’s less than 200 pages and makes it clear why standardized education has never and will never work! Please read it to understand why what innovators are doing is so critical to the future of our children. If you just want a “taste,” check out http://learninginmind.com/myth-of-average.php

  • Kathy Gorski says:

    I would add Kobi Yamada’s sequel: “What do you do with a problem?” Just as good, and with enough of a different spin for us science-y types.

    Love the list – thrilled to see so many that I discovered on my own, so many I’ve read, and great additions to the pile on the nightstand!

  • What a great list! I would add Leaders of Their Own Learning Transforming schools through student-engaged assessment by Ron Berger, The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark, and Notice and Note Strategies for Close Reading by Kyene Beers and Robert Probst

  • Patti Davis says:

    Thank you for what look to be great book selections; I have just put in requests to my library!
    One book I love to use to help change thinking about writing is “Word after word after word”, by Patricia MacLachlan.

    • Donna Stark says:

      I agree, Patti. I start the year with Word After Word After Word as a read-aloud to establish a mindset that all of the students are writers. They truly take ownership of their writing journals as a result.

  • KenS says:

    I see someone mentioned Willingham’s “Why Don’t Students Like School?” IMHO, no one should be allowed into a classroom to teach without reading that book.

    “Urban Myths About Learning and Education” by DeBruyckere, Kirschner, and Hulshoff.

    “Why Knowledge Matters” by E.D. Hirsch.

    “How to Fly a Horse” by Kevin Ashton.

    “Curious” by Ian Leslie.

    “Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise” by Anders Ericsson and Pool

  • Lynn says:

    Great List! And now I guess I know what to call myself and my large collection of books, a bibliophile ! LOL
    I’d love to recommend Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong. Or really any of her books quite frankly! Thanks for curating a great list.

  • Dr. Christian Klaue says:

    That is the start of a good list. Here are a few more in random order:
    Teacher by Tom Bennett
    Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger
    How to Have That Difficult Conversation by Henry Cloud
    Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
    Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    Teen 2.0 Robert Epstein
    Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Gatto
    Leadership without Easy Answers, Leadership on the Line, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz
    The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin
    Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
    Various titles by Neil Postman
    The Entitlement Cure by John Townsend
    Future Driven by David Geurin
    Metaphors We Teach By by Ken Badley
    Perfectly Incorrect by Terry Marselle
    and Trivium 21c by Martin Robinson.

  • Jesseb Adam says:

    Several worth adding:

    Better Conversations – Jim Knight
    We can all stand to develop ourselves as listeners. Better Conversations takes the centerpiece of relationships and makes it front and center. How are you at listening? Are you quick to judge? Do you truly want to hear what others have to say? Are your conversations life-giving? Back-and-forth? Or do you listen to respond and advise?

    Small Teaching – James M. Lang
    Quick, research based, small strategies based on baseball’s idea of “small ball.” Many of the strategies are common to earlier levels of education (k-12), but Small Teaching brings these strategies into a form applicable to higher education.

    Why Don’t Students Like School? – Daniel T. Willingham
    A cognitive scientists take on the drudgery of school as is, and what cognitive research about motivation and learning says we can do about it.

    Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change – Joseph Grenny, et al
    An engaging look at what makes some of the worlds most impactful leaders so influential. Much of it is common sense – to which we have to ask ourselves: why am I not doing this? Much of it is counterintuitive – to which we have to question some of our core beliefs about why we do what we do.

    A quick blog post with my recommendations for books on the cognitive science of learning:


  • Jerelyne Nemanich says:

    I would add to Fiction Books for Teachers:
    Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper – must read for all students, teachers and school staff

  • Rebekah Branby says:


    Thanks for the great list! I have a couple fiction titles to add to your list that have profoundly affected my teaching. They are all fairly short reads and have lessons built so seamlessly into an engaging story so they can seep into a busy-teacher brain and stick.

    “Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt taught me the value of taking the time to really see a kid.
    “The Great Gilly Hopkins” by Katherine Patterson is a classic for a reason and offers an interesting narrative on one of the “tough kids”.
    “Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan showed me the power of an educator- for good or bad- and offered some grace.
    “Because of Mr. Terupt” by Rob Buyea gave me a glimpse into that nearly-perfect teacher’s classroom and inspired me to make a few changes myself!
    Thanks again!


  • Angel says:

    As we embrace technology and design more and more in the classroom, I think it’s wise not to forget our connections with each other and our world. My additions to your list are The Power of Play: Learning what comes naturally by David Elkind and The Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder by Richard Louv.

  • […] 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read – A.J. JULIANI […]

  • Tim Scholze says:

    Everyone who is interested in history education MUST read Bruce Lesh’s book “Why Don’t You Just Tell Me the Answer?”: Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12.

  • I would add Neil Postman’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity

    • Lnda Moran says:

      One of the best…an oldie but goodie. Postman made a huge difference in my first year teaching. Also, The Best Class You Never Taught by Elliot Wiggins’ daughter…name escapes me right now….started me on a whole new journey to revising the teaching of history…and i’m retired…….

  • […] Other educators like Don Wettrick are taking this idea to the next level, writing in his book Pure Genius about his Innovation Class that uses this concept of inquiry-driven innovative work for an entire […]

  • papercheap says:

    Really interesting list! Many of my friends work as teachers, and because of this I think that this article will be very useful for them. I believe that a good teacher never stops learning to learn more for his students. It is very important that teachers in our country try to learn as much as possible new information, because time does not stand still, and it’s very sad when teachers teach obsolete information. Thank you very much for this list of books, I think that you helped many teachers to improve their knowledge.

  • Julianna says:

    I would add Art & Fear by David Bales and Ted Orland which is about innovation and fear in art but it easily extends to education/teaching, Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter, Educated: A memoir, How to win friends and influence people, and It won’t be easy: an exeedingly honest (and slightly unprofessional love letter to teaching.

  • Robert Gex says:

    Creativity and Innovation – Resources from AJ Juliani and John Spencer Recommendations – 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read The Launch Cycle – Design Thinking Framework for K-12 Vintage Innovation
    By the way! The best essay writing service – https://www.easyessay.pro/
    And Happy New Year!

  • Rishabh Puri says:

    Hey A.J. I go through your list of top 100 books, I really appreciate your list and your content. Hope you will work in the future for helping the teachers and mentors to know more about the book world by creating such great content. Thank you so much for sharing such good content.

  • Embarek Oulfkih says:

    A great list! I shared the link with my colleagues.
    I wanted to suggest this book if it is not in your list already: Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve got Google?: The Essential Guide to the Big Issues for Every 21st Century Teacher
    Thank you!

  • Sandra Knight says:

    I am thrilled to see “Punished by Rewards” by Alfie Kohn on your list. If you have a list for administrators, this one should be on it. I see some other titles that I will check out this summer. Thanks for sharing.

  • Beth Raff says:

    I’d like to add the book Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalynn Miller and Colby Sharp.

  • Renee says:

    Love the list – Thank you! I’d like to add ‘These 6 Things’ by Dave Stuart. It is a simple, direct and refreshing way to look at the most essential needs of our students.

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