Best Summer Reading List for Teachers

Misty Hance
Misty Hance
Assistant elementary school principal; Ed.D. in School Leadership, Carson-Newman University, TN
Beautiful young lady sitting outside reading a book.

For educators, summer is a time best spent relaxing and rejuvenating before school begins again all too soon. Reading for pleasure for as little as ten minutes can reduce stress, slow the heart rate, and ease tension. While some have their favorite go-to authors, others may be looking for new inspiration to read for pleasure this summer. Here is a brief collection of best summer reading to help teachers unwind and collect themselves mentally.


Probably one of the most beloved genres for summer fun, there is a plethora of novels by which the reader can become consumed and disengaged from the stresses of everyday life.

For those binge watchers who love getting wrapped up in a suspenseful series, Janet Evanovich has written a collection of 27 addictive novels that follow the life and works of Stephanie Plum, a bail bond agent who draws the reader into her precarious escapades. The most recent novel, Fortune and Glory: Tantalizing Twenty-Seven, finds Plum in an overwhelming adventure with two dangerous adversaries from her past as she searches for treasure and fights to protect her family. If you enjoy this fast read, you will certainly anticipate number 28, Game On coming in November of 2021. Evanovich also has a new series starting in March of 2022 that will consist of wild adventure, humor, and characters that are addictive to follow.

If you are looking for a light, summer read, Jennifer Weiner, an author experienced in stunning stories, has a new best seller, That Summer. This novel does not disappoint, as the reader becomes enthralled by the life of the main character, Daisy Shoemaker who escapes her mundane life and lives vicariously through emails she begins to receive meant for a glamorous single lady miles away. An eventual connection between the two leads to an unusual friendship that may or may not have been an accident after all.

Although it is not a recent book, Memory Man written by David Baldacci is impossible to put down and will leave the reader wanting more. This story follows a former football star whose traumatic injury leaves him with a photographic memory which allows him to assist in his new passion: crime-solving. The reader will become captivated with the investigations and nightmare of his own.

Historical Fiction

This genre is perfect for those loving history, yet looking for a little lighter read than a history textbook. Historical fiction moves the reader through the lives of people and places of history’s intriguing and sometimes forgotten stories.

Edward Rutherfurd writes just such novels that will draw the reader in to another place and time. His latest book China, The Novel, takes readers on a journey from the Middle Kingdom during the 19th century through present day. While reading this saga, you will find yourself amid the beautiful landscape throughout the rise and fall of historical empires.

The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki is the fascinating story of Desiree Clary, the young woman who captured the heart of Napoleon in the late 18th century. Although their secret engagement is never finalized, and Desiree eventually marries Napoleon’s rival, her place in French history is at the center of the rise and fall of a legendary empire. The author pulls the reader into the story with her historical accuracy of this fierce young woman who learns to survive on her instincts and passion.


Based on true stories, memoirs are relatable to some and intriguing to all. This genre allows the reader to discover others are going through similar life events and can often be suspenseful and entertaining.

Jen Waite’s A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, is a book about the art of dating, the contentment found in marriage, and a harsh betrayal that follows. This international best-seller alternates between what is happening in the main character’s current situation, and the almost fairy-tale dating events that occurred prior to her marriage. Intense at times, this story will draw you in to the author’s personal experience of marriage to a psychopath.

The Wife Upstairs by Freida McFadden, is mesmerizing and suspenseful. The novel is about a lady hired by a famous author to care for the author’s bedridden wife and discovers there is more to her injury than just a fall down the stairs. The diary of the victim reveals what she is unable to speak, and once found the twists and turn begin to unravel.

Educator Self-Help

For those looking to cultivate their inner educator, there are plenty of books that teachers can read to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the new school year.

Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar is a best seller that motivates educators and reduces the feelings of exhaustion that have accumulated after a year of new protocols tied to the recent pandemic. Onward offers a series of twelve actionable habits that will help the reader focus their energy and understand the importance of staying mindful and creative while nurturing the potential of every student in their care. This book will motivate teachers and recharge them emotionally for the new school year.

Sarah Forst has also written a self-help book for teachers who feel stressed and overwhelmed. The Teacher’s Guide to Self-Care: Build Resilience, Avoid Burnout, and Bring a Happier and Healthier You to the Classroom is a quick read for novice or veteran teachers who want to regain their love of teaching and sustain their career.

No matter what you choose, take time this summer to relax and get lost in a book which will strengthen your cognitive muscles, sharpen your wit, and engage your mind. Don’t forget to share your book with a friend so you can build relationships through the discussions and discover new novels they have read as well!

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