Best Summer Reading List for Teachers

Kathryn Starke
Kathryn Starke
Nationally recognized urban literacy consultant, author, and founder of Creative Minds Publications, an award-winning educational publishing and literacy consulting company.
Close-up of a woman reading a book outside with a cup of coffee.

Teachers spend so much time selecting the best books for their students during the school year that they tell me the only time they have to read for their own pleasure is during the summer. Change that with this summer reading list for teachers!

Book Matchmakers

Teachers are the best book matchmakers for students because they know the students’ strengths, challenges, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and favorite things. Our most reluctant readers are often waiting to be paired with the next best book for them to connect to and begin to enjoy reading.

Sites like Goodreads and Reese’s Book Club are helpful resources for teachers to figure out what book they want to introduce to the neighborhood book club or pack in their beach bag.

As an author, publisher, and literacy specialist, I am honored when I learn that teachers have created book clubs in the classroom using some of my company’s children’s book titles. As the creator of the annual Tackle Reading movement supported by the NFL, I am a strong proponent of promoting a love of literacy. While I have written several educational titles that are also used for teacher book clubs, I always laugh when they ask if they can do a book study on The Perfect Blend, the contemporary romance novel I wrote that Hallmark movie fans are diving into this summer.

My personal and professional world revolves around reading and writing. Therefore, when I was asked to make a list of the best summer reading books for teachers, I reached out to contacts and colleagues in both the education and publishing industry. I also referred to the New York Times bestsellers list and social media buzz.

I am excited to be a book matchmaker for fellow teachers who can hopefully find a moment of peace this summer to delve into one of these seven recommended books. While there are some educational titles for your professional growth, there is also fiction, self-help, a memoir, and a children’s picture book to match a variety of genres and interests.


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

There is a well-known quote that says that you are always just one decision away from a new life. In this New York Times best-selling work of fiction, the main character finds a library in the universe that contains books with various possibilities of all of the lives she could have lived.

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin

Fans of this best-selling fiction author have been waiting for her newest release inspired by the fascinating romance of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette and set in New York City in the 90s. It quickly soared to the top of the New York Times best seller list for the summer of 2022.

Educator Self-Help

Instagrateful: Finding your Bliss in a Social Media World by Sheri Fink

Who isn’t on social media these days? Finding your teacher tribe on Instagram provides both motivational and inspirational ideas to include in your own classroom.

This award-winning author provides a very timely book with a refreshing perspective on how being authentic, focusing on what really matters in life, and strengthening your inner self helps you to stand tall in your personal power, especially as an educator. This self-help book inspires readers to transform their lives in today’s hyper-busy, highly distracted social media world.

Lifeline 65: How Small Connections and Big Enthusiasm Can Change Education by Ryan T. Stein

This award-winning educator from Virginia shares his unique, creative strategies to help your students of all ages become more engaged, confident, and eager to excel. His enthusiasm will make you want to visit his school in person to see his strategies in action. All of his work starts with simply building relationships.

A Touchdown in Reading: An Educator’s Guide to Literacy Instruction by Kathryn Starke

This reading resource has been recommended by nationally recognized superintendents, principals, and teachers to teach reading to children. The book provides a simplified understanding of the science of reading and the strong connection between reading and writing. The book contains lessons and activities that support each of the five pillars of reading and can be instantly implemented into the classroom.


Never Sit If You Can Dance: Lessons from My Mother by Jo Giese

Bedside Reading has added this fantastic memoir to their collection. The mother-daughter memoir offers uplifting lessons in old-fashioned civility that is sure to ring true with mothers and daughters in 2022. This is the type of book you want to share with the women in your life.

Children’s Picture Book

Dear Teacher: A Celebration of People Who Inspire Us by Paris Rosenthal

Written by the New York Times bestselling team behind Dear Girl and Dear Boy, this children’s picture book is a beautifully written and illustrated thank-you letter to YOU and the educators, coaches, leaders, role models, and mentors in your life.

All the titles included in our teacher summer reading list are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for you to easily purchase today. Here’s hoping you find the next best book to cozy up to on the couch, at the beach, or by the pool this summer, and become a book matchmaker for your teacher friends too!

Kathryn Starke is a nationally recognized urban literacy consultant, author, and founder of Creative Minds Publications, an award-winning educational publishing and literacy consulting company.

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