It’s that time of year again — time to share the choices from readers of this blog for the best education-related book they read in the this past year.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

Speaking of education-related books, you might also be interested in two other posts:

The Top 75 New York Times Best-Selling Education Books of 2013 comes from The New York Times Learning Network.

Education Books In One Sentence was a fun hashtag I started one day on Twitter.

I broke my own rules and chose four instead of one, and you can see them in the photo illustrating this post.

Now, here are the choices of over fifty readers to sent their comments and tweets (even if you didn’t send them in earlier, you can still leave your favorites in the comments):

Renee Boss:

Best book I read this year–Trusting Teachers with School Success by Kim Farris-Berg and Edward Dirkswager with Amy Junge. This book is encouraging because it promotes teachers as leaders and professionals who should make the decisions in our schools.

Mandy Vasek:

My fave 2013 read was Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Getting the RIGHT people on the bus is key to success. I also helped lead a book study with Dave Burgess’ Teach Like a Pirate. IMO, this should be a must do for all campuses no matter the level. It was very successful…and FUN.

Carrie Vartlett:

Teach Like a Pirate was my favorite this year. The PLN related to it is awesome, too!

Mike Pinto:

“Quiet” by Susan Cain. As an extrovert, it gave me a perspective on introversion and how many great leaders are introverts. Worth the read and the reflection.


Notice and Note by Kylene Beers.

Svetlana Sutic:

The Element by Sir Ken Robinson.How to find the point where natural talent meets personal passion.

John Young:

Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam. Very insightful book with excellent research based strategies bought multiple copies for my staff and gifted one to each of my teaching daughters.

Lisa Gearman:

Two books I carry around in my backpack are Untangling the Web by Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo and The Classroom Teacher’s Technology Survival Guide by Doug Johnson. Both are great for practical advice you can use immediately, and I use them for PD training ideas.


Best book used in leadership team read this year…book study…The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner

Tim O’Connor:

I am just finishing up Dan Pink’s – To Sell is Human. This book gave me better insight into how to become more persuasive and thoughtful towards others. As a technology coach that promotes change in education it was very helpful, however all educators can benefit from such a book.


Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Matt Renwick:

World Class Learners by Yong Zhao takes a different perspective about standardized tests and international comparisons. Instead of simply questioning the validity of high stakes testing, he actually provides data that suggests these practices could actually harm creativity and innovation. Dr. Zhao also shares ideas for helping teachers and students become more engaged in important work.

bob dillon:

Open by David Price has reshaped my thinking around the acceleration needed to open our schools to change

R. Deutsch:

Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8 by Christopher Lehman (Heinemann, 2012). Great practical book that spells out what REAL research should look like . It would make a wonderful choice for English and content area teachers working together. Not only for grades 4-8; so much of what he describes would be perfect for high school students as well.

Jamaal A. Bowman:

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It provides very specific and promising strategies on how to counteract poverty, and attempts to explain why good standardized tests results do not lead to college and career success.

Renee Moore:

Ann Byrd and Barnett Berry, Teacherpreneurs [disclosure, yes, my students and I are featured in it] which makes it even more interesting! Seriously, a look at the possibilities for teaching to move out of its centuries old frame into a modern profession.

Diane Ravitch’s, Reign of Error for challenging the educational crisis myths.

Jonathan Kozol, Fire Among the Ashes:25 Years Among the Poorest Children in America — the culmination of his work that began with Savage Inequalities; looks at some of the children he has followed as they grown into adulthood.

Michelle cordy:

Net Smart by Horward Rheingold is essential reading for educators and anyone interested in doing a deep dive into the abundance of information and connectivity brought to us in the present day.

Joanne Fuchs:

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. Inspiring, made me take a fresh look at the way I reach.

Diane Peterson:

Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess – gives energy, shares passion, offers encouragement and support, and gives usable ideas to highten students’ interest to learning.

Generation iY by Tim Elmore – amazing research for all involved with youth and how to reach and teach Gen Y for a productive, successful future adult generation.

Lesli Moylan:

Smart by Nature. Great book about different ways schools across country integrating sustainability into curriculum and culture of individual schools and districts.

The Teaching Factor:

There are so many great books:

Teach Like a Pirate reminds readers to make learning fun and relevant.

Falling in Love with Close Reading and Notice and Note both help all content area teachers get students to stop and pay attention while they are reading.

Not a teacher book but YA novel that brings thought, caring, and perspective on our daily life, The Obe and Only Ivan was a favorite read with my students.

Jon Konen:

Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Put away the text books and get “wild” about reading authentic literature! Donalyn gives you a learning structure to promote student independence and a love of reading!

A Stevens:

The two best educationally related books that I have read this year are mindset by Carol Dweck and Teaching Through Text by McKenna and Robinson.

Peggy Drolet:

Here are a few suggestions

Douglas W. Green, EdD:

As always, I find that some of the best books for education were not written strictly for educators. The best ideas generalize well across fields, and the the hot areas for research and innovation are where the disciplines collide. I summarize the best books I find here. My summaries will help with purchasing decisions and reviewing the book after you read it. If I had to pick one book this year it would be “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries” by Peter Sims.

Jon Harper:

Cagebusting Leadership by Frederick Hess was a great read. It gets us to stop whining and start looking at what we have to get the job done.

Karen Linch:

Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith made me realize that teaching to high stakes tests will never lead to the kind of learning our students deserve.

Ms. Hunni:

Penny Kittle’s: Book Love and Write Beside Them


Ten Minute InService by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux

Brenda Giourmetakis:

Ten things a child with autism wishes you knew by Ellen Notbohm. Sensible, awesome suggestions

Colinda Clyne:

I have two: the motivational Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, about keeping enthusiasm and passion in your practice, and as a history teacher, the invaluable guide to historical thinking concepts, The Big Six by Peter Seixas and Tom Morton.

Tracy Tarasiuk:

“Focus” be Mike Schmocker-the title really says it all

Kathryn Coffey:

“Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives”, by Peter H. Johnston

John Norton:

Full disclosure: I served as editor for both of these books. They come straight from real classrooms and represent visionary teaching practices.

Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades, by Kathy Cassidy.

Teaching In High Gear: My Shift Toward a Student-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science Classroom, by Marsha Ratzel.

Catherine Trinkle:

Focus by Mike Schmoker. I am committed to teaching the simplified, focus way and I know my students are working harder and learning more as the outcome.

Michael Doyle:

Ira Socol’s Drool Room blew me away, enough to make me feel unsteady in the classroom. It will change what I do, and possibly who I am.

Should be mandatory reading for anyone who works with less than perfect children.

Mrs. Rasmussen:

Book Love by Penny Kittle We have to get students reading, and Kittle’s book teaches how.


Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild or Penny Kittle’s Book Love


Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Honest, challenging, thought-provoking!


Either reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller or Igniying a Passion for Reading by Steven Layne.

Some readers sent in their choices with a tweet, and I’ve collected them with Storify:

Thanks to everyone who contributed and, again, you can leave your choices in the comments!