The best critical thinking books

Who picked these books? Meet our 42 experts.

42 authors created a book list connected to critical thinking, and here are their favorite critical thinking books.
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Bad Dog

By Mike Boldt,

Book cover of Bad Dog

Judy Lea Author Of Please Don't Go in the Dryer!

From the list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets.

Who am I?

I’m a semi-retired music teacher and grandmother of two. When my kids were little, we would devour books like they were delicious candy, reading our favourites over and over again. I still love reading out loud, using various inflections, accents, and voices for the different characters. I’ve read hundreds of children’s books and the ones I enjoy most have a great message, are fun to read out loud, and also make me laugh. And they must have beautiful, colourful illustrations! My first book is a spoken word piece from my WCMA-nominated CD, Too Much Work To Do. It’s been asking me to dream it into a book for years! 

Judy's book list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets

Discover why each book is one of Judy's favorite books.

Why did Judy love this book?

One of the best things about this book is the fabulous illustrations! Bold, bright, and very silly, they totally capture the essence of this very funny story about a little girl who desperately wants a dog. She is overjoyed with the ‘dog’ she gets for her birthday except, he won’t do anything dogs are supposed to do! He won’t come when he’s called, won’t go for walks, doesn’t like other dogs, etc. However, he is very good at climbing trees, (but won’t come down), likes to play in the fish water…doesn’t bark at the mailman, doesn’t have accidents on the floor… maybe that’s because this dog is actually a…cat

I definitely understand why this book is a five-time award winner!

By Mike Boldt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bad Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



The differences between cats and dogs have never been funnier! In this hilarious new story from the illustrator of I Don't Want to Be a Frog, a little girl really, really wants a dog . . . but gets a cat instead!

"Look what I got for my birthday! A pet dog!" says a little girl holding a . . . cat? Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs. (Because Rocky is a cat.) And Rocky hates her leash and doesn't seem to like other dogs. (Probably because Rocky is a cat.) And rather than play fetch,…


Vampenguin

By Lucy Ruth Cummins,

Book cover of Vampenguin

Joyce Grant Author Of Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

From the list on to improve kids’ critical thinking.

Who am I?

I’m a journalist and a social media prof. I talk to thousands of kids every year about what they read on the Internet. And frankly, they’re confused—as we all are—about what’s true online and what isn’t. To spot misinformation, kids have to become better critical thinkers. That’s why I wrote Can You Believe It? and it’s why I’m recommending these great books. It’s also helpful to know what credible journalism looks like. My TeachingKidsNews.com (TKN) is a kid-friendly news source that kids and teachers can trust. In addition to publishing TKN, I’ve authored six children’s books and I have a Master’s degree in Creative and Critical Writing. 

Joyce's book list on to improve kids’ critical thinking

Discover why each book is one of Joyce's favorite books.

Why did Joyce love this book?

To encourage young readers to think critically, Vampenguin is a good choice. The misdirection isn’t quite so obvious. A family of vampires is at the zoo. The smallest vampire gets switched with a penguin (hilarious drawings make this sleight-of-hand possible). The child reader can see what the family in the story doesn’t—their “baby” is actually a penguin. Even better, the baby vampire and the penguin switch themselves back and the family never finds out. Once again, the young reader has out-smarted everyone by thinking critically. Nice!

By Lucy Ruth Cummins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vampenguin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion and Stumpkin comes a charming, wryly humorous story of adventure, mistaken identity, and a vampire family's day at the zoo.

On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places.

Instead, baby Dracula slips into the Penguin House to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Dracula's family doesn't even notice the…


Aging

By Harry R Moody, Jennifer R Sasser,

Book cover of Aging: Concepts and Controversies

Andrzej Klimczuk Author Of Economic Foundations for Creative Ageing Policy, Volume II: Putting Theory into Practice

From the list on public policy on ageing.

Who am I?

As a student, one day, I noticed that something was wrong with our world. Older people are separated from younger ones and sometimes almost invisible. I decided to focus on researching whether and how older people organize themselves into groups and influence important areas of social, economic, and political life. The study of the social capital of older adults led me to research on age discrimination, intergenerational relationships, age-friendly communities and cities, social innovation, co-design, citizen science, and public policy on ageing. I am convinced that only multi-sectoral and multi-level cooperation can lead to the implementation of constructive responses to today’s global challenges.

Andrzej's book list on public policy on ageing

Discover why each book is one of Andrzej's favorite books.

Why did Andrzej love this book?

This is probably the most unconventional textbook in the field of social gerontology.

It does not just provide introductions to topics that are usually linked to population ageing, such as care, health, and pensions. Moody and Sasser go further by provoking readers with a mix of basic concepts and related controversies.

The book focuses on discussing various questions, such as “Should older people be protected from bad choices?” and “Should we ration health care for older people?”

Of course, reading all chapters lead readers to ask even more questions.

By Harry R Moody, Jennifer R Sasser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aging as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aging: Concepts and Controversies is structured to encourage a style of teaching and learning that goes beyond conveying facts and methods. This innovative text focuses on controversies and questions rather than on assimilating facts or creating a single "correct" view about aging or older people. Drawing on their extensive expertise, authors Harry R. Moody and Jennifer R. Sasser first provide an overview of aging in three domains: aging over the life course, health care, and socioeconomic trends. Each section then includes data and conceptual frameworks, helping readers to make sense of the controversies and understand their origin, engage in critical…


Book cover of Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom

Tom Chatfield Author Of How to Think: Your Essential Guide to Clear, Critical Thought

From the list on critical thinking.

Who am I?

I’m an author, tech philosopher, father, geek, pianist, and novelist; and I'm fascinated by what it means to think clearly and well. Our world is bristling with complexities and crises; with staggering technologies, opportunities, and threats. What does it mean to find some kind of clarity, focus, and community amid this maelstrom? How can we hope to grasp, together, the nature of our times? These are the questions that keep me up at night—and that have driven me to write books that, I hope, can help and support people in rigorously exploring such questions for themselves.

Tom's book list on critical thinking

Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.

Why did Tom love this book?

This is a slim, passionate, personal book by one of the most significant American educators and activists of the last century. It’s part of her “teaching” trilogy (the other two books cover Community and Freedom) and is founded on the belief that “one could choose to educate for the practice of freedom.” Critical thinking is often treated as an emotionless, logical discipline, but this book shows how it’s rooted in a deep human longing for understanding—and is also vital to informed, equitable democratic participation. Teaching Critical Thinking is a profound testament to the significance of emotionally, politically, and intellectually engaged pedagogy – and why these three things are ultimately inseparable. 

By bell hooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Teaching Critical Thinking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Teaching Critical Thinking, renowned cultural critic and progressive educator bell hooks addresses some of the most compelling issues facing teachers in and out of the classroom today.

In a series of short, accessible, and enlightening essays, hooks explores the confounding and sometimes controversial topics that teachers and students have urged her to address since the publication of the previous best-selling volumes in her Teaching series, Teaching to Transgress and Teaching Community. The issues are varied and broad, from whether meaningful teaching can take place in a large classroom setting to confronting issues of self-esteem. One professor, for example, asked…


The Mad Scientist Next Door

By Clare De Marco, Rory Walker (illustrator),

Book cover of The Mad Scientist Next Door

Dr. Nicole Audet Author Of Parents For Sale

From the list on helping children learn great life lessons.

Who am I?

My journey as a writer began in correlation with my career as a family doctor. After reading Dr. Jacques Ferron’s, books, I knew I wanted to be an author as well as a doctor. While pursuing my medical career, I wrote medical articles and books. My husband and I have also been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul of Quebecers with the story Witness of the Last Breath. This is the story of the last night of my daughter-in-law dying of lung cancer. Before she died, I promised Marie-Noëlle that I would pursue my writing career to change the world one young reader at a time. And I did.

Dr. Nicole's book list on helping children learn great life lessons

Discover why each book is one of Dr. Nicole's favorite books.

Why did Dr. Nicole love this book?

The author of this short and easy-to-read chapter book goes beyond the story. I recommend this book because I like the last page of the book title “Notes for Adults.”

In busy life, it is easy to let our children read by themselves. It is easy to forget that books contain valuable lessons. It is easy to miss the opportunity to challenge reading skills and make the children read between the line to develop their critical thinking skills.

In this book, the author proposes before, during and after reading activities to support literacy skill. Wow! If you do all of them, this book is worth the money you have paid for it.

All parents and teachers should aim to develop children’s critical thinking.

By Clare De Marco, Rory Walker (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mad Scientist Next Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ella's next door neighbour, Mr Willis, is seriously mean. She stays out of his way as much as possible. But when she accidentally catapaults her baby brother's favourite teddy bear into Mr Willis' garden, Ella is forced to go over to his house. And Ella is in for a SHOCK!

Race Ahead with Reading is the perfect introduction to reading chapters with brand new page turning reads in five short bite size chapters, to encourage children to take the driving seat with their reading.


Factfulness

By Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling

Book cover of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World--And Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Tobias Rose-Stockwell Author Of Outrage Machine: How Tech Amplifies Discontent, Disrupts Democracy--And What We Can Do about It

From the list on why everything feels terrible right now.

Who am I?

As a writer, designer, and technologist, I've always been fascinated by the extraordinary potential of the internet. It’s our species' greatest invention to date, giving us powers our ancestors would have only dreamed of. But I'm equally aware of its darker side. We now live an inordinate amount of our lives in spaces controlled by algorithms that have strange agendas. A key part of my work is exposing how the subtle designs of our online spaces can dramatically change our emotions, making them much more contagious. By translating these insights into understandable narratives, my goal is to foster digital resilience, and help us take back some real measure of control of our digital lives.

Tobias' book list on why everything feels terrible right now

Discover why each book is one of Tobias' favorite books.

Why did Tobias love this book?

Factfulness is a critical tool for showing that the world is knowable and making the case for optimism.

Beloved by Bill Gates—who called it “[one] of the most important books I’ve ever read”—the book shows how our perspectives get distorted by the information we consume every day. It also shows how taking a fact-based worldview can drastically reduce the anxiety and fear so many of us feel right now.

By Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Factfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.' BARACK OBAMA

'One of the most important books I've ever read - an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.' BILL GATES

*#1 Sunday Times bestseller * New York Times bestseller * Observer 'best brainy book of the decade' * Irish Times bestseller * Guardian bestseller * audiobook bestseller *

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how…


Book cover of Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots

Linda Zajac Author Of Robo-Motion: Robots That Move Like Animals

From the list on robots for little kids with big-tech taste.

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by robots. As a former computer programmer, systems analyst, and consultant, I’ve had an interest in technology since my first programming class in high school. I’ve been to robotics labs in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lausanne, Switzerland. My husband is a mechanical/software engineer, so STEM is a big part of our lives. In addition to Robo-Motion, I’m the author of a number of Minecraft books with STEM and coding sidebars. I’ve also published many magazine articles, one of which was the inspiration for this book. I wrote about the CRAM cockroach robot for the March 2017 issue of MUSE.

Linda's book list on robots for little kids with big-tech taste

Discover why each book is one of Linda's favorite books.

Why did Linda love this book?

I like a challenge, so I was drawn to how this concept picture book tackles a challenging topic, making it fun and accessible. While colorful robots dance and bicker, the text asks readers to evaluate statements to determine if they’re facts or opinions. Readers learn to question information and to respect the opinions of others, skills many adults haven’t mastered. The best thing about this book is that it fosters critical thinking.

By Michael Rex,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you know the difference between a fact and an opinion? It can be a hard thing to understand. Some things are facts - like the number of robots in this book. Other things are opinions - like which robot would make the best friend, or which robot dances best. And sometimes to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, you need to wait to get more information - that's because facts can be proven true or false, and opinions are things you feel and believe - but that you can't prove.

Mike Rex introduces young readers to…


Book cover of Critical Thinking and Popular Culture: Reading and Writing the American Experience

Peg Tittle Author Of Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason

From the list on learning how to think logically and critically.

Who am I?

Of all my university courses, the one that had the greatest impact on me was called "Informal Logic." Accurate, but misleadingly dry and academic. One of the assignments in that course—and the one I remember most, of all my university assignments—was to prepare a "Crapbook": a collection of ten bits of crap—ads, arguments, whatever—that were full of crap (essentially, incorrect reasoning/logical fallacies). I loved it. So when, twenty years later, I was hired by a small university to teach Critical Thinking …  

Peg's book list on learning how to think logically and critically

Discover why each book is one of Peg's favorite books.

Why did Peg love this book?

Although many critical thinking texts include some analysis of bits from popular culture, I wanted to include this book on my list because, as its title indicates, it focuses on popular culture­—which is good because most of us immerse ourselves in popular culture and so it influences our thinking in a huge way. There's a whole chapter. There's a whole chapter dedicated to "Analyzing American Television," another dedicated to "American Advertising and the Subtle Art of Manipulation," and one dedicated to "Popular Culture in Speeches."  

By Peter Elias Sotiriou,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Critical Thinking and Popular Culture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Sotiriou, Peter Elias


The Scout Mindset

By Julia Galef,

Book cover of The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't

William MacAskill Author Of What We Owe the Future

From the list on doing good.

Who am I?

William MacAskill is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of Oxford. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest associate professor of philosophy in the world. He cofounded the nonprofits Giving What We Can, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and Y Combinator–backed 80,000 Hours, which together have moved over $300 million to effective charities. He is the author of Doing Good Better and What We Owe The Future.

William's book list on doing good

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

The Scout Mindset is one of the best books I know on reasoning clearly and developing a truth-seeking attitude. Galef argues that instead of being like “soldiers,” who engage in wishful thinking by defending the ideas they most want to believe, we should be more like “scouts,” whose goal is to actually find out what is true. The book includes some of the latest research on the skills and habits one needs to be an excellent reasoner. 

By Julia Galef,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Scout Mindset as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of best smart thinking book 2022 (Business Book Awards)
Guardian best books of 2021

'Original, thought-provoking and a joy to read' Tim Harford

'Highly recommended. It's not easy to become (more of) a scout, but it's hard not to be inspired by this book' Rutger Bregman

When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a 'soldier' mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalising in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe…


What Is Philosophy For?

By Mary Midgley,

Book cover of What Is Philosophy For?

Tom Chatfield Author Of How to Think: Your Essential Guide to Clear, Critical Thought

From the list on critical thinking.

Who am I?

I’m an author, tech philosopher, father, geek, pianist, and novelist; and I'm fascinated by what it means to think clearly and well. Our world is bristling with complexities and crises; with staggering technologies, opportunities, and threats. What does it mean to find some kind of clarity, focus, and community amid this maelstrom? How can we hope to grasp, together, the nature of our times? These are the questions that keep me up at night—and that have driven me to write books that, I hope, can help and support people in rigorously exploring such questions for themselves.

Tom's book list on critical thinking

Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.

Why did Tom love this book?

Mary Midgley was in her nineties when she wrote this book, yet it’s alive with ideas and energy – and the insistence that philosophy should be “for” something in the most urgent, practical sense; that it should help us explore such questions as to how to live and to do good. Midgley was both highly scientifically literate and fiercely opposed to the claim that science will ever answer every question. We humans, she believed, are brilliant animals who need to understand our biological heritage as richly as possible if we’re to grapple fruitfully with our planetary future. I can think of few more urgent themes for the present century.

By Mary Midgley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Is Philosophy For? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why should anybody take an interest in philosophy? Is it just another detailed study like metallurgy? Or is it similar to history, literature and even religion: a study meant to do some personal good and influence our lives?


In her last published work, Mary Midgley addresses provocative questions, interrogating the various forms of our current intellectual anxieties and confusions and how we might deal with them. In doing so, she provides a robust, yet not uncritical, defence of philosophy and the life of the mind.

This defence is expertly placed in the context of contemporary debates about science, religion, and…


Critical Thinking

By William Hughes, Jonathan Lavery,

Book cover of Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills

Roy van den Brink-Budgen Author Of Advanced Critical Thinking Skills

From the list on learning how to think critically.

Who am I?

I have been working in critical thinking since 1987. This work has taken me to many countries in the world, working with both teachers and students, business people and other decision-makers, and it continues to excite me greatly. I always stress that critical thinking shouldn’t be seen as just a set of technical skills, but that it should make a real difference to people. For example, I’ve used it in working with juvenile offenders who had committed violent crimes and was impressed by how it got them to look at their lives in a much more positive way. These books provide a range of ways into and around the subject.

Roy's book list on learning how to think critically

Discover why each book is one of Roy's favorite books.

Why did Roy love this book?

This book appealed to me when I first read it many years ago because of the way in which it explains the skills of critical thinking in a very approachable and interesting way.

It does this by using simple and everyday examples such that the reader develops the skills through applying the theoretical aspects of critical thinking to them. In addition, there are plenty of ‘self-tests’ for the reader to check and reinforce their learning.

It is clear that the author’s experience with teaching students gives him a good understanding of how critical thinking should be approached.

By William Hughes, Jonathan Lavery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Critical Thinking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

William Hughes's Critical Thinking, recently revised and updated by Jonathan Lavery, is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the essential skills required to make strong arguments. Hughes and Lavery give a thorough treatment of such traditional topics as deductive and inductive reasoning, logical fallacies and how to spot them, the importance of inference, how to recognise and avoid ambiguity, and how to assess what is or is not relevant to an argument. But they also cover a variety of topics not always treated in books of this sort - special concerns to keep in mind when reasoning about ethical matters…


Future Wise

By David Perkins,

Book cover of Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World

Guy Claxton Author Of What's the Point of School?: Rediscovering the Heart of Education

From the list on schools and education.

Who am I?

I’m a cognitive scientist, and I love reading, thinking, and researching about the nature of the human – and especially the young – mind, and what it is capable of. Even while I was still doing my PhD in experimental psychology at Oxford in the early 1970s, I was gripped by the new possibilities for thinking about education that were being opened up by science. In particular, the assumption of a close association between intelligence and intellect was being profoundly challenged, and I could see that there was so much more that education could be, and increasing needed to be, than filling kids’ heads with pockets of dusty knowledge and the ability to knock out small essays and routine calculations. In particular, we now know that learning itself is not a simple reflection of IQ, but is a complex craft that draws on a number of acquired habits that are capable of being systematically cultivated in school – if we have a mind to do it.

Guy's book list on schools and education

Discover why each book is one of Guy's favorite books.

Why did Guy love this book?

Perkins, like Mitra and Berger, is on my list of top educational gurus. All his books are worth reading, but Future Wise is one of the latest and best. It takes a long careful look at the contents of the conventional school curriculum, compares it with the real-world challenges that today’s kids will meet, and finds it seriously lacking as a preparation for real life. He goes on to explore the wealth of current knowledge that isn’t in the curriculum but ought to be, and demonstrates the kind of careful, creative thinking about education that ought to be happening but rarely is – certainly not by most academics and politicians. David is a Harvard professor, and is, as you would expect, deeply thoughtful and fair-minded, but he writes with a down-to-earth elegance and charm that makes his penetrating questioning all the more convincing.

By David Perkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Future Wise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to teach big understandings and the ideas that matter most Everyone has an opinion about education, and teachers face pressures from Common Core content standards, high-stakes testing, and countless other directions. But how do we know what today's learners will really need to know in the future? Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World is a toolkit for approaching that question with new insight. There is no one answer to the question of what's worth teaching, but with the tools in this book, you'll be one step closer to constructing a curriculum that prepares students for whatever…


Book cover of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World

Richard Hoshino Author Of The Math Olympian

From the list on mathematics and life.

Who am I?

I have devoted my entire career to mathematics, and have a life filled with meaning and purpose through my roles as an educator, researcher, and consultant. I teach at the Vancouver campus of Northeastern University and am the owner and principal of Hoshino Math Services, a boutique math consulting firm. 

Richard's book list on mathematics and life

Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books.

Why did Richard love this book?

The author explains the importance of abstraction in logic, demonstrating its three main components: paths made of long chains of logic, packages made of a collection of concepts structured into a new compound unit, and pivots to build bridges to previously disconnected places.

Eugenia Cheng does an excellent job of abstracting principles of logic to better understand challenging real-world societal issues such as affirmative action and cancer screening. I found it quite compelling to understand how and why she came to her positions on various issues, through her axiom that "avoiding false negatives is more important than avoiding false positives." I appreciated the expertise by which she weaved numerous hard topics, in both mathematics and social justice, into a coherent and compelling narrative.

By Eugenia Cheng,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Logic in an Illogical World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How both logical and emotional reasoning can help us live better in our post-truth world

In a world where fake news stories change election outcomes, has rationality become futile? In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng throws a lifeline to readers drowning in the illogic of contemporary life. Cheng is a mathematician, so she knows how to make an airtight argument. But even for her, logic sometimes falls prey to emotion, which is why she still fears flying and eats more cookies than she should. If a mathematician can't be logical, what are we to do?…


How We Know What Isn't So

By Thomas Gilovich,

Book cover of How We Know What Isn't So

Gary Smith Author Of Distrust: Big Data, Data-Torturing, and the Assault on Science

From the list on science’s eroding reputation.

Who am I?

I am the Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics at Pomona College. I started out as a macroeconomist but, early on, discovered stats and stocks—which have long been fertile fields for data torturing and data mining. My book, Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics is a compilation of a variety of dubious and misleading statistical practices. More recently, I have written several books on AI, which has a long history of overpromising and underdelivering because it is essentially data mining on steroids. No matter how loudly statisticians shout correlation is not causation, some will not hear.

Gary's book list on science’s eroding reputation

Discover why each book is one of Gary's favorite books.

Why did Gary love this book?

One of Gilovich’s most famous papers is a (co-authored) 1985 study arguing that the widespread belief by athletes and fans that athletes get a “hot hand” is in fact a statistical illusion. This book is a compilation of similar examples of how everyone—even, or perhaps especially, the most highly educated—believe things that are doubtful or clearly wrong.

By Thomas Gilovich,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How We Know What Isn't So as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thomas Gilovich offers a wise and readable guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life.

When can we trust what we believe-that "teams and players have winning streaks," that "flattery works," or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right"-and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments and decisions. In a rapidly changing…


Tap, Click, Read

By Lisa Guernsey, Michael H. Levine,

Book cover of Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens

Natalia Kucirkova Author Of The Future of the Self: Understanding Personalization in Childhood and Beyond

From the list on research on children’s technology use.

Who am I?

As an avid reader, I have been fascinated by children’s reading development and began researching this topic with a specific interest in the personal motivation of young readers. I examined children’s reading in various digital formats, including e-books made by families and children themselves. Today, I work as Professor in Norway and the UK and enjoy working across academia and industry. I feel very passionate about communicating research in an accessible way to children’s teachers, caregivers, and policy-makers. The books on my list do this exceptionally well, and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Natalia's book list on research on children’s technology use

Discover why each book is one of Natalia's favorite books.

Why did Natalia love this book?

Tap, Click, Read was one of the first books to describe reading with screens in a balanced and measured way. I liked that the authors engaged with a range of research studies and outlined the significant potential of digital books for children’s literacy development, particularly if the books are designed with research principles in mind. The book inspired me to write in jargon-free language when communicating research to non-academic audiences. I loved the many examples in the book illustrating how young children tap, click and indeed read with modern interactive screens.

By Lisa Guernsey, Michael H. Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tap, Click, Read as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to promoting literacy in the digital age With young children gaining access to a dizzying array of games, videos, and other digital media, will they ever learn to read? The answer is yes if they are surrounded by adults who know how to help and if they are introduced to media designed to promote literacy, instead of undermining it. Tap, Click, Read gives educators and parents the tools and information they need to help children grow into strong, passionate readers who are skilled at using media and technology of all kinds print, digital, and everything in between. In…


Book cover of When Critical Thinking met English Literature: A Resource Book for Teachers and Their Students

Roy van den Brink-Budgen Author Of Advanced Critical Thinking Skills

From the list on learning how to think critically.

Who am I?

I have been working in critical thinking since 1987. This work has taken me to many countries in the world, working with both teachers and students, business people and other decision-makers, and it continues to excite me greatly. I always stress that critical thinking shouldn’t be seen as just a set of technical skills, but that it should make a real difference to people. For example, I’ve used it in working with juvenile offenders who had committed violent crimes and was impressed by how it got them to look at their lives in a much more positive way. These books provide a range of ways into and around the subject.

Roy's book list on learning how to think critically

Discover why each book is one of Roy's favorite books.

Why did Roy love this book?

This book takes a different approach to the more general accounts of critical thinking, by focusing on how it helps us to appreciate literature.

The author does this by showing how using critical thinking can deepen our understanding of literature, including drama (Shakespeare, Beckett), poetry (such as Donne, Larkin, Marvell, Owen, and Wordsworth), and first-person narratives.

The book sparkles with wonderful applications of critical thinking, enabling us to appreciate texts such that we see them in a new way, with all sorts of insights being suggested and developed. Her plea that we should also look at screenplays by using a critical thinking perspective is very convincing.

Read this book and your reading of literature will be significantly enriched. 

By Belinda Hakes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Critical Thinking met English Literature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book gives teachers of English Literature an engaging new way into texts, using the skills and approaches of A level Critical Thinking. It also provides teachers of Critical Thinking with useful and stimulating resources with which to practise the skills required at A level. It will also help teachers looking for ways to engage students not drawn to literature, and any teacher trying to improve the analytical skills of their English students. Topics Include- Critical Thinking does poetry - with a little help from John Donne, Andrew Marvell and Philip Larkin - Much Ado About...the credibility of evidence- Hamlet,…


Mind in the Making

By Ellen Galinsky,

Book cover of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

Joni Levine Author Of 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination

From the list on toddler development and behavior.

Who am I?

My passion has always been caring for and educating young children. I spent over 20 years in the classroom as a child care professional and much of that time was with toddlers. I discovered that the stereotype of the terrible twos was truly misguided. I chose books that will shed new light on why toddlers behave the way that they do. These books will show the reader what an important time this is in a child’s growth and learning. I believe that these books will help convince you that toddlers are not terrible; they are terrific!

Joni's book list on toddler development and behavior

Discover why each book is one of Joni's favorite books.

Why did Joni love this book?

There are many opinions and schools of thought on how to best raise and care for young children. The author lays her discussion firmly on the solid foundation of research. Beyond academic skills or ability, Ms. Galinsky identifies seven skills that will lead to the child’s success in the future. Skills such as making connections or critical thinking need to be fostered for a child to do well in school as well as in interactions and endeavors later in life. This book is sometimes used as a text in college classes. And yet, parents will easily find this content accessible with concrete ideas to develop these essential life skills.

By Ellen Galinsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mind in the Making as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ellen Galinsky has spent her entire career studying early childhood development, first at Vassar College, then for twenty-five years at the Bank Street College of Education, and for the past twenty years as the founder and now president of the Families and Work Institute. What she has found is that there is an enormous gap between what researchers have discovered and what parents have been told about those discoveries. "Minds in the Making" bridges this gap, bringing the work of more than a hundred scientists into a form that parents everywhere can use. Galinsky has divided this information into the…


Book cover of Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From the list on becoming a critical economist.

Who am I?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Discover why each book is one of Alex's favorite books.

Why did Alex love this book?

I was introduced to bell hooks only later in my teaching career—after I had taught for 10 years.

And I read hooks immediately after reading Paulo Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed

This is a book on pedagogy, especially within a classroom with students from diverse social backgrounds. This is the book on critical pedagogy, I would say.

The training of economists will significantly benefit from engaging with the work of hooks.

By bell hooks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Teaching to Transgress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"After reading Teaching to Transgress I am once again struck by bell hooks's never-ending, unquiet intellectual energy, an energy that makes her radical and loving." -- Paulo Freire

In Teaching to Transgress,bell hooks--writer, teacher, and insurgent black intellectual--writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher's most important goal.

bell hooks speaks to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do…


Thinking Like a Lawyer

By Colin Seale,

Book cover of Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students

Sara Blanchard and Misasha Suzuki Graham Author Of Dear White Women: Let's Get (Un)Comfortable Talking about Racism

From the list on for kids (and parents) on anti-racism.

Who am I?

We are two biracial (Japanese and White) mothers with very mixed-race children, who believe that when we learn about our nation’s history and look more deeply at our personal experiences with race and identity, we gain the power to effect personal and systemic change. Some of that starts with the books that we read to, and with, our kids. We discuss these topics and more on our weekly award-winning podcast, Dear White Women. We hope that you love the books on this list as much as we do!

Sara's book list on for kids (and parents) on anti-racism

Discover why each book is one of Sara's favorite books.

Why did Sara love this book?

At first glance, you might not see why we think it’s a book for parents that addresses anti-racism. But digging deeper, you’ll see that one of the things we advocate for is developing the skills for introspection - to ask ourselves the tough questions, to challenge our own beliefs and assumptions, and think critically about the information that constantly surrounds us. Those skills are a fundamental part of our own anti-racism practices. Unfortunately, critical thinking is not a skill that’s been well taught, or evenly taught, throughout the schools in our country - so it’s important for each of us to help ourselves, and our children, learn this most foundational skill to succeed in the 21st century.

By Colin Seale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking Like a Lawyer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Critical thinking is the essential tool for ensuring that students fulfill their promise. But, in reality, critical thinking is still a luxury good, and students with the greatest potential are too often challenged the least. Thinking Like a Lawyer:

Introduces a powerful but practical framework to close the critical thinking gap. Gives teachers the tools and knowledge to teach critical thinking to all students. Helps students adopt the skills, habits, and mindsets of lawyers. Empowers students to tackle 21st-century problems. Teaches students how to compete in a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Colin Seale, a teacher-turned-attorney-turned-education-innovator and founder of thinkLaw, uses…


The Tryout

By Christina Soontornvat, Joanna Cacao (illustrator),

Book cover of The Tryout

Julie Buxbaum Author Of The Area 51 Files

From the list on middle grade every grown up should read.

Who am I?

I’ve written books for adults and young adults, but during the pandemic, for the first time in my career, I turned to writing middle grade. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I discovered reading and writing books for children at the time when I felt like I had the least amount of control over the world around me. (Not dissimilar to the powerlessness I often felt as a kid.) Reading middle grade as a grown up turned out to be surprisingly healing. It deals with much of the same terrain we find in adult literature, but often with a huge helping of delight and way better fart jokes. 

Julie's book list on middle grade every grown up should read

Discover why each book is one of Julie's favorite books.

Why did Julie love this book?

Nothing frustrates me more than parents who police their kid’s reading and claim that graphic novels are not “real” books. Although there a million reasons why this argument is bogus (ie, studies that show how graphic novels can expand critical thinking, etc.), the best argument I’ve found to fight this misguided thinking is to hand these parents a book like The Tryout. It’s about growing up Asian American in a small town in Texas, trying to fit in when you feel different than everyone around you, and about finding your voice in ways you didn’t expect. It’s funny and charming and bizarrely suspenseful. Will Christina make the cheerleading squad? Dude, I’m not embarrassed to tell you I was desperate to find out. 

By Christina Soontornvat, Joanna Cacao (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tryout as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A graphic novel about friendship, belonging and feeling
comfortable in your own skin!
Trying out for middle school cheerleader means: performing in
the giant school gym, with the whole school watching, and risking
total humiliation. If Christina can make it through this, she can
make it through anything.

As one of the only Asian American kids in her small Texas town,
Christina just wants to fit in. Luckily, her best
friend, Megan, who is Iranian American, can totally relate. The
two girls have always been inseparable and relish creating elaborate
fantasy worlds together.

But middle school is a reality-check, and…