Top 10 Books for Parents

The education books we love, handpicked by School Guide's founder and mum, Victoria


Help Your Child Love Reading

by Alison David

If you are one of those parents who shudder when you see all the smug pictures on Facebook of other people's little bookworms, endlessly and effortlessly curled up with a book in the corner, this is for you. A wonderfully warm and practical approach to helping your child discover a love of reading with real-world examples and a very level-headed approach to finding a balance between screen time and books. Proof learning doesn't come naturally to everyone but everyone can learn to love it in their own way. ​ Read more


The Teenage Brain

by Frances E. Jensen

Professor Jensen is a mother and a scientist and this brilliant book turns the notion on its head that erratic teenage behaviour is just down to a massive surge in hormones. Modern neuroscience shows us that this isn't true and this books takes us through the weird and wonderful journey of a teen's brain from the perspective of the latest research and gives practical suggestions on how parents can weather the storm of adolescence. Honestly, this book should be called Love The Teenage Brain; it will change the way you interact with you 13+ child for good. ​ Read more


Nurture Shock

by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

If you haven't already overheard a parent talking about this book at the school gates, you will. Nurture Shock​ ​is fast becoming a classic among those of us who worry about the way modern children appear to be afraid to fail. Fear of failing quickly leads to a fear of trying, and the authors of this book say that it's a result of over-praising our children from an early age. It looks at the ​ticking time bomb of making children believe they have an in-built brilliance by constantly praising them for completing the most basic of tasks. So what's the alternative? Shift ​to praising effort and practice. Don't be put off by the rather bossy sub-title - why​ everything we thought about children is wrong - this book really helps you shift your mindset on​ ​motivation, praise, sibling relationships, sleep, and​ can ​even helps with homework battles.​ ​ Read more


Simplicity Parenting

by Kim John Payne

Do you feel your children live their lives in fast forward but lack the confidence to say no to too much, too fast, too soon? This book offers 'a blueprint for slowing our children's lives down' and is the ultimate antidote to helicopter parenting. Kim John is a trainer and consultant to over 100 schools in the US and has been a family counsellor for almost three decades. Simplicity can be a difficult thing to achieve and many of us need helpful tips and reminders on how to bring our family back to basics. An inspiring read.​ ​ Read more


Rising Strong: key takeaways, analysis and review

by Brene Brown

A book about a book? Yes, we don't think it's cheating when it's packed with pearls of (heard earned) wisdom from the leading social work professor and psychology researcher, Brene Brown. She has so many interesting and wonderful ideas that this summary of her main thoughts is an excellent intro to work. The essence of the original book is that if we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. It echoes some of the ideas in Nurture Shock about raising resilient children. In the words of Chumbawumba: 'I get knocked down but I get up again.' Surely as our children navigate the world of education that's not a bad basis for a modus operandi?Read more


Anti-Stress Dot-to-Dot

by Emily Milne Wallis

Dot-to-dots are the new colouring books. If you've felt-tipped your way through endless 'Keep calm and colour-in' books and are ready for more of a challenge, this will be dot on. Sorry, spot on. It's a great thing to do when while keeping your child company during long homework sessions - you're there, but not all over them there, which can be very reassuring. Alternatively, forgo X-Factor for a 1 to 750 dot cat picture once the kids are in bed. Honestly; it's super addictive. ​ Read more


Top Bananas! The Best Ever Family Recipes from Mumsnet

by Claire McDonald and Lucy McDonald

A properly useful cookbook from our friends at Mumsnet. 120 hassle-free recipes - recommended, tweaked, tried and tested by real-life mums. If you need to get something on the table quick after a busy school-run and don't happen to have fully stocked Nigella-style pantry or a penchant for Pinterest-worthy food creations, it's highly recommended. ​ Read more


How to do Maths so Your Children Can Too: The essential parents' guide

by Naomi Sani

At last – a book about maths that's as enjoyable as it is helpful. This is a kitchen table essential at homework time and perfect for both brushing up on your own school maths and learning what has changed in the modern classroom in terms of terminology and methodology. Naomi is a highly experienced maths teacher but explains topics with a simplicity and clarity that would make any English department proud. Full of lovely stories about how she's nurtured a love of maths in her own three boys, this book will take you from Reception up to at least the end of the first year at secondary school. 10/10! ​ Read more



by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinsk

Stunning ​maps by the ​genius Polish ​illustrator Mizielinskis, this is the most wonderful book to share with your children and learn about the world. ​Its ​tagline is 'Travel the globe without leaving your living room' and, despite the fact not all countries are included, it's seamlessly blends escapism with education. A fabulous gift for a primary aged child​.​​ ​ Read more


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

by Amanda Ripley

A fantastic read for any parent or teacher interested in understanding why pupils in China, Finland, Korea, Canada and Japan vastly outperform their counterparts in America, Britain, Germany and France in international tests. US-based author and 'Time' magazine journalist Amanda Ripley shares what she learnt while studying the thinking patterns and discipline of smart kids and, fascinatingly, follows the stories of three teens taken from the US to study for a year in Finland, Poland and South Korea. So, how do the smartest kids get that way? Ripley draws some really eye opening conclusions. ​ Read more